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Florence Nightingale

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Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale was born in 1820. She came from an upper class

family that saw her future getting married and raising children.

Florence had very different viewpoint, she believed that God wanted

her to be a nurse. She fought the OPPOSITION from her parents and

studied in Europe from 1849 and in Alexandria in 1850. By 1853, she

was the Superintendent at the Institution for the Care of Sick

Gentlewomen and she was very interested in the training of nurses.

In March 1854 the Crimean War broke out. Telegraphic COMMUNICATIONS

were used by war correspondents to broadcast stories back home to

encourage people to have opinions on the war and take interest. Many

horror stories emerged about the Barrack Hospital in Scutari, where

the British wounded were being treated. Sidney Herbert, the Secretary

of War and a personal friend of the Nightingale family, made an appeal

to Florence to sort out the nursing care in Scutari. Despite the

OPPOSITION from the military, Florence took 38 handpicked nurses to

work in the hospital. She employed many new standards; privacy

curtains, cleaning of sheets, food for patients and she even hired 200

builders to rebuild a ward block. In six months she had managed to

reduce the death rate in the hospital from 42% to 2%.

After two successful years in the Crimea, Florence returned to Britain

with a mission. She appealed to the Queen, sent an 800 page report to

the government and wrote a book, "Notes on Nursing" which explained

all her methods. This became the standard textbook for generations. By

1860, it was a best seller! Florence had raised £44,000 and she used

this money to set up the Nightingale School of Nursing, in St.

Thomas's Hospital, London. Discipline, order and attention to detail

were prime factors in her teaching. She also wanted nurses to remain

single so that they wouldn't have divided loyalties. She had turned

down many offers of marriage. Of the 38 nurses she had taken to the

Crimea, 24 were nuns, this was partly due to the fact that there was
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