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Nursing

Florence Nightingale bust shot portrait.

“And what Nursing has to do in either case, is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him” 

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was a British nurse most known for the founding of modern medicine. At the time nursing wasn’t a well respected profession, yet Nightingale knew it was her passion when she was 16 years old. She went against her parents wishes, as women were expected to marry and be dependent on men. At the age of 24 Nightingale left England to study at the Kaiser’s Worth Hospital in Dusseldorf Germany. After her studies she returned to England and took a job as a nurse in London. Nightingale quickly succeeded and was promoted to be the head of nursing there for improving sanitation. During the Crimean War the British press publicized the atrocious conditions of wounded soldiers in Turkey. The army turned to Florence Nightingale for help. 

When arrived at the hospital, the conditions were worse than what she had imagined. Patients had been lying in their own feces on the filthy floor, dying of infections and diseases such as cholera. Nightingale suggested that the patients needed more water, healthier foods, and that their clothing needed to be cleaned properly every day. By the time Nightingale was done, she had reduced the death rate within military hospitals by 66%. The soldiers made her known as “the lady of the lamp”. When Nightingale returned to England she received a hero’s welcome, a medal from Queen Victoria, and a gift of $250,000. She devoted the rest of her life to creating new hospitals and medical systems, and passed away at the age of 90.