Florence Nighingale

Florence Nightingale more affectionately known as “The Lady with the Lamp” was the founder of educated and scientific nursing. She was born on May 12, 1820 (now celebrated as International Nurses Day) and died on August 13, 1910. In this long illustrious career she worked as a pioneer in nursing practices, as a writer and as a statistician. Inspired by a Christian divine calling she decided to devote her life to nursing in 1845 despite family objections who felt that her place in society was to be a wife and a mother.

She devoted her time to taking care of sick and indigent patients. Her most famous contribution came during the Crimean War when news came back to Britain about the poor treatment of sick British soldiers. She went to Crimea in 1854 and found wounded soldiers being badly cared for by overworked medical staff. Medicines were in short supply, hygiene was being neglected, and mass infections were common, many of them fatal. The death rate was the highest. Florence was a proponent of the Environmental theory of disease. She and her fellow nurses began thoroughly cleaning the hospital and equipment and re-organizing patient care. However, the death rate did not drop!

On the contrary, it began to rise. Florence came back to Britain and championed for cleaner environmental conditions in Crimea. Due to her work, the British government sent a sanitary commission to Crimea which flushed out the sewers and increased ventilation in the hospital and the death rate started to drop. Florence is considered the first nursing theorist. One of her theories was the Environmental Theory, and is still practiced today.

In her Notes on Nursing she states 1 Florence Nightingale Karla M. Codner “Nursing is an act of utilizing the environment of the patient to assist him in his recovery. ” It involves the nurse’s initiative to configure environmental settings appropriate for the gradual restoration of the patient’s health, and that external factors associated with the patient’s surroundings affect life or biologic and physiologic processes, and his development. I selected Florence Nightingale as her beliefs and theories she set to propound in the 1850s still resonates today.

Infection is the number one cause of the spread of disease. We see in schools where if one child in a class strep throat it spreads to the other children in the class. Frequent hand washing and covering your nose while you sneeze is still the number one line of defense against the spread of disease. Epidemics, although rare in America, happen in third world countries due to poor sanitary conditions. People are more prone to catch diseases when their surroundings they live in are filthy. Hospitals are sterile environments and have isolation floors to prevent spread of disease.

If Florence had not propounded these theories in the 1850s, unhygienic conditions would have caused more plagues in the world. Because of her unstinting work, death due to be plague has been eradicated from this earth unlike the Middle Ages where countries of people were killed due to plagues. As a nurse I would like to implement this theory not only in my workplace but also in my home and neighborhood. At work I would make sure, that hospitals rooms on my wing were kept clean and airy.

That sheets and bedding were changed everyday and patients received grooming and baths on a regular basis. Families were educated of the spread of infectious diseases and I would coach them on how to take care of themselves and also how not to spread the disease after they left the hospital setting. Patients would be educated on their disease and if they required 2 Florence Nightingale Karla M. Codner isolation. I would inform the doctors of any new medical conditions as soon as it was brought to my attention. I would make sure that my patients take the entire course of prescribed antibiotics.

I would educate them on the dangers of stopping and starting antibiotics at will as it would make the infections resistant to the antibiotics and not work. At home and in my community I would make sure that I teach and instill the same values in my family so as to prevent spread of disease. I would try to educate people in my community about how diseases are spread. If I witnessed an unsanitary condition in my neighborhood I would make sure that I report it to the proper authorities so that it can be dealt with in the right manner.

Diseases caused by bacterial and viral infections are on the rise. Nowadays infections like E-coli, Strep throat and Urinary tract are more common. Many of these infections are caused by not following proper washing procedures be it of hands or produce. Urinary tract infections can also be caused by dirty latrines. Most of these viral infections cannot be treated by antibiotics but have to be treated by Florence’s theory of changing the environment and surroundings. Especially in third world countries like India and China where their overcrowding and a lack of knowledge of sanitary conditions Florence’s theories would hold ground.

The conditions of hospitals in some of these countries, especially after a natural disaster like an earthquake, are similar to what Florence saw in Crimea. In these countries there is also a shortage of trained medical professionals as most of the medical staff migrate to America and Europe in search of monetary gains. In closing, I would like to say that Florence lit a lamp for all ages to follow by taking a stance on an issue and if we as nurses are bold like her we might help to change the world.

For the purpose of this essay we will be deciding who contributed the most to medicine out of Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. Each of the three contributors played their part in medicine. Florence Nightingale was a …

For the purpose of this essay we will be deciding who contributed the most to medicine out of Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. Each of the three contributors played their part in medicine. Florence Nightingale was a …

Nursing others has been around for as long as humanity has existed. Early practices of health care evolved as a way for groups to survive. Many of these early links between humans and environment was due to superstition and religion. …

The earliest era of nursing education began with the Protestant Deaconess Movement of the 18th century, and following hard upon this was the establishment of a Nursing School by the Reverends Friederike and Theodore Fliedner (Floyd, n. d). This school …

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