By Lindsey Brown– Student at Gonzaga in Florence University
As we approach Women’s Month, it is imperative to consider the impact women have had on society. Florence Nightingale was a woman who changed the face of healthcare and the profession of nursing. She was born in a very wealthy family of the élite British bourgeois (his father was a pioneer of epidemiology) and she was named “Florence” in honor of the city of Florence where she was born at Villa Colombaia. It’s interesting that for the same reason, the older sister, born in Naples, was called “Parthenope”. During the Crimean War, Nightingale answered the cries for proper medical care of the wounded British soldiers when an article came out in the London Times by the war correspondent, William Howard Russell. The report stated the soldiers were being treated by incompetent and ineffective medical establishments, which lacked basic supplies. In 1854, Nightingale led an expedition with thirty-eight other women to take over management of the barrack hospital at Scutari. Here she used funds from the London Times to properly sanitize the hospital and provide basic care, she established new standards of care which continue to be used today. She became known as the “Lady with the Lamp” from the countless hours she spent caring for the wounded. Through her efforts, Nightingale was able to reduce the mortality rate to about two percent, showing the importance of proper medical care. After seeing the conditions of the hospitals, she felt the call to reform and formalize nursing education. In 1860, she established the Nightingale Training School for Nurses at St.Thomas Hospital in London. Through her training facility, she was able to positively influence sanitation, military health and hospital planning practices.
Nightingale was the first women to be awarded the Order of the Merit in 1907, an award given to those who provided especially eminent service in the armed forces. Therefore, each time we go to the hospital; we can thank Florence Nightingale for establishing the standards of care in which we grown accustomed to.