Florence Nightingale

English Statistician

[Photo taken from Britannica.com]

Florence Nightingale was born on the 12 May 1820 in Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany and was named after the city that she was born in. She was an English social reformer, statistician and the founder of modern nursing. Florence became famous while she was serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organised care for wounded soldiers at Constantinople.

[Photo from Talking Humanities blog]

Florence Nightingale was known as “The Lady of the Lamp”. She established St. Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses in 1860. Despite her mother’s interest in social climbing, Florence herself was reportedly awkward in social situations. She preferred to avoid being the center of attention. Florence was expected to pursue the same interests of the other privileged people…marry well and live the traditional life of a sophisticated upper-class Englishwoman. However, she had other plans.

I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.

– Florence Nightingale

At the age of 17, she received a “call” from God while standing in her family’s Hampshire home garden and believed that it was her divine calling and that He wanted her to do His work. At the time, she wasn’t aware what He wanted her to do but she eventually realized she was supposed to be a nurse. However, her parents were not happy about her choice and actually forbade her from taking up nursing. Fortunately, after a lot of family conflict, her parents eventually but reluctantly agreed to allow her to take the course.

[Photo taken from ima.org.uk]

Florence became a figure of public admiration. Poems, songs and plays were written and dedicated in her honour. Young women wanted to be like her. Some were even so eager to follow her example that even women from the wealthy upper classes started enrolling at the training school. Thanks to Florence, nursing was no longer frowned upon by the upper classes; it had, in fact, come to be viewed as an honourable position.

I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results.

– Florence Nightingale

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When the Crimean War broke out it was reported that the wounded soldiers were unable to receive proper medical care due to the inadequate medical facilities on the front. An acquaintance of Florence which was also a British official, asked her to oversee staffing the military hospitals in Turkey with female nurses who could do the job properly. She arrived there with thirty-eight nurses that were ready for duty in 1854.

[Photo taken from Country Joe]

When they first arrived, the doctors didn’t want to work with them, but eventually they got so snowed under that they realized that they needed the nurses’ help. Florence earned the respect of the British soldiers due to the fact that the hospital conditions improved considerably and the mortality rate decreased significantly. Not only did they deeply respect her for that, but also due to her kindness and compassion for them. It was due to her that doctors and nurses started washing their hands before seeing to a wounded or sick person.

To be ‘in charge’ is certainly not only to carry out the proper measures yourself but to see that everyone else does so too.

– Florence Nightingale

Florence never gave up on God’s plan for her life and she stayed faithful to it until her death at the age of ninety. Would you be willing to risk the disapproval of other people, either in the world or in your family, in order to follow God’s plan for your life? Are you willing to never give up?

That’s it from me for now…

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