Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Nurses Week

It is National Nurses Week!
In 1985, the second week of May was proclaimed National Nurses' Week in Canada to coincide with Florence Nightingale's birthday on the 12th. The International Council of Nurses also designated May 12th to be International Nurses' Day.
So...I little UBI about Flo:
*In 1820, in honor of the city of her birth and in keeping with the tradition started by her parents, a little girl was named Florence. An unusual thing to do in a conservative time.
*In an age where the smell of a hospital would induce nausea and nurses were typically whores and drunks she aspired to be one (a nurse, not a drunken whore!) Her mother and sister fainted and were thrown into hysterics and near insanity by her ambitions, after all, a cultured, educated woman did not enter into hospital work. She continued on, as she felt this was God's plan for her. She became the one and only expert on the subject of nursing and hospitals in all of Europe by the age of 30.
*In 1853 the Crimean War started and she and her small troop of nurses were assigned to one of the hospitals in Crimea to care for the wounded British soldiers. The hospital was infested with rats and vermin and bedsheets were not washed, even when one man died and the bed was used for the next wounded soldier. Initially, the doctors did not want the nurses to care for the men, they were only allowed to clean. But the men were dying from diseases that they were catching in the hospitals. Florence was the one who realized this and reformed hospital sanitation methods.
*She plotted the incidences of preventable deaths in the military hospital in her invention of the Pie Chart! Not only was she a nurse, but she was also a statistician (who'da known?)
*After the war, she returned to England to start up nursing schools and she also pioneered and promoted hospitals as sanitary places through her statistical proof.

*And to the idle and disrespected women of her time, she brought forth a sense of professionalism that provided work, respect and independence.
She was a woman before her time.
And she lived to the ripe old age of 90.

Happy Nurses Week to all the nurses out there!

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