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Honored because the “founder of modern nursing,” Florence Nightingale—who was born in Florence, Italy on Might 12, 1820—left a revolutionary mark on sanitation, healthcare, and even statistics. Right this moment, on the anniversary of her start, is the right time to rejoice her extraordinary life—one which saved numerous others.
1. NIGHTINGALE WAS FLUENT IN ENGLISH, FRENCH, GERMAN, AND ITALIAN.
She additionally had a good maintain on both Latin and classical Greek. Her father, a rich Cambridge grad, personally oversaw younger Florence’s training. Via him, she discovered the fundamentals of every little thing from arithmetic to philosophy to Shakespearean literature.
2. DESPITE HER PARENTS’ OBJECTIONS, SHE CHOSE TO PURSUE NURSING AT A YOUNG AGE.
Nursing did not garner a lot respect again in 1837. Usually, it was related to low social standing and rampant alcoholism. Awful wages additionally pressured many ladies who entered the sector to make ends meet by participating in a little bit of prostitution on the aspect. So, when 16-year-old Nightingale introduced that she felt “called” to develop into a nurse, her dad and mom weren’t thrilled. However their decided daughter’s thoughts was made up and, in 1850, she lastly began studying the craft. Three years later, Nightingale grew to become the superintendent of a London-based girls’s hospital.
three. NIGHTINGALE REFUSED TO GET MARRIED.
She turned down a number of proposals, together with one made by a cousin named Henry Nicholson.
four. SHE HAD 38 NURSES WORKING UNDER HER DURING THE CRIMEAN WAR.
This 1850s conflict, wherein Britain and France clashed with Russia over the Slavic empire’s invasion of Turkish territory, turned Nightingale right into a Victorian movie star.
Nightingale was associates with U.Ok. struggle secretary Sidney Herbert, and he gave her permission to spherical up 38 volunteers and deal with the wounded at a discipline hospital in Scutari. Cleanliness wasn’t the power’s robust swimsuit: Feces littered the flooring, rats scampered via the hallways, and clear linens had been a uncommon commodity; 42.7 percent of admitted sufferers died in February 1855. Clearly, Nightingale deduced, there was a hyperlink between poor sanitation and that prime mortality fee. She quickly applied strict hygiene guidelines that whittled the quantity right down to 2 p.c by June.
5. NIGHTINGALE’S DILIGENCE INSPIRED A GLOWING NICKNAME.
“She is a ‘ministering angel’ with none exaggeration in these hospitals,” the London Occasions reported that winter. As their article added, she may usually be “observed alone,” checking up on the wounded “with a little lamp in her hand.” Similar to that, Nightingale received worldwide acclaim because the benevolent “Lady with the Lamp.”
6. SHE FREQUENTLY WROTE LETTERS HOME ON BEHALF OF DYING OR DEAD SOLDIERS.
Nightingale typically took it upon herself to be the bearer of dangerous information, as she did on this snippet from a delicately-worded message sent in 1856: “It is with very sincere sorrow that I am obliged to confirm the fears of the father of the Late Howell Evans about his poor son … I have never in my life had so painful & unsatisfactory a letter to write.”
7. SHE HELPED POPULARIZE THE PIE CHART.
The primary true pie chart was drawn in 1801, 19 years earlier than Nightingale was born. Nonetheless, historians acknowledge the nurse as an early adopter and promoter of the statistical instrument. Her 1858 report, “Notes on Issues Affecting the Well being, Effectivity and Hospital Administration of the British Military,” consists of the graph pictured above. Each slice represents a given month’s casualties, with the colours pink, blue, and black designating dying by way of “wounds,” “preventable disease,” and “other causes,” respectively.
eight. QUEEN VICTORIA WAS A BIG FAN.
Earlier than issues wrapped up in Crimea, Her Majesty rewarded Nightingale’s service by sending her a particular brooch as a thank you. “It will be a very great satisfaction to me,” the Queen declared, “when you return at last to these shores, to make the acquaintance of one who has set so bright an example to our sex.” She’d get her want when the pair met face-to-face in 1856—and so they’d stay in touch for many years thereafter.
9. NIGHTINGALE WORKED WITH THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO ENACT FAR-REACHING SANITATION LAWS.
The Girl with the Lamp used her affect to result in important modifications at house. Between 1871 and 1875—lengthy after the struggle was over—she efficiently pushed for laws that may drive extant buildings into connecting with principal drainage. The outcomes communicate for themselves: By 1935, Britain’s nationwide life expectancy had increased by 20 years.
10. HER 1859 BOOK, NOTES ON NURSING: WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT IS NOT, BECAME ONE OF THE PROFESSION’S MOST SIGNIFICANT TEXTS.
Pointers like “Each nurse must watch out to scrub her palms very often in the course of the day” and “each nurse needs to be … able to being a ‘confidential’ nurse” are simply as invaluable today as they had been 156 years ago.
11. DURING THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR, BOTH SIDES TRIED TO PROFIT FROM NIGHTINGALE’S ADVICE.
Each the Union and the Confederacy had been obsessive about correct air flow of their hospitals, which had been specifically in-built accordance along with her theories. In the meantime, she contacted D.C.-based Union leaders immediately with useful soldier mortality statistics.
12. SHE ALSO EDUCATED “AMERICA’S FIRST TRAINED NURSE.”
Linda Richards (1841-1930) owns this distinction, which she acquired by attending London’s Nightingale Faculty of Nursing (based in 1860 at St. Thomas’ Hospital). Nightingale herself helped personally advise Richards, whose focus later shifted towards psychiatry and dealing with mental health professionals.
13. SHE BECAME THE FIRST WOMAN TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE ORDER OF MERIT.
Established in 1902, this excessive British honor was created by King Edward VII to acknowledge people who “have rendered exceptionally meritorious services … towards the advancement of the Arts, Learning, Literature, and Science.” Nightingale earn the accolade in 1907; no different lady could be awarded the honour once more till biochemist Dorothy Hodgkin adopted swimsuit 58 years later.
14. HER BIRTHDAY IS CELEBRATED AROUND THE WORLD AS “INTERNATIONAL NURSES DAY.”
15. YOU CAN HEAR NIGHTINGALE’S VOICE ON YOUTUBE.
On July 30, 1890, Nightingale met with one in every of Thomas Edison’s British representatives and created this temporary recording. The proceeds went to help Crimean Struggle veterans, particularly those that’d fought within the disastrous Battle of Balaclava. Her captured remarks are as follows:
“When I am no longer even a memory, just a name, I hope my voice may perpetuate the great work of my life. God bless my dear old comrades of Balaclava and bring them safe to shore. Florence Nightingale.”
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