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Medicine has come a long way from its origin in ancient times. As humanity and society has evolved, so has our knowledge in medicine and medical practices. Discoveries throughout the ages have influenced and contributed to the improvement of today’s healthcare, especially including nursing. Nursing over the years has greatly involved caring for the sick in wars, to homes, churches, into hospitals with these changes’ women have gone from uneducated, non-valid caregivers to being valued professions. Florence Nightingale changed nursing for good, it became a real profession with strict principles and standards.
The nursing profession itself does not have any history prior to Nightingale since she did invent it, however when looking back at the different actions done, they would be classified as nursing. During the Middle Ages, hospitals did not exist in the way that they do today. Sick people throughout England would go to churches or monasteries for health care. Nurses in disguise, so to speak, were often nuns or monks who attended to the patients and frequently traveled to different towns whenever their services were required. However once again it was never a real concept. During the 17th century, the Protestant Reformation happened which was when Formidable forces challenged the power of the church and a lot of monasteries churches got shut down. As a result the hospitals within them were forced to close down. “The nursing” part that were the nuns at the nume suffered heavily which was very inadequate since there was additionally an increase of the population of people in England making it very hard for doctors at the time to save patients because there were so many people sick but not enough practitioners. Florence nightingale was born on the 12th day of May the year 1820. She is the founder of nursing and had an immense role in nursing that will be discussed later on in this essay. No one really knew the true value of nurses, but if you think about it. Nurses are the patient’s best advocate, they take care of you which the doctor cannot do, they moderate the progress of the patient, spend more time with you and provide emotional support and understand the complexities and implications of an illness. They do things that as human beings anyone would need in a time of being in a hospital, because if there was no such a thing as nursing then you could not recover because you would forget to take the medicine prescribed, you could be diagnosed a life threatening disease and need someone to talk to because if you dont you might go into depression and that would take over you. Nightingale knew the importance of what she was about to make a real profession and would stop at nothing to do so.
Leading the way to nursing was Florence Nightingale. She had an opportunity to train a group of female nurses in fundamental principles of cleanliness and hygiene, neat and orderly manner for nursing. They went to Turkey in the middle of the Crimean war to treat injured British soldiers who were battling with the Russians. When the Crimean war broke out, England rallied its citizens to help the troops as they fought against the Russians. England’s side was losing a lot of soldiers in the field so the secretary of war had asked Nightingale to help. Nevertheless she found a chaotic and unhygienic workplace in the hospital; injured soldiers left to die in their own pool of blood and open wounds that had flies on them. It was totally against everything she had trained the nurses. However, along with her team, Nightingale was sure to change the hospital’s conditions and treat the patients which she did. The hospital’s environment improved dramatically. It only took her two months to decrease the mortality rate from 42.7% to only 2.2%. She monitored everything that went on inside the hospital, especially the people who died and the reasoning behind it.
Nightingale then went back to England and presented the model to the international statistical congress that was convened in 1860. The model was also touted for the setting up of a mechanism of having uniform statistics in hospitals across the world. The congress made a positive response to the model by giving its approval. The congress further resolved to communicate the resolution to respective governments represented in the event. The works and publications of Florence on sanitation gained influence even in other social fronts such as workhouses and the housing sector. The constructions of barracks and infirmaries would soon change to feature the Florence Nightingale model. The livelihood and living conditions of both civilians and military personnel took a turn for the better. The health of the British colonies also received an improvement through her inputs. Additionally she made a book called “Nurse to your soul” which changes Englands’ people’s perspectives on nursing and the true meaning of it.
In summation, Nightingale influence could be felt on an international scale. Nightingale’s theories of health maintenance and reformation remain the driving force for nurses and the care they provide. When patients are in the hospital the one person they can depend on is the nurse because ideally the nurse should be providing the care and support for them to heal to their maximum potential. Nurses not only dispense medications, prep for surgery, and educate, but also provide emotional support, therapeutic care, hygiene care, and many other interventions which all impact the overall quality of care for the patient. With the increased demands on nurses today due to the economy, the fundamental teachings of providing emotional support, clean environment, and a caring nature are being overlooked due to the increased patient to nurse ratio.
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