Florence Nightingale Essay

1976 Words 8 Pages
Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820 in Florence, Italy. She came from a wealthy family. As a child she had a vivid imagination, was considered a dreamer and often dreamed of helping others. Nightingale was well educated, a benefit of her family's wealth and her fathers belief in education, even for women. She studied all of the basic subjects, such as history, math, philosophy, science, music and art. She also learned five different languages. At a very young age she discovered her passion for mathematics. This was not considered an important subject for women so Nightingale had to beg her parents to let her study mathematics.

Her desire to help others was put into practice at a young age. She
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Her studies in philosophy included Plato, Rousseau, D. Stewart, and Descartes. These philosophers helped to form her beliefs of society and her duty to the truth. These beliefs are reflected in her hospital reforms and nursing notes. Her love of math was well applied and would serve her well when lobbying for reforms in health care.

Nightingale was an innovative and persuasive leader who single-handedly invented modern nursing, which broadened women's roles in society. She is most remembered for her work during the Crimean War. Sir Sidney Herbert, one of her friends from the War Office, asked her to assist in a hospital in the Crimean. The Crimean War occurred during 1853-1856. When Nightingale arrived at the Barrack hospital in Scutari she found the most disgusting sight that she had ever seen. The hospital walls and floors looked like they had never been cleaned. There was no supplies, running water, latrines, basins, soap and they lacked most ordinary drugs. There were no utensils and the men ate one meal a day, if food was available, with their hands. Wounded men were placed on the dirty floor, resulting in even higher deaths.

Nightingale and her thirty-eight hand picked nurses spent twenty-one months establishing hygienic standards for the care of the sick and wounded. Nightingale spent

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