Florence Nightengale Essay

918 words - 4 pages


Florence Nightingale is remembered throughout the world for her heroic, almost superhuman labors in the field of nursing. Florence Nightingale was born in Italy in 1820 and was named Florence after her birthplace. A brilliant child, Florence attained outstanding academic achievement in her years attending school. Florence grew up to be a lively and attractive young woman, admired in her families elite social circle and was expected to make a good marriage, but Florence had other concerns.

In 1837, Florence was called by God to do his work. However, Florence did not hear voices or see visions. God called her by making her think for herself. She did not think that she out to do what her family and all of society expected of her—to either get married or look after her married relatives. She wanted to have a career, and this was very unusual of a woman in this time. Florence knew she wanted to help others on her own, but had no idea what she could do.

Florence refused to marry several suitors, and at the age of twenty-five told her parents that she wanted to become a nurse. Her parents were appalled at this decision because the idea of nursing was associate with working class women and it was not considered a suitable profession for well-educated women.

While the family conflicts over Florence’s future remained unsolved it was decided that Florence would tour Europe. In her travels, Florence undertook months of nursing training, unbeknownst to her family.

Florence returned home, still with the dream to become a working nurse, and again voiced this idea to her parents. Her parrients finally agreed and Florence was allowed to become a nurse.

Florence, now thirty-one went to work at Kaserworth Hospital in Germany, and was later promoted and moved to a hospital in London.

In 1854 Britain, France and Turkey declared war on Russia, marking the begging of the Crimean War. The allies had the upper hand in the war but there were vast criticisms of the medical felicities for the wounded soldiers.

In response, Florence asked and was granted permission to take a group of thirty-eight women nurses to look after the British soldiers fighting in the war.

Nightingale found the conditions of the hospitals appalling. The men were kept in rooms without blankets or decent food. Unwashed, they were still wearing their army uniforms, "still with dirt and gore". In these conditions, Florence was not surprised that war wounds accounted for one out of every six deaths in the war. Diseases such at typhus, chorea, and dysentery ran rampant among the wounded soldiers.

Military officers and doctors objected to Nightingale’s view of reforming military hospitals. They interpreted her comments as an attack and she was made to feel unwelcome. Nightingale received very...

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