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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Talk Show Review: Florence Nightingale on SecretBuilders

Today’s Talk Show guest was Florence Nightingale – the woman who laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of the first secular nursing school in the world.

She spoke about her life and work in front of our curious audience. She shared that she was born in Florence, Italy, on May 12, 1820, to wealthy English parents. In 1837 she felt she heard a call from God and she became interested in nursing. Despite opposition from her parents, she trained as a nurse and began work in a London clinic.

She earned the nickname "The Lady With the Lamp" for her tireless nursing of British soldiers during the Crimean War. When the Crimean War broke out in 1854, she led a group of three dozen nurses to Constantinople to serve in British military hospitals there. This was controversial, because female nurses had not served in such wartime field hospitals before. Florence Nightingale spent many hours in the wards. Her night rounds giving personal care to the wounded established her image as the "Lady with the Lamp." She convinced army officials to change terrible conditions in the hospitals, thus earning the gratitude of soldiers and a measure of public fame. When the war ended in eighteen fifty six I returned to London and continued her reform campaign there. Her your outspoken Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army and Notes on Hospitals helped create changes in hygiene and overall treatment of patients.

She also wrote Notes on Nursing - a book that served as the cornerstone of the curriculum at the Nightingale School and other nursing schools established. The book was the first of its kind ever to be written. It appeared at a time when the simple rules of health were only beginning to be known, when its topics were of vital importance not only for the well-being and recovery of patients, when hospitals were riddled with infection, when nurses were still mainly regarded as ignorant, uneducated persons.

Ms. Nightingale also founded the groundbreaking Nightingale Training School for nurses, and published dozens of books and pamphlets on public health. A public meeting to give her recognition for her work in the war led to the establishment of the Nightingale Fund for the training of nurses. There was an outpouring of generous donations. By 1859 she had 45,000 British Pounds at her disposal from the Nightingale Fund to set up the Nightingale Training School at St. Thomas' Hospital on July 09, 1860. (It is now called the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery and is part of King's College London.) The first trained Nightingale nurses began work on May 16, 1865, at the Liverpool Workhouse Infirmary. Florence Nightingale was awarded the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria in 1883, and in 1907 became the first woman to receive the Order of Merit.

What an impressive life! After the show the audience thanked Ms. Nightingale for her hard work. She promised to come back for another show some day.

Next week's guest is very interesting as well. It is no one other, but Christopher Columbus himself! Don't miss the Talk Show with one of the greatest explorers who ever lived. Next Wednesday, 10:30am PST and 4:00pm PST.
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