Florence Nightingale - Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World - Ann Shen

Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World - Ann Shen (2016)

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is the founder of modern nursing and compassionate care worldwide. Before she established it, there was no formal education for nursing practices. She found her calling early in life and worked hard to educate herself in the field of nursing, despite being born into a wealthy upper-class family that disapproved of her decision to work. Nightingale came to prominence when she and thirty-eight nurses she had trained were sent to a British base in the Ottoman Empire during the Crimean War. There, horrified by the state of the medical tents and overworked medical staff, she developed a reputation as a compassionate caretaker and a brilliant statistician who observed that the care and sanitation conditions of the patients directly correlated with their mortality rate. It’s recorded that with her intervention, the medical camp mortality rate went from 42 percent to 2 percent. Her pie charts depicting death rates and the spread of disease began the practice of evidence-based medicine; her diagrams were so significant that the British government established a statistical branch of the Army Medical Department a year after her return from Crimea. She spearheaded campaigns for sanitation and care practices in hospitals, with guidelines as basic as establishing hand-washing rules, and she wrote the textbook on modern nursing, Notes on Nursing, that is still used today. Perhaps most significantly, Nightingale established the first formal school of nursing, the Nightingale Training School at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. She went on to write extensively on her medical knowledge and mentor other nurses who went out and established her methods globally.

The Lady with the lamp