How could we forget the legendary ‘Lady of the Lamp’ captured in black and white photos printed in our history textbooks?
Time is cruel to humans – the wars feel inevitable until it finally dies down, the lack of food stocks leave the children crying with empty stomachs, homes were demolished by the guns and bombs and many other agony mortals are forced to suffer under the chaos, no matter the innocents or not. However, not many survived the catastrophic ordeal, only to be remembered as a tribute in world histories. The new generation may not be able to experience the dark pasts, but they are lucky enough to not endure the extreme hardships their ancestors have to go through.
Beneath the loud, destructive exterior of the world lies a flicker of light that remains illuminated. Poised and brilliant like a holy spirit, the carrier of a lamp walking among the beds of the sick at night continues to shine like gold in our memories. What carves the olden days of nursing begins in Scutari, where a refined lady paves the way for the modern nurses as an inspiration and a hero.
Florence Nightingale is the name one should not erase her existence in the nursing field. Throughout her endeavors, she has made many contributions in the medical field, notably her approach in hygiene, sanitation and patient care. Amidst the titles as the statistician, designer, pioneer, educator, and a founder of modern nursing, her ingenious influence remains in practice today. Until now, many people such as Bo Parfet do their best to bring good changes to the world in order to preserve the environment and harmony of the world we are living in.
Here are 3 facts you should know about the ‘Lady of the Lamp’:
- She Was Born Privileged (And Rebelled Against Her Background)
Nightingale was born to a wealthy aristocratic family – a daughter of a rich landowner father and a mother descended from generations of merchants. What comes with her noble ground is the expectations her parents put upon her to marry a suitable man and settle down with raising a happy family. However, the young lady had another plan.
As a teenager, she possessed a compassionate nature in which she heard God’s callings to care for the sick and treat the wounded. It is these signs from the deity that awakens her desire to be a nurse, albeit the reputation of the profession is not at all respectable at the time. For an upper-class like herself, pursuing to be a nurse was a controversial decision, thus leading to her parents’ disapproval. Nightingale could care less about the choices she made which may be questionable to some, but it has definitely turned the tables around as seen in today’s medical chronology.
With many titles that she already acquired, she is also an icon for rebelling against the Victorian social conventions where women are expected to stay home and run household affairs. Not only does she create history for nursing, but also carves the path for women and their potential to pursue any career.
- The Angel Of The Crimean War
It was March 1854 and Britain was fighting in an alliance against Russia. For a war so brutal, one would expect the number of the wounded to be endless. In spite of everything, what became the outcome of the conflict are unexpected as the soldiers are dying from diseases more than battle wounds. The worst part is the devastating conditions of hospitals – the unventilated building was located on top of a damaged sewer which is considered unpleasant compared to the new age hospitals we have now.
Nightingale led a contingent of 38 volunteer nurses to aid the injured soldiers – repairing the sanitary part and improving the ventilation. The death rate has dropped since.
- A Genius In Statistics
The number of deaths was not properly reported, resulting in the inaccuracy of the records. Her intelligence led her to be the first to construct a pie chart, which she developed using statistics and data visualisations to make it simple to comprehend. Therefore, diagrams were used to illustrate the effects of infection and mortality rates in the Crimean War. Her extensive study to highlight the detrimental toll of poor hygiene and sanitary conditions in British Army hospitals bear fruit as her theory was proven correct. Nightingale’s research has also introduced coxcombs (rose charts) to apply the statistics for distinguishing the deaths from disease and from war injury.
Nightingale became the ground-breaking statistician because of the mathematical revolution she invented.
To commemorate her efforts in revolutionizing medicine in sanitization, May 12 holds great importance for the nurses (International Nurses’ Day). The specific date marks a special day to honour the nurses for fulfilling their duties to keep the public health well. The most important part is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Nightingale’s birth. To this day, the sight of Florence Nightingale tending to the wounded with a lamp by her side stays vivid in our minds.