Throughout history we encounter individuals who through selfless work change the world for the better. Over the last five weeks history has been written, and once again admirable humans are stepping up and inspiring all of us with their work. These heroes are all the healthcare workers that have been working tirelessly to save lives globally.
The work these capeless heroes do and the standards that they adhere to to ensure we are able to be treated and hopefully recover, would not exist if it wasn’t for another hero that stepped up during another crisis two centuries ago. We are referring to Florence Nightingale, who laid the foundation for all sanitary and safety protocols for the frontline healthcare workers.
Known as the founder of modern nursing, Nightingale was born in 1820 to a prominent family who did not agree with her being a nurse. During the Victorian era women barely had property rights, and they were expected to get married and have children, not work as laborers. Then, nursing was not an admirable vocation and nurses did not have formal training.
Despite her family’s refusal to allow Nightingale to work as a nurse, she felt this path was her calling, so she went to Germany and took a nursing course in 1850. After completing the course she moved back to England where she excelled for her incredible sanitation standards and stressed the importance of hygiene in order to stop the spread of infections and diseases.
When the Crimean War broke out, Florence became quite the healing warrior. She was asked to care for soldiers who were dying from infections more than battle wounds. Her sanitization standards earned her incredible recognition during the war because she was able to lower the death rate of the military hospital by two thirds utilizing her sanitation and hygiene protocols.
‘The Lady with the Lamp’, as many called her for her habit of walking around the hospital after hours with an oil lamp checking on patients and offering endless compassion and love, received the recognition of Queen Victoria after the war. Nightingale also made nursing a trade that was respectable and admirable, and went on to open the Nightingale Training School for nurses.
She also published reports that completely changed the structure of military and civilian hospitals, and until her passing in 1910, Florence Nightingale remained an advocate for health care reform, and always consulted on how to best manage hospitals globally. In 1873 her incredible work continued to reach far beyond England and three schools of nursing, all inspired by her work, opened in New York City, New Haven Connecticut, and Boston Massachusetts.
This Incredible warrior devoted her life to care for the ill with passion and compassion while adapting safe and sanitary protocols we use to date. Had it not been for this pioneer and heroine who stepped up at a time when women did not have much of a voice, our heroes today might not have the instruments that allow them to save our lives while also protecting their own.
To all the heroes without capes, we thank you, admire you and are always in our most positive thoughts in order to get through this ‘war’ like ‘The Warrior with the Lamp’ did.
-- by Viviana Wilches