Florence Nightingale, and the Importance of Bedside Manners

Florence Nightingale, and the Importance of Bedside Manners

There are very few people we can look at and say, “Everything would be different without them.” Especially in the medical world, the effect of one person can sometimes be lost. However, this is not the case with Florence Nightingale. Living to be 90 years old, Florence Nightingale is a hero to many young women and aspiring medical professionals. Her contributions to the medical world cannot be forgotten, and must certainly be celebrated. In honor of Women’s History Month, what she did for the medical industry, and how she’s affected us here at Rapid Med Urgent Care Center.

Who Is Florence Nightingale?

Born in 1820 in the Florence, Tuscany, Florence Nightingale was named after the city in which she was born. Her family were upper-class British citizens and passed down to her values that would later change her career. It was her family’s belief that everyone deserved to be treated a kindness, a humanitarian outlook that she internalized while touring Europe with her family. In her early adult, starting in 1837, Florence Nightingale was subject to several experiences that she believed to be calls from God. She believed that the Lord was telling her to service others, and to help them in any way she could. She would spend the next several years of her life studying the science of nursing, which she believed was an art as much as a science. She was secretive about her desire to become a nurse but announced her choice of profession to her family seven years after her decision in 1844. She would spend several years after this in courtship with several different suitors. Despite taking in an interest in a few, she turned down marriage. It was her belief that marriage would interfere with her abilities as a nurse.

She continued to travel Europe as an adult, even going as far as Egypt. While spending time in Cairo, she received her final call from God and took a position as superintendent of Institute for the Care of Sick Gentlewomen in London during August of 1853. More than a year later, the Crimean War broke out, which Nightingale became obsessed with. All of her writings for the next few years were about the war, and she did anything she could to care for the wounded. In November of 1854, Nightingale arrived in Istanbul. She was taken aback by the terrible condition of soldiers there.

The medical staff there were severely overworked, and the medicine was in low supply. While in Istanbul, Nightingale took it upon herself to care for many people as she could. When not tending to the sick, Nightingale would write to the British government and press of the conditions there. During her time, it was noted by one journalist that Nightingale alone had cared for “three armies” worth of people.

Florence Nightingale’s care during the Crimean War was so significant that she was written about in The Times:

“She is a “ministering angel” without any exaggeration in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow’s face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have retired for the night and silence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds.”

This birthed the nickname, “The Lady with the Lamp,” which became famous across the world. Nightingale would continue nursing, and writing about the science of art and nursing until her death in 1910. When that time came, she was immortalized by the Nightingale Pledge.

What is the Nightingale Pledge?

The Nightingale Pledge, similar to the Hippocratic Oath, is a pledge for ethical conduct taken by all new nurses. Nurses swear to adhere to the code of ethics demanded by the nursing profession, to work cooperatively with all other members of the nursing profession, to carry out faithfully any task they are assigned.  They pledge to never do anything evil, malicious, partake in malpractice, or to reveal confidential information. Under the pledge, nurses devote themselves to their profession and to providing the best care possible.

How Florence Nightingale Affected Rapid Med and Other Modern Medical Institutions

Florence Nightingale is known as the mother of modern nursing, and rightfully so. She lived her life putting the care of others above everything else, treating everyone with kindness in love. At Rapid Med, and at other medical institutions across the world, all of our nurses have undertaken the Nightingale Pledge. They are kind, caring, and loving, just like The Lady with the Lamp.

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