Remembering Florence Nightingale

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.  Known as ‘The Lady of the Lamp’, she defied the expectations of her affluent family and became a nurse, a role viewed by the upper classes of the time as lowly menial labour.

In the early 1850s she volunteered at a Middlesex hospital which was experiencing a cholera outbreak, and in late 1854 answered a request from the Secretary of War to organise a corps of nurses to tend to the sick and injured of the Crimean War. Her work in raising the hygiene standards at the hospital where she was stationed reduced its death rate by two-thirds, as less soldiers succumbed to infectious diseases.

As we celebrate the 200th birthday of this remarkable woman, it is hard not to reflect upon the parallels between her life and the present day. Social care is viewed by many as lowly menial work, and we are all aware of the role of good hygiene in preventing the spread of Coronavirus.

We can only hope that out of this dreadful time comes a greater appreciation of healthcare workers in all roles, as we seek to care for the sick as Florence Nightingale did all those years ago.

Posted on: May 12, 2020

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