Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Florence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of the Legendary Nurse

This biography begins with young Florence, who was intelligent, curious, and a natural nurse.  Her interest in nursing continued into her young womanhood when she felt called by God to be a nurse.  Her family did not support this desire.

There were no professional nurses at the time and no formal training.  Plus, ladies of Nightingale's social class were not expected to work at all, let alone in the dirty hospitals where Flo wanted to venture.

Eventually, they relented, and Florence received what minimal training was available at the time.  She then secured a position for herself at Scutari, the British military hospital serving the injured soldiers of the Crimean war.  This is when she gained fame as the Lady of the Lamp and instituted reforms to try and save the men who were attempting to recover in filthy and overcrowded conditions.

Though she contracted a painful illness during her time at Scutari, Nightingale used her newfound fame to reform hospital care and train a new breed of nurses.  Many of her reforms and practices had lasting effects on the British health care system.

Catherine Reef's biography is an engaging and well-rounded portrait of the famous nurse.  Recommended.

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