Florence Nightingale’s Contribution to Nursing Profession
Nursing care has existed since the ancient times and has had numerous advancements that have resulted in the current quality practices in human health. In the 1800s, before the birth of Florence Nightingale who changed the practice into an esteemed profession, nursing was a merge domestic activity. Florence was born into a wealthy family, and she received a quality education. She performed excellently in mathematics and was good at learning languages. She signed up for nursing training because she was convinced that God wanted her to serve humanity, particularly the poor people. After her training in 1853, during the Crimean war, she returned to London and worked as a superintendent in a hospital in Central London (Shetty, 2016). She later led a team of 38 nurses to serve in a medical camp for wounded war soldiers who had fought in the battle between Russia and Turkey. Florence provided nursing care to the soldiers. She believed good health and wellbeing were basic human needs thus worked diligently to provide them to the patients that she served.
The contributions of Florence Nightingale for which she is highly credited include the use of the statistics and data visualization of mortality by identifying the causes of mortality in the military hospitals during the Crimean war (McDonald, 2016). Florence is best known for her “coxcomb” graphs that look like today’s sunburst charts, which recorded monthly mortality and their causes. She collected a lot of information and in her notes and used infographics to tell her nursing stories, which is why she is referred to as the pioneer of evidence-based nursing care. Her use of statistics and data visualization influenced nursing by creating a simple mechanism of recognizing the major causes of mortality and devising ways of curbing practices that lead to precarious and unhealthy nursing care situations. Her approach to nursing care was adopted in Britain, and she was consulted worldwide on improving military hospitals.
Nightingale is also credited for her great contribution to a model for implementing a proper nursing environment in hospitals. She argued that during the Crimean War, soldiers died more from poor sanitation and non-nutritious diet than the injuries that they sustained. Therefore, she advocated for the wounded soldiers’ treatment plans to include healthy diets, access to clean water, being housed in well-ventilated areas, and cleaning the linen and bandages laundered daily. She formed a theory of the nursing environment in which she suggests that the said surrounding consists of ten elements that should be taken into consideration when providing nursing care (Shetty, 2016). The elements included ample lighting, subdued noise, sewer and vermin presence, ventilation and warming, bed and beddings cleanliness, a variety of medical care, personal cleanliness, healthy food, hope, and keeping a track record of the nursing care for future improvements. Nightingale’s approach to nursing has contributed to advancing the use of her environmental theory in contemporary nursing care both as a practice and a monitoring and evaluation tool for excellent nursing care.
The approach that Florence Nightingale applied in giving nursing care improved the health of her patients. In the military medical camps, she was known as a reassuring person, and the soldiers called her “the lady with the lamp” because of her nightly visits. The influence of her work was far-reaching and beneficial to the reduction of mortality rates of injured soldiers, improvement of the environment in the medical centers as well as providing referential standards for nursing training. Florence Nightingale remains to be a key person in the nursing field because lessons from her experience continue to be practiced in the medical field.
McDonald, L. (2016). Florence Nightingale: Statistics to Save Lives. International Journal of Statistics and Probability, 5(1). Retrieved from http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ijsp/article/view/54983
Shetty, A. P. (2016). Florence Nightingale: The queen of nurses. Archives of Medical and Health Sciences, 4(1), 144-148. Retrieved from http://www.amhsjournal.org/article.asp?issn=2321-4848;year=2016;volume=4;issue=1;spage=144;epage=148;aulast=Shetty#top