Pediatria social-Social Pediatrics

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Florence Nightingale

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3060828One of my granddaughters just told me she was studying about Florence Nightingale. She is six and she can barely read. She knows I am a doctor and sort of guessed I would be interested in knowing about it. She attends a public school in Camden, London, and she said they were working on famous women. No doubt Florence Nightingale marks a big milestone in the history of womanhood. As you all may know, FN was an English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing. Born in a wealthy family, in Florence, Italy (then the Great Duchy of Tuscany), the city she was given her name, was educated by her father in a time young girls were not supposed to get a formal education. She excelled in math amb spoke five languages. Despite her family opposition she chose to pursue nursing at a young age. In her early twenties, she became the superintendent of a London-based women’s hospital.

As the Crimean war,  a stupid bloody conflict between a loose alliance of French, British and Turkish armies against the Russians over the Crimean peninsula, raged on, the U.K. war secretary Sidney Herbert, a friend of Florence’s family, gave her permission to organize a team of 38 volunteer nurses to care for and treat the wounded at a field hospital in Scutari, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, nearby Istambul. A filthy place full of garbage and with rats scampering about, she implemented strict hygiene rules, cleaning up the place, and it is said to reduce a staggering mortality rate of the wounded of about one of every two to a mere 2% in a few weeks. Florence was reported to make rounds all the time and, at night, checking up the patients with the help of a little lamp, a fact that inspired the nickname of “Lady with the Lamp.”

Returned to England she created the first Nursing training school and through the Florence Nightingale Fund introduce nursing in the workhouse system.

A little-known fact is her knowledge of mathematics and statistics. She is said to be one of the first to use the now ubiquitous pie charts as a statistical tool.

Her birthday, May 12, is celebrated around the world as the “International Nurses Day.

Social pediatricians and Community doctors know well how little could be accomplished without the help of nurses, both in hospitals and in the community.

X. Allué (Editor)


(NOTE, to the Catalan readers. Re. The Crimean war, said to be a “notoriously incompetent international butchery”. Farmers in Catalonia used to say the secret of a good harvest would be “Aigua, sol i guerra en Sebastopol” Water, sun and a war in Sebastopol, as the conflicts there interfeared with the large wheat exports from Ukraine and Russia, so the prices this side of the Mediterranean would go up…)

Written by pedsocial

9 febrero 2018 a 13:28

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