International Nurses Day is May 12, which is also the birthday of arguably the most famous nurse in history, Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). For hospital patients, she was a champion for sanitary conditions, special dietary requirements, laundry services for clean linens and also instituted libraries for patients’ intellectual stimulation and entertainment. But it was her care for wounded Crimean War soldiers throughout the night that gave her the nickname, “The Lady With the Lamp.”
The ambitious Nightingale also established the St. Thomas’ Hospital, the Nightingale Training School for Nurses, and served as a consultant for managing field hospitals during the American Civil War. Her efforts to reform healthcare greatly influenced the quality of care in the 19th and 20th centuries.
You can read further details about Florence’s life here at the history.com site.
Today, nurses still provide a light in some pretty dark places. They have worked tirelessly during this pandemic. They are the first people patients see before the doctor. And they are the last people patients see to receive final instructions for their care. And now they are providing the vital service of administering the COVID vaccines. I’ll be meeting a nurse next week to get my first shot.
So while you’re doing your thing on this International Nurses Day, please remember that somewhere a nurse is working hard to heal someone. Stress and anxiety are quite prominent in this essential profession. But I know enough nurses to understand that they are resilient, and humbly keep on doing their duty to help people.
So to all of you nurses out there, thank you, thank you for all you do!
Feature image from Anna Shvets at Pexels.