Florence Nightingale, known as "The Lady of the Lamp", had a natural born talent of nursing. For most of her life she was studying nursing, teaching others about her skills, or saving lives. In 1854, she was appointed to train women to nurse soldiers in the Crimean War. After the war ended in 1856, she later on opened the Nightingale Training School, where she taught nursing. According to "christianitytoday.com", "1861 Assists US in organizing soldiers hospitals in Civil War". She was recognized for her talent in a country that wasn't even her own , which is amazing. Florence Nightingale should certainly be remembered for founding modern nursing and teaching others to continue nursing. "Britannica.com" states, " She was the first woman awarded the Order of Merit." Not only was she inspiring to nurses, she was inspiring to women. She has proven that there is a lot that women can do to help society. Today, we honor Florence Nightingale on May 12, International Nurses Day.
Florence Nightingale's Last Tale:
Being a nurse in the Crimean War started out awfully. The soldiers thought they could do everything in their own, but in reality, all they could do was fight, train, wait, and do it all over again. Worst of all, those soldiers had no respect. Allow me to start from the very beginning.
In 1854, I was put in charge of nursing British and allied soldiers in Turkey during the Crimean War. I love nursing, and I studied it for most of my life. I originally was excited to be a nurse in the war, but when I received my first patient, I knew that it was going to be a tough couple of years.
When the soldier was brought to the hospital, he had a knife in his arm, and I was supposed to remove it and heal the wound, but he wouldn't let me. As soon as he saw me he said, "Am I supposed to put myself in the trust of a woman? Not a chance! I'll take the knife out myself! It's better than death!" I tried to stop him, but he refused to let me help. He pulled the bloody knife out of his arm, wincing in pain, and snatched the bandages off the table. After he wrapped up his wound, he pushed me to the ground because I was blocking the door, and he left. He likely needed stitches, but he would not allow me to help him just because I'm a woman. The next day of fighting, that same man dies because he couldn't use the wounded arm to fight. He was not the only soldier who would not trust me. Many did the exact same thing. Most did not die, but they did not receive the proper care and were injured even more.
As head nurse, it was my job to teach the less experienced nurses who were helping in the war. They were being treated exactly the same as I was. A few weeks into the war, one of the nurses I was training came up to me and said, "Miss Florence Nightingale, I can't do this anymore. This training is a waste if I can't use it to help the soldiers. I'm leaving the war to help my family." After she left, everyone was talking about it. Instead of listening to me while I was teaching, they talked to each other about wanting to leave, as well. They told stories to each other about soldiers being rude, and days when they had not patients at all. One more nurse left. I tried to convince the others that they shouldn't leave, and it would get better soon, but they didn't believe it. I lost a nurse almost every day until only about half of them were left. The only ones who stayed were the ones who found an interest in nursing. After that catastrophe, I was determined to make the soldiers believe that we can do our jobs.
A soldier came into the hospital one day, very ill. He came hoping that a male doctor could help him, not knowing that only women were recruited. He soon realized this and tried to leave, but I blocked him, and he was too weak to escape. Unfortunately, another soldier saw me and forced me out of the way. Even worse, about a month later I began to feel ill, myself. At first I had a high fever and muscle pains, but it got much worse. The nurses in training diagnosed me with Crimean Fever, a disease in which symptoms of pain occur about a month after it is contracted. I had a massive headache and a terrible cough. My fever got dangerously high and I barely avoided death. The amount that the training nurses learned in just a few minthes was absolutely astounding. With that being their first time nursing, they would do even more amazing things and save even more lives once the soldiers trusted us.
Things began to get better for nurses soon after I was well again. A soldier endured severe damages from the war and would bleed out in a matter of minutes if he wasn't taken car of. He had no choice but to come to us. The other nurses and I had to work ver fast. The soldier needed lots of stitches, and it took many nurses to do it before he died. He tried to leave immediately after we had finished. He thought waiting to heal was a waste of time. I told him, "You better sit down right now. Women can do things just as well as men can, and we know exactly what we are doing." He sat down and did as he was told. Within a few weeks, he was healed enough to fight again. Not only was he able to fight, but he was one of the best soldiers in the next fight. Many other soldiers came to the hospital soon afterwards. Countless lives were saved.
I was esthatic that I could be trusted by the soldiers to do the job that I was born to do. I bet that if the soldiers who died because they didn't believe a woman could help them could see what I have done with my life, they would be sorry. After the war ended, I developed a nursing academy and a hospital. I was also the first woman to be awarded a Merit Order. I believe the story of how awful the Crimean War started for nurses deserves to finally be heard, which is why I am writing this story today, August 13, 1910, as I am fading away.
Yours Truely, Florence Nightingale