In 1870, Florence Nightingale said, “It will take 150 years for the world to see the kind of nursing I envision.”
Florence Nightingale, also known as the Lady with the Lamp, is the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale is most known for her work during the Crimean War where she ran an army field hospital and pioneered safe and hygienic medical practices. While running an army field hospital, Nightingale noticed more soldiers dying from infectious diseases than wounds. Furthermore, she found that patient’s recovery is greatly affected by environmental conditions like natural light and fresh air. Nightingale improved sanitary conditions by implementing practices like hand washing and providing proper ventilation. Her work reduced the death rate from 42% to 2%. Florence rebelled against her family and society’s view on women’s role in the workplace, paving way for professional careers in nursing. In fact, Nightingale opened the first medical teaching hospital, Nightingale School for Nurses, in 1860. Nightingale’s social reform improved healthcare across the globe, providing the foundation needed for modern discoveries.
Today we celebrate International Nurses Day (every year on May 12 — Florence Nightingale’s birthday), honoring nurses across the globe and the contributions they make to our society. 150 years later, here are some of the most important medical breakthroughs since Nightingale’s efforts to transform modern medicine.
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