The tragic life of 'Florence Nightingale', the first nurse in history


Florence Nightingale, the first nurse in history

Florence Nightingale invented the modern nursing profession and changed the course of public health forever. But she spent most of her life sick and isolated.
"Florence Nightingale"

Florence Nightingale

Nightingale or Florence Gill was born on May 12, 1820, in Florence, Italy, to wealthy British parents. Her mother Francis was from an elite family of merchants, and her father William Edward was a wealthy landowner.

William Edward

William Edward 

Nghtingale spent most of her childhood at her family's farm in Embley Park, Hampshire, England. I enjoyed many of the benefits of upper-class life. She was comfortable, travelling a lot, and unlike most girls at the time, she received a strict education.

Her father taught her mathematics, science, philosophy, history and classics. But her family has also strictly adhered to traditional beliefs about the role women are expected to play in society. They didn't think wealthy women should work outside the house. Instead, they should focus on finding the right husband, marrying well, and maintaining their class status. This became a point of contention when Nightingale, at the age of 16, received what she described as an invitation from God to become a nurse and serve patients.

Although nursing at the time was not a respectable profession, Nightingale felt invited to become a nurse.

Florence Gill's Achievements 

  1. The nursing profession occurred and helped implement health, care and hygiene standards.
  2. She helped reduce mortality rates at Barak Hospital in The City of Scotari during the Crimean War.
  3. Reforming the health care system without publishing influential works in which she explained her ideas.

      Florence Nightingale's attitude to nursing

      Her family, especially her mother, categorically rejected the idea. Frances married a good traditional marriage, and expected the same from her daughter. Nursing was not a suitable profession for a respected woman, and florence's family prevented her from pursuing her invitation.

      Nursing as an official profession did not exist until Florence Nightingale invented it. In the early 19th century, women working as lower-class nurses were not respected. They were seen as lazy, uninterested and generally incompetent.

      He also thought they were a little fond of wine and sometimes they were prostitutes. On the other hand, wealthy, well-educated women were not expected to work in this profession, let alone such a low position. But Nightingale rejected these expectations. Instead, she dedicated herself to doing charity work and learning to nurse as best she could on her own.

      In 1850, Florence Nightingale went to Germany to study nursing. I trained for just over three months, mastering the basics of patient care and hospital management. In 1853, her father bowed to her intentions by giving her a salary that allowed her to move to London and accept the position of supervisor at the Women's Nurses Foundation in difficult circumstances.

      Florence Nightingale's emotional life

      Florence Nightingale was strong-willed, stubborn, and socially empowered, but she nevertheless got her fair share of suitors. When she was young, she rejected at least two proposals for marriage. Her cousin Henry Nicholson applied for her hand in 1844, but she rejected it. The second proposal caused her further grief. I met the poet Richard Moncton Milnes in 1842, and chased her for seven years. Introduced her in 1847, she took her time to think about it. She was in love with him, and the decision was not easy. According to Nightingale biographer Sir Edward Cook, she was attracted to Milnes and thought she could be satisfied with spending her life with him. Then in 1849, he pressed her for a final answer, and rejected him one last time.

      Poet Richard Moncton Milnes

      Poet Richard Moncton Milnes

      She thought marriage would interfere with her call to help people, and eventually decided that she could not be content with a life dedicated to society and family. In her words:

      To be nailed in continuing and exaggerating in my current life, without hope for another life, would be intolerable to me, to be able to seize the opportunity to form myself, real and rich life would look like suicide to me.
      You'll marry Soraya, ' because you're rich, and you'll have children. 'And Florence's like, ah, I don't think I want all this. 

      During her 20s, Nightingale suffered from repeated episodes of depression. Her family's continued refusal to support her call exacerbated her dark mood. Her relationship with Richard Milnes was another concern. In 1847, she ended up suffering from a mental breakdown. She went to Rome to recover where she met politician Sidney Herbert. 

      Sidney Herbert

      Sidney Herbert


      This meeting changed the course of her life. Herbert became a friend and lifelong ally, and became one of his most trusted advisers. But this did not put an end to Florence's unhappiness. I wrote in 1850:

      At 31 years of age, I see nothing desirable but death.

      She remained unsure whether she had made the right decision to reject Milnes' proposal, writing:

      I know that since I rejected him, not a day has passed without me thinking about him, and that life is desolate for me until the last degree without his sympathy.

      Florence's role in the Crimean War 

      In 1854, Britain fought a war with Russia in Crimea, but the British army lacked the infrastructure to care for their wounded soldiers. Many men suffered in poorly maintained hospitals, where they died not only from their injuries but also from preventable diseases such as typhoid, dysentery and cholera. When news of their abuse arrived in England, public anger forced Sidney Herbert to ask for Nightingale's help. 

      In October 1854, a group of 38 volunteer nurses led to the city of Scotari to improve the dirty and crowded conditions at Barak Hospital. It has also dealt with inadequate supplies, cumbersome and uncooperative staff, and a mortality rate of more than 40 per cent. Nightingale promptly pushed a health committee to wash toilets, clean water supplies and improve air flow in wards. Met with resistance, heads were beheaded by uncooperative male leaders and doctors. But it worked in the end. With improved ventilation and health procedures, mortality rates fell to only 2.2 percent.

      Between implementing structural changes, managing their volunteer staff, and pressuring the government to get the money, Nightingale was still finding time to manage practical care for its patients. She wandered the wings at night, and in her hand a lamp, and gained the title of 'Lady with the Lamp'.

      I have gained a good reputation as an interest and a public health advocate.

      On one of Nightingale's trips to Crimea, she developed a case of Crimean fever, also known as Maltese fever. This is a highly contagious bacterial infection, which is likely to have been infected by contact with contaminated animal products. Weakened by her illness and the recovery was slow, she was forced to leave Crimea. However, instead of returning to her native England, Nightingale returned to Scotari, where she remained until the end of the war in 1856. Military hospitals in Turkey were closed that spring, and she finally returned home to England in August of that year. She did not fully recover from brucellosis, and the adverse effects of the disease continued for the rest of her life. News of Nightingale's work in Scotary finally reached the press and became a media sensation in England.

      The dramatic decline in mortality rates and improved hospital conditions have earned her appreciation and praise, while her image as a lamp-carrying lady is stuck in people's minds. A picture in the London Comic News, published in February 1855, depicts her leaning into rows of patients, holding a lamp to light her way. Her iconic image was reproduced on mementos. The audience loved her, and some people even sent a mail to her fans. 

      Facts about Florence Nightingale

      When Nightingale finally returned to Derbyshire in 1856, she was hailed as the champion of the war effort, but all the attention made her uncomfortable. Exhausted and struggling with the effects of Crimean fever, I stayed out of the spotlight. She preferred to stay at home, doing most of her important work away from the public eye. Nightingale's intelligence and ambition were unmatched, and her work revolutionized healthcare institutions. Her books, notes on hospitals and notes on nursing: detailing the right ways to run a health hospital. And manage patient care. This has led to the nursing profession becoming a respectable profession that adheres to strict care standards.

      Nightingale was also an accomplished statistic, using charts and pie charts to present her reports. Her findings were used to pressure the government to improve public health, particularly in rural India. It called for improved sanitation, helped establish an improved drainage system that reduces the spread of deadly diseases, and supported efforts to alleviate famine and poverty. However, despite all she had accomplished, she had yet to deal with the limitations of being a woman.

      Although her social standing was respected, she still lacked any real authority to implement her ideas. Thus, to make her ideas a reality, she relied on her male allies, particularly politically influential figures such as Sidney Herbert and John Sutherland, while working in the background. But the constraints she faced prompted her to work more seriously. She has carried herself and other women to high standards. She often criticized her gender for default, blaming those who only tried to be men and therefore only succeeded in being third-class men.

      Florence Nightingale disease

      In 2008, Nightingale biographer Mark Postridge put forward the theory that she suffers from spondylitis, a chronic spinal inflammatory disease for which there is no cure. The disease causes back and joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Over time, the bones of the spine can merge together and new bones can form, leading to immobility.

      The disease probably began to appear when Nightingale was in her 40s and continued to worsen as she aged. With little effective treatment for the condition, pain often forced her to stay in bed for weeks at a time. Although there are rumors that she took bromide to reduce libido, Postridge's research shows that she has already taken bromide to relieve symptoms of spondylitis.

      According to Postridge, it was spondylitis that kept Nightingale bedridden during the 1860s when she was in her 40s. In his words, 'someone once said that future generations have offended Florence Nightingale by saying that she does not suffer from organic disease. She was.' But some contemporary psychiatrists expect that she may also have serious mental illnesses as well. According to Dr. Katherine Wizner, an expert in mood disorders in women, it is possible that Nightingale has already suffered from untreated bipolar disorder throughout her life.

      She had well-documented bouts of depression in her teens and 20s, and this could be explained by the divine call she claimed she received from God by hearing voices. Each of these symptoms can be indications of bipolar disorder. In her adult life, Nightingale documented mood swings that may not be explained by her physical illnesses alone. She was intensely ambitious and productive, writing profusely and working tirelessly from her home.

      But her life was interspersed with bouts of isolation, fatigue, lethargy and depression. According to Dr. Wizner:

      The disease alone does not explain her acute mood swings, or the fact that she can be very productive and very sick at the same time.

      Death of Florence Nightingale

      Florence has never married and has no children. Her work was her legacy. At the end of her life, she became more isolated, even though she had two great honours for her achievements shortly before her death. In 1904, she was awarded the Lady of Grace medal for the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and in 1907, she became the first woman to receive the Order of Merit.

      Nightingale's obituary in the Guardian mentioned her death at the age of 90 from heart failure in 1910.

       museum Florence nightingale

      Because of her many achievements, she was eligible for an official funeral and was buried in My Father's Westminster, but in keeping with her recent wishes, her family refused to offer the state funeral. Instead, its memorial was erected at St Paul's Cathedral in London. 'So, Florence Nightingale was responsible for leading the industry and giving women a job and a goal.'

      Florence Memorial at St Paul's Cathedral in London
      Florence Memorial at St Paul's Cathedral in London