Adventures of the Mind
Florence Nightingale - 200th Birthday
12 May 2020
'Florence Nightingale, byname Lady with the Lamp, (born May 12, 1820, Florence [Italy]—died August 13, 1910, London, England), British nurse, statistician, and social reformer who was the foundational philosopher of modern nursing.
Nightingale was put in charge of nursing British and allied soldiers in Turkey during the Crimean War. She spent many hours in the wards, and her night rounds giving personal care to the wounded established her image as the “Lady with the Lamp.” Her efforts to formalize nursing education led her to establish the first scientifically based nursing school—the Nightingale School of Nursing, at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London (opened 1860). She also was instrumental in setting up training for midwives and nurses in workhouse infirmaries. She was the first woman awarded the Order of Merit (1907). International Nurses Day, observed annually on May 12, commemorates her birth and celebrates the important role of nurses in health care.' (Encyclopedia Britannica)
On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) China office heard the first reports of a previously-unknown virus behind a number of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city in Eastern China with a population of over 11 million.
What started as an epidemic mainly limited to China has now become a truly global pandemic. (27 March 2020)
Peter James in his novel 'Dead man's Time' wrote:
'This is probably a long shot, I don't know. I guess I'm long enough in the tooth to have learned not to dismiss coincidence.' 'You know what Einstein said about coincidence?' 'Something about God's calling cards?' 'Kind of. He said it was God's way of remaining anonymous.'
As part of a liberal Unitarian family, Florence found great comfort in her religious beliefs. At the age of 16, she experienced one of several “calls from God.” She viewed her particular calling as reducing human suffering. Nursing seemed the suitable route to serve both God and humankind. However, despite having cared for sick relatives and tenants on the family estates, her attempts to seek nurse’s training were thwarted by her family as an inappropriate activity for a woman of her stature.
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Florence Nightingale declined marriage, was eventually allowed to train and after 'hands-on' experience planned to go into hospital administration, however, the Crimean War broke out and her work there that made her a national hero.
But how she achieved her success and status was as much to do with her abilities to effectively communicate to those in power as it was her skills and compassion as a nurse. She was a statistician and her 'Rose Charts' were often used to graphically convey how things were.
The area of the blue wedges pictorially exagerates the statistic, which whilst not mathematically correct, impresses who they are for!
So this year 2020, it being the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the woman who was instrumental in laying the foundations of modern nursing, is it mere coincidence that in this same year we are in the midst of the Coronavirus epedemic when we are so dependent upon medical practitioners and especially the army of nurses treating those infected?
Or did an anonymous, loving, God, prepare 200 years ago for here and now?
I believe that in the age we currently live in, God's forsight is self evident. Into past mind's He planted ideas, pursuits and solutions that the survival of us all will depend on, now and in the near future.