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All about Florence Nightingale!

Written by Kavya Mehta.

Florence Nightingale was born on 12th May 1820. She was a great nurse known for her help in the Crimean war. She was named Florence after her place of birth in Florence Italy. She lived in Derbyshire and Hampshire and died at the age of 90 (1910). Her dad William Nightingale was a wealthy banker who was able to offer a comfortable life for his family. They had staff and two beautiful homes, one in Hampshire and the other in Derbyshire.


Most females didn't attend school when Florence was a child - in fact, many didn't obtain any education at all! William, on the other hand, was eager for his girls to study and gave them lessons in a variety of areas, including physics, history, and maths. Wealthy women like Florence were not expected to work in Victorian Britain; their role was to marry and care for the family. Taking care of staff, entertaining guests, reading, sewing, and attending social events were all part of the daily routine. Florence, on the other hand, imagined a totally different future for herself. She claimed she heard a voice from God asking her to do significant work to help those in need when she was 16 years old. She aspired to work as a nurse. Florence's parents were not pleased when she told them the news! Nursing was not a respected profession, and hospitals were dirty, awful places where sick people died - not the place for a wealthy young lady like Florence! William attempted everything he could to persuade Florence to change her mind, but she was adamant. He finally gave up in 1851 and permitted Florence to study nursing at a Christian women's institution in Germany.


She learnt vital skills in patient care as well as the importance of hospital hygiene while she was there. Florence didn't waste any time in putting her new talents to the test. By 1853, she was directing a London women's hospital, where she performed an outstanding job of improving working conditions and patient care. The Crimean War erupted in 1854, with Britain, France, and Turkey on one side and Russia on the other. British forces were sent to battle in Crimea, a region in southern Russia that is now part of Ukraine. Soldiers died of battle wounds, cold, hunger, and sickness, and there was no proper medical treatment or nurses to treat them. Help was needed very away, and the Minister of War, Sidney Herbert, knew just who to call. Florence was requested to head a team of nurses to Crimea. Florence understood that the soldiers would only be able to recover if the hospital facilities were addressed. She spent money she earned back home on better medical equipment and decent food, as well as on plumbers to unclog the pipes. She also cleaned the rooms, set up a hospital kitchen, and offered great care to the wounded soldiers, bathing them, healing their wounds, and feeding them. As a result of all of the advancements, substantially fewer soldiers died as a result of sickness. She managed to reduce the death rate from 42% to just 2%, and became known as the inventor of modern nursing.


Today, the Florence Nightingale Medal is given to nurses who provide the best care in both war and peace. Florence Nightingale volunteered to help wounded troops during the Crimean War. She even nursed soldiers in the middle of the night, earning her the nickname 'The Lady with the Lamp.' Many lives were saved due to her and her nurses.

Written Kavya Mehta (aged 9)

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