Ms. Nightingale’s Plight….
I’ve been studying history, the life of Florence Nightingale. Why would I choose to do this at this time, after I’ve been a nurse for so long? Well, everyone says if you don’t know history, you’re bound to repeat it. And so I wanted to figure out what moved and motivated her.
She said she heard the voice of God, calling her to heal. I know that voice. So she walked right past the Prince who’d proposed and into the Crimean war to help save the soldiers. Travelling by ship in those days wasn’t like going on a Carnival Cruise, so she and all forty of the nurses she’d trained and brought with her, were pretty exhausted when they got to the trashy place that was set up as a hospital. You know, the regular really slimy things like rat droppings, the foul stench of human rot and excrement floating around because there were hundreds of sick and dying men just brought in from the battlefield. The doctor who met them, who was in charge, for it was the Army after all, was not happy to see them. Women bathing men in public, taking care of men? Perish the thought! Anyway, he had a hand full of orders, paperwork, and all he shouted at Florence as she tried to explain what she was offering was “Did you bring clerks? I’d rather you’d brought 40 clerks, not 40 nurses…” And so there we have it! The beginning of the downfall….Nurturing and caretaking devalued, and paperwork upheld as a healing mechanism. What folly! What junk! And we’re still buying it instead of fighting for the right to take care of those we’ve vowed to help to heal. I’m going to keep reading, and I’ll keep in touch….