A Legendary Figure in Medicine:
The British Army adopted many of her proposals, and her ideas eventually became standard practices throughout the world.
Simple sanitary practices, such as hand washing, were promoted by Nightingale and became commonplace in modern society.
Background of Florence Nightingale:
Young Florence rebelled against the life of her family, and became determined to serve society. She developed an ambition to work in hospitals. Her family was horrified, as nursing, in the early 1800s, was not considered a respectable profession.
Florence stubbornly clung to her wishes, worked as a private nurse, and attended a nursing school in Germany.
Nightingale Goes to the Crimean War:
When Britain went to war against Russia, Nightingale, through the intercession of a British official she knew, was invited to travel to the Crimea. She brought along 38 nurses.
In November 1854 Nightingale and her party arrived in Constantinople, and discovered appalling conditions at the British Army hospital at Scutari.
Nightingale Becames "The Lady With the Lamp":
Nightingale struggled to change that archaic attitude, and with funds raised through a campaign with the London Times, she was able to provide medical supplies to the wounded troops.
She soon became legendary as a compassionate nurse, and was dubbed "The Lady With the Lamp." While she did do some nursing, her real contributions were organizational.
Quietly Exerting Power in Britain:
She wrote pamphlets and books urging reforms in the way the British military treated sick and wounded soldiers, and she even lobbied Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Nightingale set up a school for nurses, and also campaigned for reforms in sanitation as a way of stopping the spread of disease.
Illness and a Reclusive Life:
Despite her withdrawal from public life, her ideas about sanitation in British India gained currency. And her book Notes on Nursing greatly influenced the emerging nursing profession.
She continued to write and influence policies, and despite her chronic illness, she lived to the age of 90. She died on August 13, 1910.