Popularly known as ‘the lady with the lamps’ by one and all, Florence Nightingale is the mother of modern nursing. She was an active social reformer from England. Nightingale received the tag due her dedicated efforts to tend the wounded soldiers during the Crimean War, thus becoming an icon during the Victorian Era. There is a school of thought which believed that due to the dire necessity of a heroic public figure during the Victorian Era, her feats during the Crimean War had been glorified by the media. However, her role in professionalization of nursing in healthcare for women has never been questioned. She established the first secular nursing school in the world at St Thomas' Hospital in London which is now part of King's College London. This pioneer in modern nursing went on to receive honorable accolades such as Royal Red Cross, Lady of Grace of the Order of St John and Order of Merit. ‘The Florence Nightingale Medal’, the highest international honor in the field of nursing, was named after Nightingale as a tribute for her outstanding contribution in the medical discipline. Let us go through some of the famous quotes highlighting her thoughts and sayings.
The most important practical lesson that can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe - how to observe - what symptoms indicate improvement - what the reverse - which are of importance - which are of none - which are the evidence of neglect - and of what kind of neglect.
Mysticism: to dwell on the unseen, to withdraw ourselves from the things of sense into communion with God - to endeavour to partake of the Divine nature; that is, of Holiness.
Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter's or sculptor's work.
Nature alone cures. ... what nursing has to do ... is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him.
The most important practical lesson than can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe.
Badly constructed houses do for the healthy what badly constructed hospitals do for the sick. Once insure that the air in a house is stagnant, and sickness is certain to follow.
She said the object and color in the materials around us actually have a physical effect on us, on how we feel.
The very elements of what constitutes good nursing are as little understood for the well as for the sick. The same laws of health or of nursing, for they are in reality the same, obtain among the well as among the sick.
Every nurse ought to be careful to wash her hands very frequently during the day. If her face, too, so much the better.
Life is a hard fight, a struggle, a wrestling with the principle of evil, hand to hand, foot to foot. Every inch of the way is disputed. The night is given us to take breath, to pray, to drink deep at the fountain of power. The day, to use the strength which has been given us, to go forth to work with it till the evening.
I use the word nursing for want of a better. It has been limited to signify little more than the administration of medicines and the application of poultices. It ought to signify the proper use of fresh air, light, warmth, cleanliness, quiet, and the proper selection and administration of diet-all at the least expense of vital power to the patient.
If I could give you information of my life, it would be to show how a woman of very ordinary ability has been led by God in strange and unaccustomed paths to do In His service what He has done in her. And if I could tell you all, you would see how God has done all, and I nothing.
A dark house is always an unhealthy house, always an ill-aired house, always a dirty house. Want of light stops growth and promotes scrofula, rickets, etc., among the children. People lose their health in a dark house, and if they get ill, they cannot get well again in it.
Never speak to an invalid from behind, nor from the door, nor from any distance from him, nor when he is doing anything. The official politeness of servants in these things is so grateful to invalids, that many prefer, without knowing why, having none but servants about them.
Everything you do in a patient's room, after he is 'put up' for the night, increases tenfold the risk of his having a bad night. But, if you rouse him up after he has fallen asleep, you do not risk - you secure him a bad night.
Do not meet or overtake a patient who is moving about in order to speak to him or to give him any message or letter. You might just as well give him a box on the ear. I have seen a patient fall flat on the ground who was standing when his nurse came into the room.
Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter's or sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God's spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.
The symptoms or the sufferings generally considered to be inevitable and incident to the disease are very often not symptoms of the disease at all, but of something quite different-of the want of fresh air, or of light, or of warmth, or of quiet, or of cleanliness, or of punctuality and care in the administration of diet, of each or of all of these.
May we hope that, when we are all dead and gone, leaders will arise who have been personally experienced in the hard, practical work, the difficulties, and the joys of organizing nursing reforms, and who will lead far beyond anything we have done!
Hospitals are only an intermediate stage of civilization, never intended ... to take in the whole sick population. May we hope that the day will come ... when every poor sick person will have the opportunity of a share in a district sick-nurse at home.
A woman cannot live in the light of intellect. Society forbids it. Those conventional frivolities, which are called her 'duties', forbid it. Her 'domestic duties', high-sounding words, which, for the most part, are but bad habits (which she has not the courage to enfranchise herself from, the strength to break through), forbid it.
If I could give you information of my life it would be to show how a woman of very ordinary ability has been led by God in strange and unaccustomed paths to do in His service what He has done in her. And if I could tell you all, you would see how God has done all, and I nothing. I have worked hard, very hard, that is all; and I have never refused God anything.
People talk about imitating Christ, and imitate Him in the little trifling formal things, such as washing the feet, saying His prayer, and so on; but if anyone attempts the real imitation of Him, there are no bounds to the outcry with which the presumption of that person is condemned.
Statistics is the most important science in the whole world: for upon it depends the practical application of every other science and of every art: the one science essential to all political and social administration, all education, all organization based on experience, for it only gives results of our experience.
The family uses people, not for what they are, nor for what they are intended to be, but for what it wants them for- its own uses. It thinks of them not as what God has made them, but as the something which it has arranged that they shall be.
People say the effect is only on the mind. It is no such thing. The effect is on the body, too. Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, by color, and light, we do know this, that they have an actual physical effect. Variety of form and brilliancy of color in the objects presented to patients, are actual means of recovery.
We know nothing of the principle of health, the positive of which pathology is the negative, except from observation and experience. And nothing but observation and experience will teach us the ways to maintain or to bring back the state of health. It is often thought that medicine is the curative process. It is no such thing; ... nature alone cures. ... And what [true] nursing has to do ... is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him.
The account he gives of nurses beats everything that even I know of. This young prophet says that they are all drunkards, without exception, Sisters and all, and that there are but two whom the surgeon can trust to give the patients their medicines.
No man, not even a doctor, ever gives any other definition of what a nurse should be than this-'devoted and obedient.' This definition would do just as well for a porter. It might even do for a horse. It would not do for a policeman.