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Suggestions for Nurses for the Improvement of Wellbeing, Society, and Healthcare

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This article is written from the view point of Florence Nightingale. The suggestions offered may be recommendations that she would give nurses in society today.

by Teresa GC Teresa GC (New)

Specializes in Long-Term Care as an RNAC. Has 6 years experience.

What words of wisdom would Florence Nightingale have today?

Suggestions for Nurses for the Improvement of Wellbeing, Society, and Healthcare

Sisters and brothers of nursing, I see you and I am so proud of you.

You are weary and I know your head and heart aches for many, many reasons.

Please be sure to take time to rest.  I did not, during my time at Scutari, and my body made up for it when I returned home, after the war.  We need to relieve our pains that effect our mind, body, and soul.  Our pains are different, but we must keep in mind, what our studies taught us; reduce the inflammation causing the pain; find what you need to rest, recover, and rebound.

Taking a moment for yourself will help you be able to provide comfort, peace, and cheerfulness to those in your charge.  Your patients will need your knowledge and expertise, but comfort, peace, and cheerfulness are essential when navigating a health crisis or other difficult and scary challenges.

You didn’t ask for the challenges, but the fire is lit, and I want to share with you some suggestions to help control or tamp down the fire.  Nurses have a unique position in society, in that we can be agents of change and reform.

Administration requires more diversity

Those with the privilege of authority, whom are charged with the policies of our institutions and well-being of patients, must reflect the diversity of those in their trust.  As a woman, I was not welcomed at the Barrack Hospital in Scutari.  I had to show up, be consistent, and deliver results.  You do not have to be at the summit to make a difference and matter, but you can help support the goal of diversity.  To do this, I recommend you:

Keep learning and make it a pleasure

For reform to happen, people must be properly trained.  Continuing education helps to accomplish the above-mentioned goal of diversity.  Learning does not have to be formal education.  There are many ways to learn and grow as a practitioner that are enjoyable; podcasts, journals, magazines, blogs, on-line learning resources, libraries, professional forums, talk radio, professional organizations, and social media can be wonderful compliments to a formal education. 

Study, take care, and do the work

Education will help you gain knowledge and the skills to identify problems, gather the evidence, develop plans, and network with connections, that will help produce reform and change.  This, in turn, helps nurses to not only provide better care, but bring diversity to administration and make desperately needed changes to policy and standards of care.

Have a mentor or teacher

Surround yourself with people who make you better and inspire you.  In my youth, the vicar was a mentor to me, and afforded me the opportunity to save an injured sheepdog. The clergyman showed me how to comfort the dog, alleviate the pain, and reduce inflammation; healing, the livestock guardian, Cap (Richards, 40).

Have determination

There will always be naysayers, people against the change you wish to bring about.  You will need to be steadfast in your devotions to overcome this adversity.

Network and make connections with people in your community

By now, you may have begun to see the interconnectedness of these suggestions.  You will make and build connections through your education, and with your mentors and peers.  Your relationships are an integral part of accomplishing your goals.

Get involved in politics

Write letters and suggest reform; make it so you cannot be ignored. While you do this, be sure to celebrate your gains, for this will help you sustain your efforts over time.

Some of you will be going among lions, take care, be dedicated, and know your goal; progress will be made.  

Ask the hard questions and listen

Survey, use questionnaires, and enquire to determine the state of existing conditions, this has always helped me produce evidence, for when I suggest plans for reform and change.  With the technologies of today, this task can be made simpler than the surveys and process I helped to create and implement for the workhouses.

Volunteer

Volunteer at food pantries, for food deliver programs, or somewhere in community that speaks to your heart.  We must keep working in the communities we live.  At a Sanitary Conference, in 1894, my two-page pamphlet was presented that included, “It’s cheaper to promote health than to maintain people in sickness.” and “Money would be better spent in maintaining health in infancy and childhood than in building hospitals to cure diseases.” (Monteiro, 186)  These are ideas that you discuss in society today.  While there has been progress, more can be done.  

In parting, I will say to you what the fishwives of Boulogne said to me and the other volunteer nurses as we parted for our final segment of our voyage to Scutari: “Adieu! Adieu! vivent les sœurs! the good God go with you!” (Richards, 82)


References/Resources

Florence Nightingale, The Angel of the Crimea.  Laura E. Richards

Public Health, Then and Now.  Florence Nightingale on Public Health Nursing.  AJPH February 1985, Vol. 75, No. 2.  Lois A. Monteiro, PhD

Teresa GC has 6 years experience and specializes in Long-Term Care as an RNAC.

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CRNA_SWFL

Specializes in Anesthesia, ER, EMS. Has 30 years experience.

“My god. You’ve all really let this go to ***.”

—- F. Nightingale, 2021

On 6/18/2021 at 5:38 AM, CRNA_SWFL said:

“My god. You’ve all really let this go to ***.”

—- F. Nightingale, 2021

"Get vaccinated against covid don't be a fool"

--F. Nightingale, 2021