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Texting with Flo


Florence Nightingale, known as the Mother of Nursing, would certainly have some things to say about current nursing practices, culture, and challenges, both positive and negative. But why don't we reach back to the past and see how some of her sage advice might apply to us today?

Specializes in ED, ICU, Public/Community Health. Has 19 years experience.

What If Florence got hold of a time-twisting cell phone?

Texting with Flo

Texting with Florence Nightingale

Yo, Flo! Can u talk right now? (I like saying yo flo) 😊

Talk? Do you mean text?

Yeah, I do mean text.

Yes. But why do you say talk instead of text?

IDK. I know we aren’t literally talking, but ….our fingers do the talking. 👋🏽

Yes, I see. I’m still learning this new technology. What can I help you with?

Well….I still can’t believe I’m somehow talking to u. So crazy. 🤪 Anyway, I had a horrible shift the other night and I just wanted to talk it out a bit. If u don’t mind.


I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words. They ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.

Oh. OK….

No offense, but I think that may be a little outdated, Flo. It’s 2021. We talk. I think there’s, like, studies and stuff that say debriefing is really important. It helps people process and decompress. And it can lead to action. Changes.

Studies, you say?

I think so.


I highly value studies and statistics. To understand God’s thoughts, one must study statistics, for these are the measure of His purpose.

Ummm, OK. So ...

Apologies. You were saying?

Yeah. My shift the other night was rough. We were understaffed, like usual, so I had to triple while being charge. Ridiculous! IDK how they expect us to work like that! Patient safety, anyone?


I agree safety is of utmost importance. It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm. It is quite necessary nevertheless to lay down such a principle.

Right? It’s just so frustrating when we tell admin over and over and nothing happens. I guess u dealt with that.

Getting the men in the military to see that the medical facilities were unhealthy was very difficult.

I can only imagine. Anyway, I’m still pretty new at being charge. Any words of wisdom?


Let whoever is in charge keep this simple question in her head - not how can I always do this right thing myself, but how can I provide for this right thing to be always done?

Ooo, I like that. I’m gonna take it to our unit director.

Did you work in the Covid unit?

Yep. So so sick of this pandemic. 😷


Rather, ten times, die in the surf, heralding the way to a new world, than to stand idly on the shore.

??? 😶

I am proud of you for working through such an ordeal. How were your patients?

Had a sweet little old lady who always said TY. Seemed lonely, so I gave her an extra long bath last night and talked to her. That was one good thing….


The amount of relief and comfort experienced by the sick after the skin has been carefully washed and dried is unparalleled.

Says the Queen of Hygiene! 👑 Where would we be without u, Flo?

I shudder to think….

Haha! True. And some people still suck at hand-washing. This poor lady is getting confused though. Maybe a touch of ICU delirium

That interests me.


Volumes are now written and spoken upon the effect of the mind upon the body. Much of it is true. But I wish a little more was thought of the effect of the body on the mind.

Agreed. My other patient goes berserk whenever we try to wean his sedation. Nearly ripped his tube out. I had just got him settled when the docs came in and just HAD to get their neuro exam. I was like, EM? Let this dude rest! 😡


Never to allow a patient to be waked, intentionally or accidentally, is a sine qua non of all good nursing.

IDK what sine qua non is, but after they left it took a good half hour for my guy to settle back down. Even the monitor alarms got to him. Remember how I told u about all our monitor and vent alarms?

Oh, yes. I must say that bothers me.


Unnecessary noise is the most cruel abuse of care which can be inflicted on either the sick or the well.

Sing it, sister. I wish u could come teach us a thing or 2. Most of us could use your wisdom.


I believe nursing is a progressive art such that to stand still is to go backwards.

So you are saying all my CE and classes aren’t a waste of my time? 😉


Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses...we must be learning all of our lives.

Flo, did u ever get scared about how nursing would go after u left it and your nursing school?

I would be lying if I said I never feared. But I learned that ...


... very little can be done under the spirit of fear.

I try. I don’t have to tell u how tiring it is. Feels like all I do is work, eat, and try to sleep. I know nursing was like a calling for u, but how did u find any time for urself?


Women never have a half-hour in all their lives that they can call their own without fear of offending or of hurting someone. Why do people sit up so late, or more rarely, get up so early?

Netflix and chill, am I right? 👊🏽


Not because the day is not long enough, but because they have no time in the day to themselves.

Yes! See, u get it! They can scream self-care at us all day, but until we feel like we are being listened to ... I guess I don’t have to tell u. I don’t mean to complain.


My thought has always been that I do not take or give excuses. On the other hand, were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.

Keep that in mind if you want to ignite change. Who was your 3rd patient?

Oh, right. I had a 42 yo woman who probably won’t make it. So sad. Married and has 2 kids. She’s been here so long they are starting to talk about what the goals are with her. Like, should we extubate. IDK. Usually I’m pretty on board with it, but this time . . . she’s so young and I don’t think her husband is ready. I know u didn’t deal with this exact thing, but u had some moral dilemmas, right?

Oh my ...


Moral activity? There is scarcely such a thing possible! Everything is sketchy. The world does nothing but sketch.

👍“The world does nothing but sketch.”

I’ve talked to her kids on the phone. So nice. But that just makes it harder knowing she probably won’t make it. Curse Covid! Flo, u dealt with a ton of death. What do u think?

It’s never easy. I’m sorry. Remember though ...


... a human being does not cease to exist at death. It is change, not destruction, which takes place.

Hmm. Can I share that with the family if I need to?

Of course.

💜 Thx. Hope I don’t have to. I have a few days off and I’m going out for the first time in a long time. TBH, I feel a little guilty.

TBH? Guilty?

To be honest. Yeah. I guess bc there are all these people and their families who are suffering and here I am going to a movie and eating popcorn. So trivial.

Dear, with this pandemic the war you are fighting is different than the one I engaged in. But my response is the same ...


... live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift. There is nothing small about it.

Beautiful. TY. Makes me feel better.


Never underestimate the healing effects of beauty. 🌺


Florence Nightingale Quotes from BrainyQuote

19 years of nursing. 'Nuff said

4 Articles   7 Posts

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4 Comment(s)

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.



Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

I love this 🙂