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Nurses Facing COVID-19 in Light of History

The History of Quality Healthcare

The history of providing quality healthcare is long and was present around the world in many countries during the mid-1800s. The Lady with the Lamp, Florence Nightingale, was the founder of modern nursing and her experiences as a nurse during the Crimean War were foundational in her views about sanitation and those who followed her into the battlefield.

Nursing Examples in History

Florence Nightingale and a group of 38 nurses worked among the wounded soldiers of the Crimean War in 1854. Caring for the injured and sick, she and a group of British Nurses administered care around the clock to comfort the wounded and assist the doctors to save lives. Nurses around the world have incorporated the teachings of Florence Nightingale and the 38 British nurses who worked day and night in Turkish hospitals, providing help and necessary care to the sick and wounded soldiers. The nurses’ practices provided hard labor and efficient management in improving sanitary conditions. On the other side of the military conflict were Russian nurses. At least 327 experienced and skilled Russian nurses were at the bedside of wounded Russian soldiers during the Crimean War (1854-1856).

A few examples of the start of nursing in other countries include the nursing education system in Japan. The education system in Japan provided midwifery education, which offered licensing and training in accordance with the Medical Regulation enacted in 1874. Modern nursing education in Japan started in 1885.  Similarly, modern Chinese Nursing evolved due to the influence of Western missionaries who began arriving after China lost the Opium War in 1842. And, the first nursing school started in Sydney, Australia in 1868 by Lucy Osburn and her four Nightingale Nurses.

Nurses Face the Deadly COVID-19 Virus in 2020 and Beyond

Today, nurses are facing the deadly COVID-19 virus. The fundamental requirements of infection control established and taught by Florence Nightingale is as pertinent today as it was in 1854. The aspects of infection control through the need to wear a mask, and wash hands to slow and prevent the spread of a deadly virus should be practiced, since the virus continues to spread world-wide, infecting the least suspected and the most vulnerable. As thousands of Registered Nurses, Licensed Vocational Nurses and Nursing Aides have become the first responders to care for the sick, the COVID-19 virus has presented itself to be a deadly challenge as many have caught it while caring for their patients infected with the virus, from another infected person within the healthcare setting, or through their outside travels away from places of work.

Unfortunately, too many nurses have died during the COVID-19 Pandemic. These nurses should be eligible to receive The Nightingale Tribute to honor their nursing services as victims of COVID-19 Virus. More than 1,700 United States healthcare workers have died from COVID-19 according to the report from the National Nurse United (NNU). While COVID-19 has stretched the limits of healthcare systems and healthcare providers in every area of service, dedicated nurses continue to support and provide the best care to ensure the quality of life for their patients and the public while trying to keep themselves safe.

The Lessons Nurses Have Learned from History

The lesson of infection control and sanitation learned from Florence Nightingale and the 38 British Nurses who provided nursing care are still relevant today; prevent the transmission of infection, maintain a sanatory environment and provide fresh air.

It is imperative that members of our society know and accept the importance of not spreading the COVID-19 virus by wearing a mask and washing their hands and surfaces often. Nurses and Healthcare Providers around the world are facing something that they can not see or feel, but all are being steadfast and committed as the first line of defense to combat this deadly virus and the multiple health issues resulting from it.

Nurses and all members of Healthcare are our soldiers on this battlefield against COVID-19. Each of you are respected and to be commended for your services to your fellow citizens around the world. Florence Nightingale would be extremely proud of all of you in action, as you fight the good fight to save lives.

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