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Wednesday, May 09, 2018

National Nurse's Week

Note: I work with some of the B.E.S.T. nurses. Seriously. The. Best. I am in awe of them. Every day.

At work today, we honored our nurses with a wonderful luncheon, complete with cake and cookies, a lovely potted plant for each nurse, and a lunch box and water bottle - you know, that new kind you can put fruit into (like oranges or lemons or limes) to naturally flavor your water. Our staff physician also had a special gift for each nurse.

Of course, I thought they all should get a $100,000 raise, but, that not being either possible or probable, the luncheon was lovely. 

The following is the meditation I used for the occasion. We each took a quote and read it aloud. 

Ms. Nightengale was quite a woman. In addition to founding nursing as a profession, she was also a theologian. I have a book of her theology somewhere but I couldn't put my hand on it. So, these are quotes from her book, written in 1859.

Pleae feel free to share with a nurse in your life. Or, at least thank them for what is often a thankless job - well, except for the enormous satisfaction they get from living out their vocation.


Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy, on May 12, 1820. Part of a wealthy family, Nightingale defied the expectations of the time and pursued what she saw as her God-given calling of nursing. During the Crimean War, she and a team of nurses improved the unsanitary conditions at a British base hospital, greatly reducing the death count. Her writings sparked worldwide health care reform, and in 1860 she established St. Thomas' Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. A revered hero of her time, she died on August 13, 1910, in London.

Here are just a few of the things she wrote in “Nursing: What it is and what it is not” (1859):

Wise and humane management of the patient is the best safeguard against infection.

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.

The symptoms or the sufferings generally considered to be inevitable and incidental 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.

All disease, at some period or other of its course, is more or less a reparative process, not necessarily accompanied with suffering: an effort of nature to remedy a process of poisoning or of decay, which has taken place weeks, months, sometimes years beforehand, unnoticed.

The amount of relief and comfort experienced by the sick after the skin has been carefully washed and dried, is one of the commonest observations made at a sick bed.

If a patient is cold, if a patient is feverish, if a patient is faint, if he is sick after taking food, if he has a bed-sore, it is generally the fault not of the disease, but of the nursing.”

The only English patients I have ever known refuse tea, have been typhus cases; and the first sign of their getting better was their craving again for tea.

It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm.

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.

Women should have the true nurse calling, the good of the sick first the second only the consideration of what is their ‘place’ to do – and that women who want for a housemaid to do this or the charwomen to do that, when the patient is suffering, have not the making of a nurse in them.

Every nurse ought to be careful to wash her hands very frequently during the day. If her face, too, so much the better.

The greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel.

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

I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.

The world is put back by the death of every one who has to sacrifice the development of his or her peculiar gifts to conventionality.

Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.

Rather, ten times, die in the surf, heralding the way to a new world, than stand idly on the shore.
I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.

So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.

To understand God’s thoughts one must study statistics… the measure of his purpose.

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?

There is no part of my life, upon which I can look back without pain.

The craving for ‘the return of the day’, which the sick so constantly evince, is generally nothing but the desire for light.

I do see the difference now between me and other men. When a disaster happens, I act and they make excuses.

The first possibility of rural cleanliness lies in water supply.

Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift-there is nothing small about it.

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