Florence Nightingale and Hospital Reform
Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, Volume 16
Publication Year: 2013
Florence Nightingale began working on hospital reform even before she founded her famous school of nursing; hospitals were dangerous places for nurses as well as patients, and they urgently needed fundamental reform. She continued to work on safer hospital design, location, and materials to the end of her working life, advising on plans for children’s, general, military, and convalescent hospitals and workhouse infirmaries.
Florence Nightingale and Hospital Reform, the final volume in the Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, includes her influential Notes on Hospitals, with its much-quoted musing on the need of a Hippocratic oath for hospitals—namely, that first they should do the sick no harm. Nightingale’s anonymous articles on hospital design are printed here also, as are later encyclopedia entries on hospitals.
Correspondence with architects, engineers, doctors, philanthropists, local notables, and politicians is included. The results of these letters, some with detailed critiques of hospital plans, can be seen initially in the great British examples of the new “pavilion” design—at St. Thomas’, London (a civil hospital), at the Herbert Hospital (military), and later at many hospitals throughout the UK and internationally. Nightingale’s insistence on keeping good statistics to track rates of mortality and hospital stays, and on using them to compare hospitals, can be seen as good advice for today, given the new versions of “hospital-acquired infections” she combatted.
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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As this last volume in the Collected Works of Florence Nightingale goes to press, I am very aware of the debt I owe to so many people for assistance at various stages from finding long-buried letters to their transcription and verification. As usual, thanks are due Nightingale original manuscripts, and indeed for treating Nightingale material as public domain. To the owners of Nightingale manuscripts thanks are due for their important role in conserving, while permit-...
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List of Illustrations
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Florence Nightingale: A Précisof Her Life
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Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy, 1820, the second daughter of wealthy English parents taking an extended European wedding trip. She was raised in England at country homes, Lea Hurst, in Derbyshire, and Embley, in Hampshire. She was educated largely by her father, who had studied classics at Trinity College, Cambridge. At age sixteen Nightingale experienced a ‘‘call to service,’’ but her family would not permit her to act on it by becoming a...
An Introduction to Volume 16
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Hospital Reform completes the sixteen volumes in The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale with material that permits an overview of such a central concern of Nightingale’s working life as hospital reform. Subjects range from her early work on army hospitals and her far larger output on civil hospitals to her use of statistics and other research on the health of the population at...
Key to Editing
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All the manuscript material in the Collected Works has been carefully transcribed and verified (see Life and Family Appendix E:Research Methods and Sources for a description of the process of obtaining and processing this information). Illegible words and passages are so indicated, with [illeg] or [?] inserted to indicate our best reading of the word or words in question. Dates for material cited or reproduced are given wherever possible, in square brackets if they are...
Notes on Hospitals
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Military Hospitals: Letters, Notes, Articles and Reports
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The great impetus for Nightingale’s work on hospital reform came from her own experience of the horrendous defects in British Army hospitals during the Crimean War. The analysis she did to ascertain what went wrong in them led to her first papers on hospital reform, and in time to her comprehensive 1863 Notes on Hospitals. The similarities between civil and military hospitals are obvious from that early writing, and...
Civil Hospitals: Letters and Notes
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Nightingale’s need for data on civil hospitals is evident in her work on military hospitals, undertaken upon her return from the Crimean War. The same laws affecting health or disease held in both kinds of hospital; there were more civil hospitals than military; and peacetime conditions were the norm, war the exception. Part of the case she made on army hospitals in her Crimean War analyses relied on comparisons...
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Page Count: 992
Publication Year: 2013