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You should be the ‘‘salt of the earth,’’156 for such opportunities are yours—such opportunities with your patients—without saying a word of preaching. Just show them in your practice what a woman should be. And that every year should show this forth more and more is the earnest prayer of your affectionate and grateful Florence Nightingale 1 July 1899 Dear Lady Aberdeen Thank you so much for your very kind letter. I am so sorry to give you so much trouble. I am not allowed to see more than one person at a time or more than one a day. (I am entirely a prisoner to my room from illness and almost to my bed.) But I could see one of the ‘‘foreign nurses’’ on Monday at 5:30 (I will not bite her or frighten her) and one on Tuesday at the same hour. And perhaps one on Thursday. But is this not troubling you too much? I need not say how delighted I shall be to see you some afternoon ‘‘after the congress is over,’’ if you do not feel that I am ‘‘too tiresome.’’ May all success attend your ‘‘nursing meetings.’’ I should like so much to know about them. It must do much good for the foreign and English nurses to interchange their experience and ideas. Pray excuse pencil and believe me, yours most faithfully and with the sincerest admiration Florence Nightingale Rural Health Visitors, ‘‘Health Missioners’’ Editor: Nightingale’s childhood and young adulthood was spent largely in rural Hampshire and Derbyshire and the Verneys’ Claydon House was in rural Buckinghamshire. This ensured that she was under no illusions as to the delights of rural life but was well aware of the real unsanitary conditions of village and farm cottages: lack of clean drinking water, inadequate sewers and drains, and the close proximity of animals and animal wastes to drinking water sources. Her 1894 paper, ‘‘Rural Hygiene,’’ and some related correspondence on rural health visitors, or ‘‘health missioners,’’ is reported in 156 An allusion to Matt 5:13. District Nursing / 877 Public Health Care (6:607-22). The correspondence that follows has a particular emphasis on training, administrative structure and the relationship between health visiting and district nursing. The two concerns of nursing proper and visiting for purposes of health promotion frequently overlap, but conceptually the district nurse was primarily concerned with patient care, that is, someone already ill, while the health visitor sought sanitary improvements and other measures to prevent disease. Since women were normally in charge of the family’s health, the plan was to reach out, in a friendly fashion, to rural mothers. The nature of the approach to them, as well as the content of the material to be conveyed, were both issues to be decided upon. Nightingale wrote an open, public letter to the mothers themselves, in effect to introduce the health visitors to them, ‘‘Dear hardworking friends,’’ as she addressed them (see p 883 below). As usual Nightingale wanted to know the results of the rural hygiene lectures and visits. She complained that county councils were reporting the courses they put on, ‘‘without one single remark as to the practical results’’ (see p 888 below). Source: From two letters to Rosalind Paget, Wellcome album GC/236/B27/2 Embley, Romsey, Hampshire (this week) after this week 10 South St. Park Lane, W. 19 August 1891 I am going to ask your kind help, if I may. I find that county councils are on the track of having ‘‘domestic sanitation’’ lectures, that is, getting lectures delivered in the villages to women and girls on how to keep clean the house, the clothes and the body. I have been asked by County Council A to mention anyone who, for a reasonable fee, would be likely to get up classes on ‘‘domestic sanitation’’ next winter, and would go round the villages, speaking to the people on the subject (I believe this is extensively done in the towns of the North, and sometimes is even self-supporting. A Miss Calder from Liverpool addressed the rural South Co. Council A. I am now pleading for and [have] persuaded them that women and girls should come in for their share of the teaching (technical). (And County Council A has actually voted a sum of money, and it is believed that ‘‘domestic sanitation’’ can be brought in under ‘‘technical instruction’’ by ‘‘technical instruction’’ committee.) You will know much more about this than I do. Hints...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781554581702
Related ISBN
9780889205208
MARC Record
OCLC
625268199
Pages
950
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-10
Language
English
Open Access
No
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