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Nursing-A Divine Profession

Malavika Vinod Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Nursing-A Divine Profession

“Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter’s or sculptor’s work.”

This deep-from-the-heart quote was said by the famous nurse, Florence Nightingale. She had inspired millions of young women who desired to care for the sick but were held back by their families’ refusals. Her birth anniversary, on May 12th, is celebrated as International Nurses Day, as Florence is known as the founder of modern nursing.

Florence, as a young girl used to visit the village near her family’s huge estate and help the sick and poor living there. She said that she felt a calling from God towards caring others and felt guilty when she tried to ignore it. She derived joy from her activities and by the time she was 16, she had decided that nursing was her divine purpose.

But back in her time, nursing was looked down upon and considered a disgraceful profession. Despite her family’s discouragement, especially her mother’s and her sister’s, Florence remained determined to reach her goal. Although she hated to do so, she stayed away from her family because she couldn’t concentrate. Nightingale went to the Institute of Deaconesses in Kaiserswerth, Germany, to pursue nursing. Back then, nurses learned by experience and distributed medicines, cared for the sick, and assisted other nurses.

Florence made many contributions including one during the Crimean War which was the most famous. She along with many other nurses gathered and made it their goal to help the horribly wounded soldiers suffering in Scutari. They arrived in Selimiye Barracks in Scutari early in November 1854. They were shocked to see that the health conditions were very bad due to limited supplies and the patients were fed half-cooked meat which made them all the more worse. The rooms were dark with the worst maintenance they had ever seen. So, Nightingale and her team set to work making the hospital better. They worked hard every day and night and Sidney Herbert, Nightingale’s friend helped her by sending the needed supplies to feed the tired soldiers. The rooms were lighted brightly, which increased and brightened the mood of the patients. She worked tirelessly to heal her patients, satisfied when they got better under her care. At night, Florence used to walk through the passages, checking on the men, with a lamp in her hand. The men nicknamed her as ‘The Lady with the Lamp’ as she walked through the hospital in the dark. The phrase was more popularized when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow mentioned it in his poem Santo Filomena.

Lo! in that house of misery

A lady with a lamp I see

Pass through the glimmering gloom,

And flit from room to room.

Florence continued to care and cure many more souls and started a nursing school of her own and wrote many notes on nursing and proper sanitization.

This is just one story of just one nurse among millions and billions more. After Florence showed the world what nursing really meant, people started to realize that it helped save thousands of lives and started to encourage young people who wanted to be nurses.

I have an aunty who is a nurse. Her name is Mrs. Neena Sadiq and she is a specialist in the kid’s section. During the lockdown and Covid time, I remember the stories of how she had to go to duty every day and night amid those severe conditions. She took risks, lots of risks and despite having a family, she also strived to help other people and try to cure them. She knew that there were lots of chances that she might get infected with the virus herself but she never stopped and didn’t ever think of giving up. Hats off to you aunty!

That is what we have to admire about nurses. They chose to help us, when they had other options to enjoy life. So, let us respect them for that and give them the honour they deserve. Happy International Nurses Day to all!

Malavika Vinod
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Intekhab Alam
Friday, May 20, 2022
Nursing is indeed a divine profession as they serve the people with severe illness and to the extent of helping the people who are nearing the end of life. The Nurses help the patient to recover and shape up as the earliest and return back to normal life. Nurses are such a boon in a patient''s life as a silver lining to dark clouds.
Salute to the nurse profession.

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