Celebrating International Year of the Nurse and Midwife at Oakland Care
Nurses are a vital part of our team at every Oakland Care Home. We recognise and value that all our employees play a part in the welfare of our residents and of each other. However, on 12 May each year, the day is dedicated to nurses in the UK to provide a specific opportunity to celebrate the profession and perhaps reflect on what it means to be a nurse.
2020 also marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale on 12 May 1820.
Florence Nightingale campaigned for healthcare improvements, especially on infection control. During the Crimean War, she had to create a functioning hospital, introduce hygienic practices, and find supplies to make it all possible – the supply chain, even in those days was a little haphazard. This may sound familiar during our current pandemic.
Project Nightingale is part of the UK government’s response to the pandemic. Seven hospitals for those with COVID-19 have been set up all named after Florence Nightingale. Like the new hospitals, Scutari (the name of the hospital in the Crimean War) was a pop-up field hospital and it’s a reminder about the need to improvise but also provide the best possible care you can under sometimes challenging circumstances.
Naming the hospitals after Florence Nightingale brings back the vision of “The Lady with the Lamp”. This was and is a symbol of safety, security and reassurance and reminds us all of the courage that nurses are demonstrating in all sectors and the fact that someone will be there for you.
In 1858 Florence became the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society and in1859, she published ‘Notes on Nursing’. This book has its place in the history of nursing as being written by the founder of modern nursing. You may or may not be surprised to know that the practices in that publication continue to this very day with modification only to equipment and modern processing techniques. By producing data in the form of pie charts (modern equivalent) and bar charts Florence provided evidence that daylight, nutrition, clean water, exercise, sanitation and cleanliness were necessary for good health. She also evidenced the need for nurses washing their hands regularly and beds on wards being a distance apart to minimise the risk of cross infection. None of this has changed which just proves we should be listening to the science.
In addition, Florence talked with her patients about their experiences in Scutari hospital and with the nurses who looked after them. This enabled her to understand why situations such as infections happened and how practice could be changed. Today this would be part of our Clinical Governance meetings.
In 1860, Florence oversaw the first school of nursing at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. She provided mentorship to some of the great leaders who trained there, providing support and direction for their careers. She changed nursing from the stereotype of being a disreputable occupation to that of a vocation which later became a profession.
In May last year the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed that 2020 would be a year dedicated to nurses and midwives, providing a “once in a generation opportunity” to showcase the professions. It chose the theme to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. Due to the current pandemic, many exhibitions devoted to this are on hold but in the meantime the exhibitions have been made available online.
Celebrate with us
Oakland Care are proud to be supporting the Royal College of Nursing’s campaign in saying thank you to nursing staff everywhere for the remarkable contribution they make to the lives of millions of people.
At 20:30 hrs on Tuesday 12 May 2020, the UK has been asked to shine a light in the UK and across the world as a gesture of gratitude to “The Lady with the Lamp” and all the nurses who have followed her.
Please join in these celebrations and perhaps think about how a nurse may have played a part in the lives of you or your families and friends. If you are a nurse – Thank you for all you do and for all you do.