Assignment: Negative Linear Relationship
Assignment: Negative Linear Relationship
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The Crimean Experience: “I Can Stand Out the War with Any Man” Nightingale’s opportunity for greatness came when she was offered the position of superintendent of the female nursing establishment of the English General Hospitals in Turkey by the secretary of war, Sir Sidney Herbert. Soon after the outbreak of the Crimean War, stories of the inadequate care and lack of medical resources for the soldiers became widely known throughout England (Woodham-Smith, 1951). The country was appalled at the conditions so vividly portrayed in the London Times. Pressure increased on Sir Sidney to react. He knew of one woman who was capable of bringing order out of the chaos and wrote a letter to Nightingale on October 15, 1854, as a plea for her service. Nightingale accepted the challenge and set sail with 38 self-proclaimed nurses with varied training and experiences, of whom 24 were Catholic and Anglican nuns. Their journey to the Crimea took a month, and on November 4, 1854, the brave nurses arrived at Istanbul and were taken to Scutari the same day. Faced with 3,000 to 4,000 wounded men in a hospital designed to accommodate 1,700, the nurses went to work (Kalisch & Kalisch, 1986). They found 4 miles of beds 18 inches apart. Most soldiers were lying naked with no bedding or blanket. There were no kitchen or laundry facilities. The little light present took the form of candles in beer bottles. The hospital was literally floating on an open sewage lagoon filled with rats and other vermin (Donahue, 1985).
By taking the newly arrived medical equipment and setting up kitchens, laundries,
recreation rooms, reading rooms, and a canteen, Nightingale and her team of nurses proceeded to clean the barracks of lice and filth. Nightingale was in her element. She set out not only to provide humane health care for the soldiers but also to essentially overhaul the administrative structure of the military health services (Williams, 1961).
Florence Nightingale and Sanitation Although Nightingale never accepted the germ theory, she demanded clean dressings; clean bedding; well-cooked, edible, and appealing food; proper sanitation; and fresh air. After the other nurses were asleep, Nightingale made her famous solitary rounds with a lamp or lantern to check on the soldiers. Nightingale had a lifelong pattern of sleeping few hours, spending many nights writing, developing elaborate plans, and evaluating implemented changes. She seldom believed in the “hopeless” soldier, only one who needed extra attention. Nightingale was convinced that most of the maladies that the soldiers suffered and died from were preventable (Williams, 1961).
Before Nightingale’s arrival and her radical and well-documented interventions based on sound public health principles, the mortality rate from the Crimean War was estimated to be from 42% to 73%. Nightingale is credited with reducing that rate to 2% within 6 months of her arrival at Scutari. She did this through careful, scientific epidemiologic research (Dietz & Lehozky, 1963). Upon arriving at Scutari, Nightingale’s first act was to order 200 scrubbing brushes. The death rate fell dramatically once Nightingale discovered that the hospital was built literally over an open sewage lagoon (Andrews, 2003).
According to Palmer (1982), Nightingale possessed the qualities of a good researcher: insatiable curiosity, command of her subject, familiarity with methods of inquiry, a good background of statistics, and the ability to discriminate and abstract. She used these skills to maintain detailed and copious notes and to codify observations. Nightingale relied on statistics and attention to detail to back up her conclusions about sanitation, management of care, and disease causation. Her now- famous “cox combs” are a hallmark of military health services management by which she diagrammed deaths in the army from wounds and from other diseases and compared them with deaths that occurred in similar populations in England (Palmer, 1977).
Nightingale was first and foremost an administrator: She believed in a hierarchical administrative structure with ultimate control lodged in one person to whom all subordinates and offices reported. Within a matter of weeks of her arrival in the Crimea, Nightingale was the acknowledged administrator and organizer of a mammoth