I’m a fan of history. I think it stems back to my childhood penchant for stories. History is after all someone’s side of a story, and while there is debate in many circles regarding the accuracy of these stories, where would we be without them? The story of nursing is not just an interesting one, it’s a long one, and one that developed alongside the story of mankind. When one is able to look at the start of something and examine its timeline, it exposes a trajectory of changes and interesting facts, and in the end one’s understanding of the subject matter is made better.
Nursing only became a secular profession during the 20th century. Its existence however spans well into ancient history and is something directly related to the process of wet-nursing. Put quite plainly, wet-nursing is a process whereby another woman lets a new-born child suckle on her breasts. While many religions can be credited for their contributions towards nursing, Buddhism deserves mentioning and in particular, the Buddhist Indian ruler, Ashoka, who in ancient times put forward a framework for the erection of hospitals. I doubt these structures were known as hospitals back then but they were templates for the future. These structures were erected along travel routes and were equipped with mineral and vegetable drugs, and the administration of such natural drugs required a physician. The first recorded Christian nurse was a deaconess named Phoebe who was sent by St Paul to Rome as a visiting nurse.
In those days Priests were also physicians, and once Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, the practice of providing care was expanded, which brought about hospitals, housing for doctors and nurses, and a system of buildings for patients. These patient buildings worked on an admittance system that looked at things like class, stature, status, standing within the community, etc. Catholic women were instrumental in health and healing in both medieval and modern Europe, and to be a nun was seen as nothing short of prestigious. A system of funding from wealthy families and donors created the conditions for women to be nuns, and care for the poor. At this point, science played no role. Islam’s rise in the 7th century ensured numerous advances that later became influential in Europe.
A key contributor to the modern nurse was Florence Nightingale, who laid the modern foundation back in the 1800s, which saw a series of systematic changes occur, resulting in New Zealand becoming the first country to regulate nursing in 1901. World War 1 provided a small role for women in nursing, but a significant one none the less. However, World War 2 transformed the profession, making it highly attractive and one used to promote the initiatives of the war.
Today, nursing benefits from professional programs, colleges and various organisations geared towards the upliftment, empowering and advancement of the occupation. The nursing profession now extends to private practices, public hospitals and nursing homes, allowing those in it to choose where they’d like to work. The size and extent of the nursing industry has grown so much that the nurse’s role in pop culture cannot be denied. There are films about nurses, board games about nurses and even dare I say casino games about nurses at AllSlots Online Casino .The nurse’s integration into society is a well-observed fact.
Why Should We Celebrate Nursing?
Since 1965, International Nurses Day has been celebrated by the ICN (International Council of Nurses). The date, the 12th of May, is the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the most influential nurse in modern history, and a person whose contribution to the profession changed it forever.
Nurses are essential cogs in the health machine. Most people will at some point be committed into a hospital or have to see a nurse. With the exception of going to see a general practitioner, the nurse is your first line of defence. It’s the nurse who will fill out the paper work while checking you into the hospital. It is the nurse who will prep you before you go into the operating room. It is the nurse who will bring your meal, help you wash and look in on you in the middle of the night. Put another way, without nurses, the medical profession will simply fail to function. The doctor might be the one diagnosing the condition and conducting the operation, but he’d be nowhere without the assistance of the girls in white.
And let’s not forget the stress that comes with the job! Long hours and tough patient situations are all part and parcel of another day in the life of a nurse. For this reason, and many others, it’s not just a case of saying thank you and honouring these incredible people; it’s a case of doing something that’s quite imperative.
How to Celebrate Nurses Day
This is something that’s very personal. Remember that International Nurses day is about lauding the endless contributions these health warriors have made to society. With this in mind, think of a special nurse who helped you and what you could give that person to show your appreciation. As it is a gesture, it doesn’t have to be expensive, it’s more about the fact that you’re going to make a special person’s day special. A box of chocolates, a bunch of flowers or a bottle of wine are just some of the things you might want to consider. Some people who have spent a fair amount of time in hospital might treat the staff to cake or pizza. At the end of the day, it’s about acknowledgement; the mere fact that they know you’re grateful for their services is a reward unto itself.