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Dinner with Florence Nightingale

There are so many people who made a huge difference in history, and there are so many people that I would absolutely love to have dinner with. During this Thirty Things About Me Challenge though, I decided to only pick one person.

If I was able to have dinner with anyone in history I would want to eat dinner with Florence Nightingale.

For those of you who don’t know who she is, she is the pioneer woman of modern nursing. She was born into an upper-class family and when she announced that she wanted to be a nurse during the Crimean war her family was not pleased. During that time nursing was not thought of something that upper-class individuals even considered.

I am not sure that I would even eat because I would have so many questions to ask her.

I would want to ask her what it was like to grow up in her time. I know what the history books say but wouldn’t it be nice to have a first hand account of what it was like to grow up in the 1800s? How her parents reacted when she told them she wanted to be a nurse? How people viewed nurses during that time?

Then I would want to know why she wanted to be a nurse. I am sure that she has the same response as most nurses, to help people, but she grew up in an upper-class family and during that time it was unheard of. I would want to know what compelled her to leave her high class lifestyle to treat soldiers in deplorable conditions.

I want to know what it was like to be a nurse in those days. I know that she changed so many things during her time as a nurse and thankfully I haven’t had deal with those conditions. I want to know how she was able to treat soldiers.

Along with knowing what it was like to be a nurse in those days, I would want to know why she thought she could change the conditions. Do you know how many nurses dream of changing their work conditions and can’t? I understand that our conditions are nothing compared to what she had to deal with, but still, I want to know how she did it and why she thought she could.

I would also be curious to know if the illnesses she contracted later in life were because of her work in nursing. Today we know how to prevent illnesses. I know that not too long ago gloves were not used as a standard, they were only used when people were known to have disease. I am curious to know if anyone she took care of could have transmitted the diseases.

Lastly, I would want to know how nursing today is different than in her time. I know there are major changes. I mean there was a time when nurses couldn’t drink alcohol, smoke, or get her hair done at a beauty parlor. They also had to take care of 50 patients at a time, sweep the floors, and bring in coal. There are many other things that nurses had to do in the past that they don’t have to do today. I am not talking about those things. I am curious to know about the things that we don’t know about. How were things regulated, or were they regulated? What about if a nurse made a mistake, or did that ever happen? Along with anything else that has changed.

When someone has changed your profession for the better you always have questions. I can’t imagine what nursing would be like without her changes. You can read more about Florence Nightingale and her contributions to nursing here.

If you could have dinner with anyone who would it be? Would you have any questions for someone who has changed your profession?

Check out what else I have written about for the Thirty Things About Me Challenge.

Thanks for reading, Cassie

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