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Notes on Nursing What It Is, and What It Is Not   By: (1820-1920)

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First Page:

NOTES ON NURSING:

WHAT IT IS, AND WHAT IT IS NOT.

BY

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE.

LONDON: HARRISON, 59, PALL MALL, BOOKSELLER TO THE QUEEN.

[ The right of Translation is reserved. ]

PRINTED BY HARRISON AND SONS,

ST. MARTIN'S LANE, W.C.

PREFACE.

The following notes are by no means intended as a rule of thought by which nurses can teach themselves to nurse, still less as a manual to teach nurses to nurse. They are meant simply to give hints for thought to women who have personal charge of the health of others. Every woman, or at least almost every woman, in England has, at one time or another of her life, charge of the personal health of somebody, whether child or invalid, in other words, every woman is a nurse. Every day sanitary knowledge, or the knowledge of nursing, or in other words, of how to put the constitution in such a state as that it will have no disease, or that it can recover from disease, takes a higher place. It is recognized as the knowledge which every one ought to have distinct from medical knowledge, which only a profession can have.

If, then, every woman must, at some time or other of her life, become a nurse, i.e., have charge of somebody's health, how immense and how valuable would be the produce of her united experience if every woman would think how to nurse.

I do not pretend to teach her how, I ask her to teach herself, and for this purpose I venture to give her some hints.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

PAGES VENTILATION AND WARMING 8 HEALTH OF HOUSES 14 PETTY MANAGEMENT 20 NOISE 25 VARIETY 33 TAKING FOOD 36 WHAT FOOD? 39 BED AND BEDDING 45 LIGHT 47 CLEANLINESS OF ROOMS AND WALLS 49 PERSONAL CLEANLINESS 52 CHATTERING HOPES AND ADVICES 54 OBSERVATION OF THE SICK 59 CONCLUSION 71 APPENDIX 77

NOTES ON NURSING:

WHAT IT IS, AND WHAT IT IS NOT.

[Sidenote: Disease a reparative process.]

Shall we begin by taking it as a general principle that all disease, at some period or other of its course, is more or less a reparative process, not necessarily accompanied with suffering: an effort of nature to remedy a process of poisoning or of decay, which has taken place weeks, months, sometimes years beforehand, unnoticed, the termination of the disease being then, while the antecedent process was going on, determined?

If we accept this as a general principle we shall be immediately met with anecdotes and instances to prove the contrary. Just so if we were to take, as a principle all the climates of the earth are meant to be made habitable for man, by the efforts of man the objection would be immediately raised, Will the top of Mont Blanc ever be made habitable? Our answer would be, it will be many thousands of years before we have reached the bottom of Mont Blanc in making the earth healthy. Wait till we have reached the bottom before we discuss the top.

[Sidenote: Of the sufferings of disease, disease not always the cause.]

In watching disease, both in private houses and in public hospitals, the thing which strikes the experienced observer most forcibly is this, that the symptoms or the sufferings generally considered to be inevitable and incident to the disease are very often not symptoms of the disease at all, but of something quite different of the want of fresh air, or of light, or of warmth, or of quiet, or of cleanliness, or of punctuality and care in the administration of diet, of each or of all of these... Continue reading book >>




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