This patient safety blog is named for Florence Nightingale because I wanted it to reflect the kind of advocacy Nightingale did, advancing health and healthcare with a keen eye on the realities front line clinicians face. I hope you'll enjoy this week-long tribute to how you, the descendants of Florence, continue to make patients safe.
Florence Nightingale is often associated with the post-World War II "nurse-as-doctor's-helper" figure that populated novels, TV shows, and ads as baby boomers and Gen-Xers grew up. But this image was more about how women in that era were seen than about nursing, Nightingale-style.
I often use this picture when I speak, noting that nurses used to kneel down, pledging our intention to do good, right, and just things in our professional capacity. Most people laugh, readily identifying the most obvious things that have changed: that apron, that cap; that position, that hairstyle, and the fact that they're both women.
But while a deeply felt desire to "do right" by patients remains a stronghold of nursing, it's worth noting that pledges are now supported by emerging practices and norms, offering increasingly reliable ways for caring people to turn good intentions into desired outcomes.
I hope you'll visit every day in the coming week, find the tributes and take-aways helpful, then subscribe to Florence dot com. To appeal to your senses, here's what Flo & Bo have in store:
Thursday, 5/7: Can you hear me? Can you hear me now?
Friday, 5/8: Do you see what I see?
Saturday, 5/9: Something smells good
Sunday, 5/10: A touching tribute
Monday, 5/11: While it's sometimes tempting to eat the young, here's a better recipe
Tuesday, 5/12: Happy Birthday, Miss Nightingale!
Feel free to use the comment section. It's your party!