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Florence Nightingale and Hospital Reform

Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, Volume 16

Lynn McDonald, editor

Collected Works of Florence Nightingale Series

 

Order online and receive a 25% discount

$150.00 Hardcover, 992 pp.

ISBN13: 978-0-88920-471-3

Release Date: December 2012

 

   

Florence Nightingale began working on hospital reform even before she founded her famous school of nursing; hospitals were dangerous places for nurses as well as patients, and they urgently needed fundamental reform. She continued to work on safer hospital design, location, and materials to the end of her working life, advising on plans for children’s, general, military, and convalescent hospitals and workhouse infirmaries.

Florence Nightingale and Hospital Reform, the final volume in the Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, includes her influential Notes on Hospitals, with its much-quoted musing on the need of a Hippocratic oath for hospitals—namely, that first they should do the sick no harm. Nightingale’s anonymous articles on hospital design are printed here also, as are later encyclopedia entries on hospitals.

Correspondence with architects, engineers, doctors, philanthropists, local notables, and politicians is included. The results of these letters, some with detailed critiques of hospital plans, can be seen initially in the great British examples of the new “pavilion” design—at St. Thomas’, London (a civil hospital), at the Herbert Hospital (military), and later at many hospitals throughout the UK and internationally. Nightingale’s insistence on keeping good statistics to track rates of mortality and hospital stays, and on using them to compare hospitals, can be seen as good advice for today, given the new versions of “hospital-acquired infections” she combatted.

Lynn McDonald, director of the Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, is university professor emerita at the University of Guelph. She is a former member of parliament, a former president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, and a long-time activist on women’s issues. She has an honorary doctorate from York University. An active environmentalist, McDonald works on climate change with JustEarth: A Coalition for Environmental Justice and serves on the board of directors of Climate Action Network Canada.

Reviews

“This is not only an excellent volume but also a crowning edition for the sixteen-volume series. The volume on hospitals brings together many of Nightingale’s interests and clearly demonstrates her enormous impact on all aspects of hospital management.... The editor is to be congratulated on what can only be described as a magisterial piece of scholarship.”

— Christine Hallett, Director of the UK Centre for the History of Nursing and Midwifery

Florence Nightingale and Hospital Reform

Related interest

History

History of medicine

Women's studies

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Florence Nightingale on Women, Medicine, Midwifery and Prostitution: Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, Volume 8, Lynn McDonald, editor

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