Nurses, like many other medical professionals, have worked long and hard this year. Some have given their lives to nurse others.
Though women have played a major role in births, holistic knowledge and caring of the dying, no formal training was offered until the mid 1900s.
Women were conscripted in the Revolutionary War to maintain cleaning and feeding and care of wounded soldiers. The women aquired medical knowledge by observation and hands on learning.
Formal nurse training was established by Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to graduate from medical school. Florence Nightingale established formal training for nurses during the Civil War. Nursing attracted volunteers such as Walt Wittmen, who nursed his younger brother and others in Washington hospitals. Part of his work was to write to families of the wounded on their behalf. His poem, “The Wound Dresser”, addresses the nursing of wounded and dying patients.
Here is a link to the poem.
From handed down knowledge to the highly trained nurses of today, they are a work force of 3.5 million. They deserve our gratitude.
A Nurse’s soft touch
Needed to start the healing
of body and spirit