Well technology failed us and our two attempts to record a brief podcast episode were lost somewhere in The Cloud. Maybe future historians will find that data, and somehow piece together a picture of the ridiculous dystopia where up is down and stupid is the new clever.
Today, the 12th of May is International Nurses’ Day and we couldn’t let it pass without comment. Come to think of it, I can’t think of anything we let pass without comment…
This year’s marking of International Nurses’ Day is all the more poignant; it’s the bicentenary of the birth of the world’s most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale, and we’re smack bang in the middle of the International Year of the Nurse & Midwife, right smack bang in the middle of a global health emergency. Never before has the role of nursing had such a high profile, never before has there been a greater need for nurses of all kinds.
Stuart and I have both reflected on the image of nursing and the legacy of Nightingale; she is held up as the ultimate “angel”, the Lady with the Lamp tending to the desperately wounded soldiers with compassion. But her primary legacy, at least as far as we can see, was as a statistician and a social reformer.
Nightingale used statistics, data, evidence to argue for better care, better facilities and higher standards. She lobbied hard for social reform and improvements to public health, challenging politicians at a time when women were not even permitted to vote.
It’s as a political activist and evidence-based practitioner that she should be held as a role model for the modern nurse.
Because we don’t need angels right now.
We need bold nurses who will demand better care, better facilities and higher standards, from the top of government right down to the wards, community, care homes and primary care.
Enjoy your day. Then go out and kick some backsides into gear!