Florence Nightingale to the Rescue at Barrack Hospital, and in My Collage for LMAC #108

in Let's Make a Collage4 months ago (edited)

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I like to think I choose my heroes judiciously. There aren't that many, but one of them is definitely Florence Nightingale. As we listen to news reports today about hospitals all over the world strained to the limits by the surge in COVID cases, I think of Florence Nightingale. Few people realize the great role she played in making hospitals places that heal, instead of places that kill.

When I saw @shaka's picture this week, Barrack Hospital in the Bosporus came to mind. This is where Florence Nightingale risked her life to save others.

The Template Image by @shaka
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Look at the picture of Barrack Hospital (below) and see for yourself the similarity to @shaka's photo.

Barrack Hospital, Istanbul Bosphorus
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Image credit: Rodrigo.Argenton Talk Contribs Wikimedia Commons. Used under CC 3.0 License

I'll talk more about my collage later, but it should be said right away that Florence Nightingale did not wear a white nurse uniform. There was no such thing. There was no true profession of nursing before this remarkable woman set standards for the profession.

Florence Nightingale Trailblazes Hospital Care, Treatment of Wounded Soldiers, and Professional Nursing

Florence Nightingale and Nurses at St. Thomas Hospital

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Image credit: FormerBBC. Used under CC 4.0 license.

Florence Nightingale became a national hero in England when she traveled to the Bosporus to save soldiers' lives during the Crimean War (1853-1856). In the first so-called 'modern war' (because of the massive, efficient weaponry used), soldiers were dying more often from illness than from wounds. They were dying in great numbers from diseases such as typhoid, cholera, typhus and dysentery.

Florence Nightingale Receiving Soldiers at Barrack Hospital


Jerry Barrett. Public domain

Florence Nightingale put an end to the rampant spread of disease by using soap, good nutrition and open windows. As was true of many in the medical profession at the time, she believed in the 'miasma theory'--that bad air was the cause of disease. She did not know anything about germ theory. Her contemporaries in the 19th century were still working out the process by which disease was spread.

Among the names we would recognize as those who made breakthroughs in the understanding of microorganisms (germs!) are Pasteur, Lister and Koch. Though Florence Nightingale did not have the benefit of their discoveries when she was at Barrack Hospital, she did believe that illness was spread by filth and poor ventilation. When Florence arrived at Barrack Hospital the mortality rate was 40%. When she left, it was 2%.

Battle of Sinop,1853
Image credit: Ivan Ayvososky. Public domain

Upon her return to England, Florence Nightingale was lauded by the country and Queen Victoria. Granted a large monetary award, Nightingale took the money and founded the first professional nursing school (in the world) at St. Thomas Hospital.

While at Barrack Hospital, she had become very ill, it is believed with brucellosis, which was known as Crimean fever at the time. After her return from the Bosporus, Nightingale lived essentially as an invalid. This however, did not prevent her from contributing to the advancement of health in England, and throughout the world. Soon her nursing standards were adopted by other countries and nursing became a respected profession internationally.

Mortality Chart, Showing Causes of Death Among Soldiers
Image Credit: Florence Nightingale. Public domain

Because Florence Nightingale was a statistician, she was able to support her theories with data. She showed how improvements in quality of care yielded improvements in outcomes. She pushed through reforms in military and civilian hospitals. She did advisory work on architecture in Portuguese, Canadian, Welch and U. S. hospitals. Her modifications included consideration of light, ventilation, color, space, diet and cleanlinesss.

By 1882 Florence Nightingale had accepted the fact that disease was spread by 'germs'. A telling quote from her writings that year (excerpt from The Florence Nightingale Museum): always have chlorinated soda for nurses to wash their hands, especially after dressing or handling a suspicious case. It may destroy germs at the expense of the cuticle, but if it takes off the cuticle, it must be bad for the germs.

When people think of Florence Nightingale today, they usually think of a soft, kind, gentle woman. She was kind and gentle, with patients. But there was nothing soft about her. She was brilliant and hard as nails in her devotion to one cause: improving healthcare for everyone, and saving lives.

My Collage


I needed a nurse. There was no picture available in LIL and I didn't have one. So I turned to a program that had been suggested to me by @quantumg called Make Human. Here's what I started with.

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From there I (laboriously) gave (drew) the figure a face, a dress and a hat. Eventually I added shoes (not shown above), which were available on LIL (I had contributed them some time ago).

Once I had my nurse, I needed a cannon. Thank you @lunaturqueza, and a very large ship. Thank you @seckorama.

I had to modify the building in shaka's template, position the elements, and create the illusion of smoke and fire. I used Paint, Make Human, Paint3D, Gimp, and at an intermediate stage, a filter from Lunapic. The frames for the GIF were made with GIMP.

I hope you liked my little excursion into history. Introducing people to Florence Nightingale is always a pleasure.

About LIL and LMAC

LMAC is a collage contest, but I never compete. Each week I try my hand at being creative and I try to write an interesting blog. This is great fun and an opportunity for personal and intellectual growth. We are a welcoming community. Join us. Rules for participation may be found here.

LIL is an offshoot of LMAC, but is not exclusive to the collage community. The LIL image gallery is open to anyone who blogs on Hive. And, anyone who blogs on Hive may contribute to the gallery. Procedures for contributing and borrowing may be found here. LIL is growing. Next week there will be a nurse image available for borrowing.

Thank you, @shaka for giving me the opportunity to have yet another blogging/art adventure. Thank you LMAC community for fostering a dynamic creative network. And thank you, readers of this blog, for following me to the end of my essay.

Health and peace to all.

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A lovely collage bringing a wonderful message about one of your heroines. Nice to see Florence Nightingale, her devotion to wounded soldiers and contributions to health care honoured in your collage A.G. @agmoore.

Great job on putting together a nurse for your collage.

I hope you are having a fantastic week and not too much snow and cold weather. 💛

Hello my dear friend @redheadpei,

Thank you for that kind assessment of my collage. It is always a pleasure to write about someone we admire. I imagine her like that, standing in front of a military hospital, in a war zone, bravely treating the ill and wounded. Quite an image.

My nurse looks OK from a distance 😅.

Thank you for your good wishes. I hope the winter gives you a break from the snow.

Be well, my friend (and thank you for your generosity).

This blog is a very nice testimony to Florence Nightingale. Her achievements are indeed amazing. I knew the big lines, but once again I have never taken the time to dig into the details. Thank you therefore for this contribution.

On the more personal side, I find it a pity that she is not as known as other great names that you mentioned in your blog. This is up to us to try to make this changing.

Thank you, @lemouth for visiting and for those kind words. What an amazing woman for her time, or for any time. Born to privilege, she put that all aside and devoted herself to serving others. Insisted upon learning about math and science, when these were not considered appropriate for a young woman. It's a pleasure to introduce her to people. Many accomplishments I did not mention here.

It's always a great pleasure to have you visit my blog. Thank you!

Not only morally outstanding but also progressive and open to entertaining new theories. And this blog is also one more testimony about how math helps at everything, cos I think it wasn't only useful in proving her ideas to others but it must've played some role in convincing her herself that this wasn't just a fluke and she wasn't making spurious correlations.

Hello my friend, nice to see you here. Yes, she was a trailblazer. Amazingly courageous and determined from an early age. Home schooled (rich kids were then in her society) but insisted on those math lessons. She insisted on going to France and Germany to learn nursing, when her family resisted the idea. You are correct: just a remarkable woman (person).

Thank you very much for coming by and appreciating my blog. Hope you are well and doing what you enjoy in life.

What better could you ask for?
A great staged photo collage and free history lesson in one, wonderful!
Thanks for this and kind regards, from an admirer of your art! 😎

Hello my friend @muelli,
I am so happy to see you here and to know that my simple collage meets your approval. Art...I can't achieve that, but a collage that tells a story... I can try for that.

I'm glad you like my excursion into history. It's nice to have people we can admire.

Be well. I hope your home is free of that virus now.


La historia de Florence Nightingale es, sin duda, una gran historia, porque es un gran personaje. Admiro, sobre todo, el hecho de haber puesto su fe y acción en la profesionalización del personal de salud en una época, además, en la que hacer obras de tal magnitud debía ser muy difícil para una mujer.
Me gustó mucho tu representación de ella usando Make Human. El traje de enfermera contrasta muy bien con la textura de la piel. Y me pareció muy eficiente la transformación del hotel en hospital.
Un maravilloso post, educativo y muy interesante.
Un abrazote, querida @agmoore.

Hola, mi amiga @adncabrera.

Si, un gran personaje. You are correct, she defied stereotypes about women. She had a sense of mission from an early age and would not be deterred. Thank you for liking my Make Human nurse. I still can't manipulate the program well (as you can) but enjoyed having the flexibility of creating my own person.

Thank you so much for your kind words and for visiting my blog. I love history. I love science. I love making collages. All of it came together here.

Warm regards,

Hello friend, what an honor you do in your collage to this great heroine and nursing professional, with great human quality to care for and save the sick, with great advanced knowledge at the time in the area of ​​medicine. excellent historical collage that despite the war this woman saved many sick soldiers.

Thank you for reading my blog and appreciating the remarkable life of Florence Nightingale. I've read a lot about here and she truly is one of those people who does not disappoint. She was kind to animals and people alike. Led a worthy life.

I hope you are well and also your family.

Thanks for your contribution to the STEMsocial community. Feel free to join us on discord to get to know the rest of us!

Please consider delegating to the @stemsocial account (85% of the curation rewards are returned).

Thanks for including @stemsocial as a beneficiary, which gives you stronger support. 

Thank you @stemsocial. I am very grateful!

Thank you for using my LIL image for the collage. Wish you luck in the contest! 😎 👏

Thank you @seckorama for visiting my blog and for your good wishes. I don't compete in the contest because I'm on the jury and that would be a conflict of interest. However, I am addicted to collage making :)

More than a year ago I saw a collage of yours where you wrote about Florence Nightingale. I remember the review you did of her.
Today, you return to her, to draw people's attention to those who leave their mark by their noble deeds.
It has been a great pleasure to read you!

Hi @marcybetancourt, I don't remember that. I have written about her often, so I can see that might happen. I even wrote and self-published a small book for elementary/middle school children about her. I'll have to look up my old post. Thank you for your very kind words. It was hard to be as strong woman when she was one. Amazing person.

Thank you for visiting my blog, @marcybetancourt. I really appreciate it.

You made a wonderful publication to write about her and the importance of nurses.

I think you have done a very wise thing with your collage because it is very important for new artists to know her job.

It's an honor to read you. I learn a lot.