Notes on Nursing: What it Is, and What it is Not

D. Appleton
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The founder of the nursing profession discusses the image and the duties of the profession.
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Publisher
D. Appleton
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Published on
Dec 31, 1860
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Pages
140
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Language
English
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This content is DRM free.
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During the Civil War, this edition of Florence Nightingale’s classic volume on nutrition for the military was published by the Army of Virginia, but the book was also published in the North by order of the surgeon general. The introduction of nutrition into American military food prevented some losses from malnutrition and poor sanitation and could have saved more if Nightingales recommendations had been more widely implemented. Her book contains recipes to maintain health and to feed hospital patients suffering from scarlet fever, typhoid, dysentery, and many medical conditions. It was based on her experience with soldiers in the Crimean War. Her attention to food as being linked to particular ailments and conditions was not a completely new idea, but in the armies, doctors usually assumed that invalids could eat the same ration given to men in the field. A healthy soldier could barely chew the hardtack supplied to troops, so it was impossible for a man suffering from a jaw wound. Nightingale’s recipes took this distinction into account, and they were designed to include specific nutrients she had come to recognize as important during her earlier wartime experiences, emphasizing meat and milk (for protein) and whole grains, fruits, and vegetables (for carbohydrates). Thirty-five years later, essentially similar recommendations would emerge in the first U.S. Family Food Guide (1916). This edition of Directions for Cooking by Troups, in Camp and Hospital was reproduced by permission from the volume in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1812 by Isaiah Thomas, a Revolutionary War patriot and successful printer and publisher, the society is a research library documenting the lives of Americans from the colonial era through 1876. The society collects, preserves, and makes available as complete a record as possible of the printed materials from the early American experience. The cookbook collection comprises approximately 1,100 volumes. 
Volume 9: Florence Nightingale on Health in India is the first of two volumes reporting Nightingale’s forty years of work to improve public health in India. It begins with her work to establish the Royal Commission on the Sanitary State of the Army in India, for which she drafted questionnaires, analyzed returns, and did much of the final writing, going on to promote the implementation of its recommendations. In this volume a gradual shift of attention can be seen from the health of the army to that of the civilian population. Famine and epidemics were frequent and closely interrelated occurrences. To combat them, Nightingale recommended a comprehensive set of sanitary measures, and educational and legal reforms, to be overseen by a public health agency. Skilful in implementing the expertise, influence, and power of others, she worked with her impressive network of well-placed collaborators, having them send her information and meet with her back in London. The volume includes Nightingale’s work on the royal commission itself, related correspondence, numerous published pamphlets, articles and letters to the editor, and correspondence with her growing network of viceroys, governors of presidencies, and public health experts. Working with British collaborators, she began this work; over time Nightingale increased her contact with Indian nationals and promoted their work and associations.

Currently, Volumes 1 to 11 are available in e-book version by subscription or from university and college libraries through the following vendors: Canadian Electronic Library, Ebrary, MyiLibrary, and Netlibrary.

Social Change in India shows the shift of focus that occurred during Florence Nightingale’s more than forty years of work on public health in India. While the focus in the preceding volume, Health in India, was top-down reform, notably in the Royal Commission on the Sanitary State of the Army in India, this book documents concrete proposals for self-government, especially at the municipal level, and the encouragement of leading Indian nationals themselves. Famine and related epidemics continue to be issues, demonstrating the need for public works like irrigation and for greater self-help measures like “health missioners” and self-government.

The book includes sections on village and town sanitation, the condition and status of women, land tenure, rent reform, and education and political evolution toward self-rule. Nightingale’s publications on these subjects appeared increasingly in Indian journals.

Correspondence shows Nightingale continuing to work behind the scenes, pressing viceroys, governors, and Cabinet ministers to take up the cause of sanitary reform. Her collaboration with Lord Ripon, viceroy 1880-84, was crucial, for he was a great promoter of Indian self-government.

Social Change in India features much new material, including a substantial number of long-missing letters to Lady Dufferin, wife of the viceroy 1884-88, on the provision of medical care for women in India, health education, and the promotion of women doctors. Biographical sketches of major collaborators, a glossary of Indian terms, and a list of Indian place names are also provided.

Currently, Volumes 1 to 11 are available in e-book version by subscription or from university and college libraries through the following vendors: Canadian Electronic Library, Ebrary, MyiLibrary, and Netlibrary.

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