Episode 15: Sisters of charity
How the nursing profession was transformed thanks to an enterprising Florence Nightingale.
How the nursing profession was transformed from the role of virtually a domestic servant thanks to an enterprising Florence Nightingale.
A major narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.
According to the Nursing Record, a typical nurse in the 1830s was like Sarah Gamp in Charles Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit - a domestic servant who was incompetent and rough with patients.
By the 1880s, a nurse was young, neat and uniformed and had been formally trained. How did this change come about? As Andrew reveals, an enterprising Florence Nightingale gave us a new kind of nurse - offering a vocation that girls 'of good character' increasingly were called to undertake.