The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) has designated 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse”. In celebration of the professionals who provide 90% of a patient’s contact with a health worker, a few facts about one of the world’s most famous nurses. British nurse Florence Nightingale (who lived in the late 1800s) accomplished the following:
• She wrote around 200 (!) books and papers during her nursing career.
• In 1860 she drew a revolutionary version of the pie-chart (called the Coxcomb diagram) showing infection rates of British soldiers and made the case for hospital disinfection, making her a pioneer in infographic presentation.
• She spoke 4 languages very well (English, French, German, and Italian) and knew the classical languages Latin and Greek.
• Campaigned the British government for laws to improve hospital sanitation (specifically running water), which dramatically decreased death rates due to infection.
• Her birthday, May 12, is celebrated as International Nurses Day.
• Her parents disapproved of her career choice.
(Sources: The Economist and Mental Floss magazines)