Nurses have never had it easy. Never. Throughout history they have been underappreciated, and overlooked, faced difficult patients, suffered terrible working conditions, and endured discrimination of all types. Not until the Crimean War and Florence Nightingale's famous appearance on the scene did people even consider the possibility of hospital conditions having an effect on disease transmission. It is hard to imagine now the sort of awful experience she faced.
During the Crimean War, nurses were like children: to be seen and not heard. Even the uneducated male medics gave them marching orders. These army nurses were not respected of in society, and their job description was nothing short of frightening. Imagine assisting in operations in the days before anesthesia and cleaning up after all manner of filth with the same towels you swabbed a patient's forehead with the day before?
As you can guess, Florence Nightingale watched sadly as men died by the thousands. She had her own notions about disease prevention, however, and she could not remain silent on the improving sanitation.
The irony surrounding Florence Nightingale was galling. As a woman, she had no respected voice, yet Queen Victoria-a woman, obviously-had no qualms about asking her to help establish the Royal Commission on the Health of the Army. Of course, even with Queen Victoria's evident esteem, as a woman Florence Nightingale could not actually be ON the Commission. The Commission had no hesitation, however, accepting her 1000 page report detailing statistics and reports.
Modern doctors and nurses have her to thank for at least getting the world on a path towards more sanitary conditions. Later advances, among them antiseptics and rubber gloves, gave nurses even more reliable weapons in the war against diseases. Today, microflex diamond grip gloves give nurses, lab technicians, and other health care employees the best barrier protection in history
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Steve Collins is a Journalist based in Encino, CA. As a medical historian, he knows a lot about Microflex Gloves. Read his articles on the history of Microflex Gloves
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