Source 2

An extract from the ‘Report upon the state of the hospitals of the British Army in the Crimea and Scutari’ (WO 33/1)


Besides the above hospital attendants, we have to notice the staff of nurses under the superintendence of Miss Nightingale. That lady arrived at Scutari on the 4th November, accompanied by thirty-eight nurses. These are employed to attend to such cases as the medical officers in charge, and the staff surgeons

of their divisions, concur in considering cases requiring such attendance. They are employed chiefly, according to Miss Nightingale’s evidence, among the wounded, the operation cases, and the severe medical cases. Their duties consist, in surgical cases, in washing, and preparing for the morning visits of the medical officer, such wounds as they are directed by that officer to treat in this way; to attend upon him in dressing the wounds; and to receive, and take to Miss Nightingale, his directions as to diet, drink, and medical comforts. In surgical cases, a corridor and two wards are generally assigned to four nurses. In medical cases, their duties consist in dressing bad sores, seeing that the food of the patients is properly cooked and properly administered, and that cleanliness, both of the wards and of the person, is attended to. We have reason to believe that the services of these hospital attendants have been extremely valuable.

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2. This report describes what happened in the hospital.

  • Think about the nurses you have seen when you have visited a hospital or the doctor. Write down a list of all the things you have seen the nurses do, and what kind of people they are
  • This source describes the work that Florence and her nurses did at the hospital at Scutari. Write a list of the jobs the nurses had to do, and the kind of person you think they would have needed to be to do them
  • What do you think are the differences between nurses in Florence Nightingale’s time and now?