Sunday, February 1, 2009

Why florencelives?

Why florencelives?

Working in health care today is: Exhilarating, exhausting, disturbing, confusing, and incredibly meaningful. What better place to try to make some sense of it and let off some steam than a blog?

And--it's way cheaper than therapy!

As health care lurches towards an uncertain future, it helps to have touchstones from the past. I've found them in a couple of florences.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a lady with a lamp. . .Florence Nightingale. She's been credited with founding "modern nursing," was an advocate for social change, sanitation, health care for the poor--and a statistician to boot. OK, so maybe she was an upper-class chick with plenty of family connections who was rumored to have died of syphilis (unfounded) and was far from the saint she has been portrayed to be. But you've got to admit this sister was no slouch!

Not so long ago, right here across the pond, another nurse, the late, great Florence Wald built her vision for the hospice movement. She had an unwavering commitment to social justice--providing care for those most vulnerable (she fought for prisoners to have access to hospice care). She was a scholar, a humanist, and a mover and shaker for what she believed in. Hot diggity! If that's not setting a great example, I truly don't know what is.


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