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Thursday 6 August 2015

Just Call Me Florence

Our daughter, Claire, decided on nursing as a career after exposure to nursing during a co-op education course in high school. It was a good fit for someone who embraced technology and enjoyed working with people.

It is fitting then that we have a Florence in the family, based on Florence Nightingale, the nurse in the Crimean War who was the mother of modern nursing. It is my nickname, given to me by my husband, Rick. I received this name for my skill at bandaging a burn. Rick had a burn on his wrist and wanted the blister wrapped to protect it. He started to wrap it but needed assistance. While cutting the tape, I put the scissors through the bandage into the blister, breaking it. Hence the name Florence came into common use in our home with respect to my nursing skills.

It was common to hear, "Don't let Florence at it," if anyone required bandages at our house. Claire knew my bandage history and also used the name on occasion. This went on for years and was a family joke which we all enjoyed.

When Claire was in a first year nursing class about the history of nursing, she was shocked when the instructor mentioned Florence Nightingale, and her contribution to modern nursing. Claire almost fell off her seat when she made the connection to my nickname and the Florence reference. She had not understood why Rick called me Florence though I swear we told her about it when she was young. That day, it finally had meaning for her.

Years later, when Claire and her husband, Ben lived in London, on one of our visits there, we went to the Florence Nightingale Museum. We saw the history of modern nursing, artifacts and a summary of the life and work of the woman who was my nickname source. 

I am proud to be a part of the Nightingale legacy.

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