CHAPTER 09: A RECRUITMENT LETTER FROM FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE

December 1838 Liverpool infirmary. This is a recruitment letter.

Dear Dr Mary Frankenstein:  It is midnight and my second shift has just finished. I have not slept in 24 hours.
It seems more nurses like the doctors are becoming sick and missing their turns these days. I do not Know why I haven’t gotten the sickness as it would seem everyone is getting sick. The Nursing staff of The Liverpool infirmary send greetings and anxiously await your response.

Liverpool is located in the south of England.  It is isolated and still thousands of people are flocking into town looking for housing and medical care only to meet this epidemic head on, one that seems intentional, but I do not know who to blame.

Our facility has slipped since my sponsor last wrote you and the conditions require much more hygienic scrubbing, but they’re not deplorable just yet.

I have been chosen to be your assistant, but with death knocking on the door every day, I cannot guarantee you even I will be here when you arrive, but some onewill. Enclosed are photographs.

Our blessed nuns seem impervious to the epidemic. Someone has to win this war against darkness.  We have both Jewish Nuns and Christian nuns working for us. If only God smiled down on the people of liverpool more, I might pray more and listen more to their talk of God.  However the nuns tell me this epidemic has nothing to do with God. That makes me feel better and seeing them every day gives me the strength I need to continue working.

I am only 18 years old, but I have been studying medicine on my own since I learned to read as a young girl and as books were made available. I also train the young girls auxiliary.  I hear you are a quite gifted and intelligent surgeon. I hope to attend University one day.

Dr. Dolittle tells me you do not want to be a nurse?  You may get your chance as a doctor the way things are going but I cannot promise you anything other than the possibility of suffering and even death for your troubles.

I am trying to raise more funds to improve the hospital’s resources and we need all the help I can get. There are so many things we need here at the infirmary, but without money we are at the mercy of the epidemic and God’s grace the new life that is promised in the bible. I do believe in God, despite my talk and the troubles I see.  I see God in the faces of our children and in the nuns who look at me expecting miracles, but I am only one woman and we need more the reason for this letter.

We need more trained nurses here and I am doing the best I can to train our volunteers. I think we need to establish a low-cost affordable nursing school here in England that any girl can become a nurse.

Though we have lost some nurses I assure you we do try to replace them as quickly as possible.  I am enclosing a photograph our newest replacement nurses being capped.  With training and God on are side we will win this war for our health, our lives and Liverpool may God save her.   Then we can revolutionize the Nursing industry.  I myself have not been capped yet.  I am still considered the head nurse of the auxiliary but maybe one day.

English healthcare policy is now in the hands of our new Queen. May God save her. One of my patients just died. I have to go. We are waiting to hear from you.

Florence Nightingale

“Do no evil that ye be not seperated from the goodness of this world” JC Angelcraft

Mary’s Letters © all rights reserved JC Angelcraft

 

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