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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Nuns Were Best Civil War Nurses at Gettysburg

By Jamie Davis, 7-10-13
 

The history of nursing is often focused on the nurses who served during wartime. The founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, began her nursing career in the hospitals of the Crimean War. I found a great article recently on some unsung heroes of nursing history from the U.S. Civil War, nuns from numerous catholic orders.

Sisters’ Care Renowned Among Union Generals

The nuns of the Daughters of Charity, Sisters of Mercy and other orders were much sought after by Union generals and federal officials during the civil war for their nursing knowledge and hospital administration skills. According to the article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the nuns had been acting as nurses for hundreds of years. Over that time, they had developed best practices that included cleanliness and increased food quality. This was well before there was widespread understanding of germ theory or nutrition.

These nursing nuns were active on and near the battlefields on both sides of the conflict. They provided holistic care as we see it today, providing both traditional nursing care, as well as spiritual support, helping to write letters home and preparing healthy meals and serving them to the wounded.

Nurses Early Hospital Administrators

They also administered numerous hospitals, from the set up of the facilities, to their long term, day to day operations.

Image: Courtesy, Sisters of Mercy, Baltimore

From: nursingshow.com

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