|Nightingale receiving the Wounded at Scutari, by Jerry Barrett|
In the Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856, according to Wikipedia) more British soldiers died from preventable diseases than of battle wounds. The mortality rate was 42.7%.
Florence Nightingale, a highly educated young nurse from a wealthy family, was sent to the front to observe and improve conditions in the military camps and hospitals. Within just a few months, the mortality rate was drastically lowered to 2.7%
According to a 2003 article in the British Medical Journal's publication Quality & Safety, she was a terrific (and underrated) statistician:
"In her detailed statistical report she said the causes of the Scutari mortality were fivefold: frightful overcrowding, want of ventilation, drainage, cleanliness, and hospital comforts. She quantified and measured these problems and remedies."Nightingale was one of the few women I learned about this semester in my epidemiology class (which I loved but totally bombed due to my lack of basic math skills). But her story is great inspiration to try harder & smarter next time.
|I read it and read it and still algebra & statistics frighten me.|
Especially when I'd been strenuously ignoring my first love - making media, especially documentaries. I'm very happy to say that I'm finally on the path back to film & video this fall, when I start as a grad student at American University's School of Communication.
I aim to become a social justice documentary filmmaker specializing in health issues. So maybe a career with the CDC isn't in my cards. But perhaps producing their next set of zombie preparedness videos is?
I'll be retiring this little blog by August as I prepare to relocate. But there's tons to cover before that time comes.