Eco-tip: Nurses week honors medical environmentalist

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David Goldstein, Special to Ventura County Star
Published 10:00 a.m. PT May 23, 2020
CLOSE Nurses take part in a ceremony to mark International Nurses Day, celebrated on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, in Colombo on May 12, 2020. (Photo: Ishara S. Kodikara , AFP via Getty Images)Earlier this month was Nurses Week, an internationally recognized time to honor those front-line workers who heal the sick and are today helping to protect us from a spreading pandemic.According to the American Nursing Association website, Nurses Week originated in 1954, marking the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to care for soldiers injured in the Crimean War. The International Council of Nurses formalized the annual commemoration in 1974, centering it on May 12, Nightingale’s birthday.A British social reformer and statistician, Nightingale revolutionized nursing by recognizing and prioritizing the relationship between the environment and medicine. She is called a medical environmentalist for her work in transforming hospital environments, which previously were large, windowless warehouses, full of rows of beds.She recognized the importance of windows, light, fresh air and separating patients by condition. Although the method of transmission for infections was unknown during her time, she greatly reduced the spread of infections in hospital environments.A nonprofit …

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