The birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of the nursing profession, is regarded as World Nurses Day on May 12, and the week that day begins is celebrated as World Nursing Week all over the world.
All officials around the world of a profession born in Istanbul will celebrate the birth of a woman who has given birth to their profession, as every year, on May 12 of this year.
This woman, who is considered and celebrated as her own birthday, the birthday of the profession she founded, is Florence Nightingale. The profession he has set up is nursing.
Florence Nightingale came to Istanbul in 1854 due to the Crimean War between the Ottoman and Russia and voluntarily assisted the British soldiers who were injured while fighting against the Ottomans against Russia in the Selimiye Barracks in Istanbul.
Among the soldiers who returned wounded from the war, the 42 percent mortality rate dropped to 2 percent as a result of his aid.
Florence Nightingale reinforced its belief in the service it initiated with the courage of this result and by establishing this aid to the wounded soldiers within the framework of certain rules and principles, it provided the establishment of the supreme nursing profession, which is sincerely adopted and counted by all the countries and people of the world.
If his service could be taken as an example by the Ottoman government before the Tripoli and Balkan wars, the loss of life between our soldiers injured in these wars could be prevented.
Nursing, the first profession that women truly acquired in the Ottoman Empire, It was founded under the leadership of Besim Ömer Akalın and as a result of his efforts. At the International Red Cross Conference in London, where Akalin attended as the Ottoman delegate in 1907, he met Florence Nighingale, the guest of honor of the meeting, and benefited from his views and experiences on this matter.
Doctor Besim Ömer Akalın also saw that nursing is a profession and is divided into branches at the Washington Congress, which Kızılhaç later attended. He explained his impressions to the Red Crescent management upon his return to the country, and firstly, he set up funds for opening a voluntary nursing course for six months in Kadırga Maternity Hospital. He gave the first lesson himself. Ten people received diplomas.
Dr. is also the pioneer of midwifery. Besim Ömer has eliminated the “take down”, which increased the mortality rate during postpartum period, from being a fearful disease. It was necessary to overcome the obstacles of the period in order for women to have a profession and to exist outside their home. Therefore, a group of women, including the wives of senior officials, adopted this issue and enabled them to work with him.
It was not at all easy to attract women from their homes, mansions, where they could not leave like a prisoner, and even assign them to social life. While the Red Crescent started to train nursing staff with the courses it opened, it was actually trying to get women in every area of life like men.
In addition to general information in the identity given to the girls who completed the course, the following words meant:
“In our country, men and women have become accustomed to living separately and have always been unaware of each other's condition, and have not yet felt the need to have mutual trust against each other. There are those who believe that even if you are devotedly to your service, there may be some hidden secrets of immorality. In order to refute these diseased thoughts and bring Ottoman women to the high place they deserve, we are of the opinion that you will never neglect your spiritually and morally confidently given works while performing your scientific duty with utmost care and attention. ”
While women, Ahmet Mithat, Recaizade Mahmut Ekrem and many important writers of the period wrote interesting articles for women's freedom, Namık Kemal warned, “Only half of the empire population can be productive as women are excluded”.
When the legal arrangement that allowed Muslim women to perform midwifery was made, in 1912 ten female students were allowed to watch lessons at the School of Medicine. Students graduated in 1915. But this business could not take on the institutional structure. As the fire of fire grew, the need for nurses increased to help the injured. During the sudden developments, the wives of the top officials also ran for nursing. One of them was Mediha Hanım, the wife of Van Governor Tahsin Üzel. Mediha Hanım, who led the opening of the Red Crescent Hospital, for the treatment of the injured from the Eastern Front. He was a nurse next to Asaf Derviş Pasha.
During the Balkan wars that broke out again, Turkish nurses Safiye Hüseyin Elbi, Münire İsmail, Kerime Salahur… came on stage. Their behavior became the birth date of Turkish nursing.
Despite these developments, the first nursing school in Istanbul was opened only in August 1920. The Nurse School of the American Admiral Bristol Hospital, which was established to serve its citizens in occupied Istanbul, was mostly aimed at minorities. The first modern nursing school for Turkish and Muslim girls was opened only in the Republican period in 1925.
For women, nursing was a profession worth "gold bracelets". The school started its education in 1926 with twenty students in 1927. Before the school gave its first graduates, intensive requests were made to send nurses from different parts of the country to their provinces. After attending the Second Congress of Far Eastern Red Cross Associations, Barton Pane, President of the International Red Cross Associations and American Red Cross Associations, Barton Pane started their visit to Europe by visiting the Nursing School in Istanbul. Barton Pane, who came to school on March 27, 1927, was no ordinary person. During the First World War, he was the U.S. Minister of the Interior. Dr. Barton, who was welcomed by Ömer Lütfü and Safiye Hanım, called out to the graduates and students who read:
“The American Red Cross started out with a small number of people like you. Today, we have 800 nurses working in the poor and backward regions. Red Crescent has done a very good job by opening a Nursing School. I liked the level of the school. ”
After this interest of foreign guests, the school's horizon has changed. Minister of Health With the efforts of Refik Saydam, the Rockefeller Foundation was supported and Miss Crowell from the USA was brought to school counseling. Education was extended to three years. Contemporary education approach was put into practice.
Miss Shelia Sinclair's report, called a few years later to take over the school during World War II, included:
"Turkey is not a profession of nursing is an art."
Nursing day and week, which we celebrate with magnificent ceremonies every year on May 12, came through such difficult days.
Yaşar Öztürk, The Whole World