12 May, Michiru Fushino

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Today is an unforgettable day for healthcare professionals. It’s International Nurses Day, or “Nightingale Day”, and exactly 200 years ago, Florence Nightingale was born into this world.
  She is, of course, the mother of nursing, and known as “The Lady with the Lamp,” she served in the Crimean War, spending all day and night with sick and wounded soldiers in hospitals on the front line.
  This was the extent of my knowledge until my mid-twenties, when my curiosity towards her grew while I was studying in England.
  One weekend, I headed into London, and as I strolled around the vicinity of Hyde Park’s vast grounds, I came upon a round, blue plaque that had been mounted on the wall next to the entrance of a building.
  These blue plaques show locations that are connected to notable figures, and the inscription on this one stated that Nightingale had lived and died there.
  Unfortunately, the house where she had lived had already been demolished, and in front of me was a newly built apartment block. But she had once stood where I was, and that was the first time I really felt close to her.
  Truth be told, she only worked as a nurse for a mere three years.
  I looked her up again after I got home and was surprised to learn this.
  Upon her return from the battlefield, she gathered together documents about wartime hospitals and wounded soldiers, analyzed them, and then devised a way of displaying the results in a graph for all to see.
  The vast number of reports and proposals she made greatly improved the sanitary conditions of hospitals and dramatically increased the quality of nursing.
  Through data and science, she saved far more lives than she had on the battlefield.
  And of course, the information she analyzed would have also contained results from her own nursing activities out on the front line.
  This included things she had done which would have ground down both the body and mind—things that were futile, things that she should have done but didn’t, as well as things that did more harm than good—and she remained dispassionate while studying them.
  Now, as I spend every day of these challenging times working as a doctor, I find myself wondering. . . . When the situation has calmed down, will I be able to evaluate myself as ruthlessly as Nightingale did?
  Probably not. No doubt I’ll just grumble about how awful it all was and then return to my daily life, which will have only slightly changed.
  And I bet that when I once again enter the nursing school gates as a part-time lecturer, I’ll feel just a small sense of guilt as I pass by the bust of Florence Nightingale.


Translated by Lauren Barrett/Arranged by TranNet KK

Michiru Fushino
Born in February 25th. A Pisces with an O blood-type. As well as working in forensic medicine classrooms, she has also taught at medical schools. Made her literary debut in 1996 with “Hitokai kidan” (A strange story of buying people), for which she received an honourable mention in the 3rd White Heart Award for Best Entertainment Novel . Afterwards, she began work on many acclaimed series on top of the Kidan (Strange story) series, including the Kiseki tsūran (Necrology survey) series, and the Saigo no bangohan (Last supper) series, among others. Her other works include

Otoko

futari

de

12

kagetsu

oyatsu

(12 months of snacks with two men) and

Haken

meshitomo

(Haken food friends).

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