TheLegacy of Nursing`s History: Linda Richards
TheLegacy of Nursing`s History: Linda Richards
Nursinghas benefitted from several and unique individuals who have workedtirelessly to see the advancement and improvement of the profession.From the times of Saint Fabiola to those of Nightingale, these peoplehave triggered astronomical transformations in a field that wasrelatively new in the world (Strout, 2012). Linda Richards is amongthe nurses that have propelled the profession to great heightsthrough a series of initiatives and there is a need to examine herlegacy and the contributions she has made to the field of nursing.
Backgroundand Major Social Issues
Bornin 1841, Richards was the youngest daughter in her family.Unfortunately, her father died when she was very young, and, hermother, Betsy, followed after a few years. Both were suffering fromtuberculosis. During the time her mother had been sick, Richards hadnursed her until her departure from the world in 1854. Later, Lindaalso had another patient, her fiancé, named George Poole. The manhad been wounded in the infamous American Civil War and was under thecare of Richards until his death in 1869 (Nursingtheory.org). Allthese personal losses led Richards to decide to pursue nursing as hervocation. In fact, when she enrolled as a teacher and taught for sometime, her heart had never settled and was always thinking aboutbecoming a nurse all along. Indeed, it was an objective she laterachieved. Richards is purportedly the first professionally trainednurse in the United States.
Ontop of that, Richards lived in a time where wars and social unrestswere common. Therefore, it can be claimed that nursing was a criticalprofession. For example, the American Civil War had very manycasualties that needed serious interventions from the nursingcommunity. Unfortunately, it was a time in which nursing was not asorganized as it is today. It was mostly an informal profession, andonly a few individuals had received any reliable training in thefield. The Crimean War also took place during this era and neededthese nursing services.
Duringher career, Richards became an icon of professionalism and excellencedue to her achievements and can be remembered for her remarkablecontributions to the nursing profession. One of these contributionsis the introduction of an organized way of recordkeeping for eachhospitalized patient. Previously, there was nothing like a personalrecord and nursing practitioners could not trace the medicalhistories of their patients (Catalano,2015).In that case, it was hard to establish any health patterns or diseasehistories. Richards’ innovative move transformed recordkeeping andpromoted efficiency in the hospital environment as far as patients’information was concerned. All improvements that were later made inthe area of recordkeeping in the healthcare environment were foundedon Richards’ innovation.
Anothercontribution was the establishment of unique nursing trainingprograms in various regions globally, notably in Japan and the U.S.Richards spearheaded and supervised the implementation of theseprograms and ensured that they had reliable and professionallybefitting curricula that could produce highly-trained professionalnurses into the market. The first years of Kyoto’s DoshishaHospital were under her close supervision (Nursingtheory.org). Shewas physically presented during any major events in the school. Richards later became the president of the society governing nurses’training in the U.S, now known as the National League for Nursing.
Influenceof the Contributions on Nursing
Richard’sinnovations and initiatives have been pivotal in the improvement ofvarious departments and processes in the nursing sphere. The systemof recordkeeping that she pioneered is still in use today, with anyimprovements made to the original system created by the nurse. Themaintenance of comprehensive and accurate patient records is now animperative approach that must be adhered to by all professionals inthe field (Alfaro-LeFevre & Msn, 2015). Moreover, it has beenfound to have many benefits in the healthcare industry. In fact, itis now a legal requirement listed in almost all documents of nursingcodes (Catalano,2015).The practice is integral in the nursing profession and is consideredas one of the primary responsibilities whose violation can lead tothe severe punitive measures. Good records enable the professionalsto identify any issues that might have arisen and the establishmentof the best actions to be taken to correct the problems (Catalano,2015).Patient charts and wellness records, for example, can help in thedetermination whether their health condition is improving orworsening. The tools can also conclude whether a new medication mightbe necessary and if a patient can be allowed to go home(Alfaro-LeFevre & Msn, 2015).
Thetransformation of nursing training programs pioneered by Richards hasalso influenced today’s nursing astronomically. Before herinitiatives, training in the nursing profession was not asstreamlined and organized as it is today. Richards led a series ofchanges and missions in both Japan and the US that playedinstrumental roles in the establishment of a concrete foundation innursing training. In Japan, most of the schools were founded afterRichard`s envied propulsion of Kyoto’s Doshisha Hospital into aunique center of excellence in nursing training. In America, she sawthe establishment of many institutions, most of which have survivedto date. Before her death, 294,268 individuals had already beentrained as nursing professionals in her country alone(Nursingtheory.org).
Richard’scontribution to nursing cannot be disparaged. Building onfoundational experiences of nursing to close relatives when she wasstill young, Richards vowed to commit her life to the task, bothvocationally and professionally. Consequently, she ended up as thefirst professionally trained nurse and the first president of thesociety governing the nursing training in the US. Moreover, herinitiatives and innovations have stood the test of time and are stillrelevant in today’s nursing environment.
Alfaro-LeFevre,R., & Msn, R. N. (2015). Criticalthinking, clinical reasoning, and clinical judgment: A practicalapproach. NewYork, NY:ElsevierHealth Sciences.
Catalano,J. T. (2015). Nursingnow! Today`s issues, tomorrow`s trends.Boston, MA: FA Davis.
Nursingtheory.org.(n.d). Linda Richards, leader in nursing. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nursing-theory.org/famous-nurses/Linda-Richards.php
Strout,K. (2012). Wellness promotion and the institute of medicine`s futureof nursing report: Are nurses ready? HolisticNursing Practice,26(3),129-136.