May 12, 2020

Care Kit Delivery Inspired by the Lady With the Lamp

As we celebrate the end of Nurse’s Week and International Nurse’s Day we want to extend a warm and heartfelt thank you to those who purchased and donated a Poshabodes Care Kit for our health care workers. We’ve been overwhelmed with the support from individuals in the community as well as the generosity of the Business Health Care Group in purchasing the kits to show their love to those working the front lines.

Last night, one hundred donated kits were delivered to the 2nd and 3rd shift nurses at Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Milwaukee working in Acute Care and the Women’s Units. Jeff Kluever, executive director of the Business Health Care Group and first identified COVID patient in metro Milwaukee, joined in the delivery.


We thought it was fitting that the kits be delivered in the evening on International Nurse’s Day to honor Florence Nightingale, known as the Lady with the Lamp. Born on May 12, 1820, she would have celebrated her 200th birthday, and yet her story remains inspirational and relevant.

Known as ‘The Angel of Crimea’ or the ‘Lady with the Lamp’, Florence Nightingale was a revolutionary figure in nursing who is known for carrying a lamp while making nighttime rounds tending to patients during the Crimean War.

During the war, more soldiers were dying from infections than from battle wounds, and Nightingale believed it was due to poor, unsanitary conditions. Her and a team of nurses worked tirelessly to greatly improve the sanitation and reduced the death count by two thirds.

For her work during the war, Nightingale was awarded $250,000 which she invested in building the St. Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. She was a strong role model and inspired many young women to study nursing.

Kristin Buhnemann, assistant director at the Florence Nightingale Museum, said, “In terms of modern nursing, her legacy has never been so relevant, as she was a pioneer for sanitation, hygiene and had a monumental impact on infection control.”

“Just like today’s nurses, Nightingale risked her life to help others, and I believe she would be incredibly proud of the current healthcare workers.”

Kristin Buhnemann, Assistant Director at the Florence Nightingale Museum

“She focused mainly on improving hygiene for nurses, advising them to wash their hands regularly. Before this, nurses were not changing their uniforms or aprons, instead continuing to work with the same equipment, which she believed to be incredibly unhygienic,” Buhnemann said.

The nickname Lady with the Lamp came from a phrase in The Times. The report is reflective of the dedication and compassion of today’s nurses as well:

She is a "ministering angel" without any exaggeration in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow's face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have retired for the night and silence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds.

Thank you nurses for your contributions. And thank you donors for acknowledging their great effort!

*Note: All kits were assembled and delivered using sanitary and hygienic guidelines and were delivered while practicing social distancing. Immediate family members are gathered together outside the hospital.
*Photographer: Sharayah Perry
*Research and Kristin Buhnemann quotes provided by itv.com