Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Glass Nurse

Isn't this a beautiful depiction of the Lamp of Knowledge? It's in the tracery at the top of a huge stained glass in the Islip Chapel (otherwise known as the "Nurse's Chapel") in Westminster Abbey. The chapel was dedicated to the many nurses who died in World War II. This small chapel is not open to general visitors, nor are photos allowed. I had the good fortune to tour the chapel last Spring with a group of fellow nurses, and the great fortune to have the permission of an Abbey Marshall to take these photos.

This window was designed by Hugh Easton. It has the figures of Our Lady standing on the crescent moon, and carrying the Christ Child, who blesses the figure of a nurse who kneels below. Above the nurse is St. Luke, the beloved physician, standing on a rainbow. The lower left side of the window has the badges of the Nursing Services as well as the names of all the countries from which nurses came to serve in the War.

This is a closeup of the nurse portion of the stained glass. Is this an AWESOME piece, or what?!!

Since my chickadees gave me a renewed spirit, I feel the need to share the Nightingale Pledge.

I solemnly pledge myself before God and
presence of this assembly;
To pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully.
I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous
and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.
I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the
standard of my profession and will hold in confidence
all personal matters committed to my keeping
and family affairs coming to my knowledge
in the practice of my calling.
With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work,
and devote myself to the welfare of those
committed to my care.

Contrary to what many believe, Florence Nightingale did not write this pledge. It was composed by Lystra Gretter, an instructor of nursing at the old Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and was first used by the hospital’s graduating class in the spring of 1893. It is an adaptation of the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians.
Can you believe they were thinking about HIPAA way back then? I can. It's how we are.

1 comment:

Suzie, RN said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your beautiful photos of the Nurses' Chapel at the Abbey. I agree that it a aweinspiring. I am leading a group of nurses there for Nurses' Week 2012. Seeing a peek of the chapel prior to our trip adds to my excitement.
Suzie, RN -Pensacola, FL