It was a “fanoos”…
This past week I had the pleasure of traveling to the United Kingdom for Kronos. Our healthcare time & attendance, e-rostering (scheduling) solution for the National Health Service – produced by SMART – was hosting a customer conference and I was asked to speak at the meeting. Never having been to London, I was very excited for the opportunity.
I arrived early in the morning after a long overnight flight. Certain that jet lag would soon be upon me, I decided to go out for a walk to begin the process of resetting my internal clock. As I left the hotel, I was startled by the sound of an ambulance siren and then the sight of St Thomas Hospital directly across the street from the hotel. It didn’t hit me at first, but it wasn’t long before I made the connection.
I was in London. It was in London that Florence Nightingale started her school of nursing. Her school was started at St. Thomas Hospital. Could I be staying across the street from “THE” Florence Nightingale Training School? I was…
Once I realized the serendipity of my trip to London, I circled back toward the hospital for a longer more meaningful look at the place I had learned of so many years ago in nursing school. I was thrilled to find that within the hospital was the Florence Nightingale Museum!
It’s a small museum, but packed with artifacts and stories. I fully expected to find a reference to “The Lady with Lamp” as she is often described. And I wasn’t disappointed, but I was surprised. Every drawing I have ever seen of Florence Nightingale with a “lamp” has rendered the lamp to look like a “genie lamp” with a long spout from which a flame emerges. What I discovered in the museum was that the lamp that she would have carried on her nightly rounds of the wards would have been a “fanoos”!
A “fanoos” is a Turkish lantern. It was used in Scutari during the Crimean War when Nightingale tended to the soldiers. I’ve included a picture of a “fanoos” that I took at the museum. It has forever changed my mental image of Florence Nightingale.
As we celebrate Nurses Week, May 6th – 12th, this little known fact is fun to share!
To all the nurses past and present “thank you” for continuing, as Florence Nightingale once did, to keep watch on those in need. We at Kronos are in awe of what you do…and we will continue to help you overcome the obstacles in the workplace that interfere with your ability to find the Time To Care!