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Florence Nightingale – Guest Speaker Lyn McDonald (1).docx

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University of Guelph
Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2111
Linda Hunter

Florence Nightingale – Guest Speaker Lyn McDonald February 25 , 2013 Florence Nightingale: Sociology, Methodology, Theory Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910):  Nightingale as a social scientist  First women fellow, Royal Statistical Society  Pioneer methodologist  Systems thinker  Applied social science, especially for health care.  The cause of the passionate statistician: to save lives  It do this required knowledge of “God‟s laws” the laws of nature  “God governs by His laws, but so do we when we have discovered them. If it were otherwise, we could not learn from the past for the future” (Essay in Memoriam) The Nightingale Methodology:  Get the best information available  Use government reports and statistics  Read and interview experts  Of the available information is inadequate collect your own:  Draw up a questionnaire (queries)  Consult experts on it, practitioners who use it. Nightingale’s Methodology:  Test questions (pre-test) before using  When writing up, consult experts (peer review)  Practitioners who will actually use the data  For application, liaise with users Application of Research Knowledge:  Laws govern society as well as natural world  L.A.J. Quetelet (Belgian statistician) influence  Quetelet: “The creator of a new science in which observation and calculation are allied to bring out the immutable laws which govern phenomena apparently the most accidental of our physical life to our least actions.” Unintended Consequences:  The role of statistics: “Consecrated blunders in medicine prove the need of statistics”  Statistics must be made otherwise then to prove a preconceived idea”  Quetelet gave examples of infant mortality in founding hospitals Quetelet on Heath Data:  “Different treatments [have but a] small influence on the death rate.”  Hospital death rates depend “on the way they are kept more than on the treatment employed”  “Administration saves more hospital patients then the best medical science” (Comments on Physique Sociale). Knowledge for Application:  Respect for the power of unintended results  New programs must be monitored statistically  Statistics must be kept on a uniform basis so that comparisons can be made  “Hospital Statistics” paper given at the International Statistical Congress, 1860 The Principles Of Workhouse Reform: A. To insist on the great principle of separating the sick, insane, incurable nd children from the usual pauper population of the metropolis. B. To advocate a general metropolitan rate for this purpose and a central administration. C. To leave the pauper and casual population and the rating for under the boards of guardians, as at present. The ABC of Reform  Centralize all the sanitary powers…provide a scheme of suburban hospitals and asylums 1. For sick 2. For inform, aged and invalids 3. For insane and imbeciles 4. Industrial schools for children  Pay for them by a general schools and hospital rate  British Army death rate in Crimean War 22%  U.S. Army death ate in Vietnam 2.3%  Classic „rose‟ or area charts  Division into two, break at arrival of Sanitary Commission (March 1855) Mortality lower in (later) left chart Image:  Modified area charts  A clock chart, integrating data from the two „rose‟ charts, read like a clock, from 12.:00  A vertical bar chart, integrating data from the 2 „rose‟ charts Comparison of French and British Morality by Year 1 year Dead Total Effectives Percent  French 10,934 89,885 11%  British 10, 989 47, 749 23% nd 2 year  French 21,191 106,634 20%  British 606 27,384 2.5%  To compare results when “neglect of the laws of nature” and what may expect “from their observance”  “Nature is the same everywhere, and never permits her laws to be disregarded with impunity.” (A contribution to the Sanitary History of the British Army”) Army Statistics Needed:  By regiment, by disease, then aggregate  Immediate analysis of data: “the object
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