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In the early 1800s hospitals were squalid pits of disease where patients were as likely to die as to be cured Yet the work of one woman brought about a dramatic change Florence Nightingale was born to a wealthy family in 1820 But she did not want to lead an idle pointless life Instead she decided to work with the sick although at that time many hospitals were sordid rowdy places In 1852 after a lot of arguments her father allowed her to train in a hospital in Germany In 1853 Nightingale took over a run-down hospital in London and made it run cleanly and efficiently Civilian hospitals were almost as dirty as military ones while the untrained nurses had a reputation for being lazy careless and often drunk But Nightingale soon changed all that She hounded politicians to make improvements and wrote books on the best way to organize hospitals She also used all the money shed been given to set up the Nightingale School for Nurses in London Soon all nurses were highly qualified By her death in 1910 Florence Nightingale had created a revolution in hospital care At last nurses and patients were treated with respect and the foul filthy conditions of hospitals had faded into history Because of Florence Nightingale nurses were now properly trained and the sanitary conditions in hospitals were much more improved- thousands of lives were saved because of it Now scientists could study what really caused disease without the interference of all the germs Robert Koch was a German doctor and scientist He was convinced that microbes caused human disease but he did not believe that any one identifiable germ caused a particular disease in human beings The important contribution that Koch made to the development of medicine was his method of staining the germs with methyl violet dye to make it visible Now that scientists could see the germs that were causing disease they could think
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