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There were actually four important developments in the history of medicine that changed how medicine was practiced. The first was anesthesia, this was first used in 1846 at Massachusetts General Hospital when John C. Warren, MD, and dentist William T. G. Morton removed a tumor from the patient’s mouth. They used diethyl ether and after the patient woke after surgery he reported that he felt no pain.
The second important development was when Florence Nightingale advocated sanitary hospital conditions. She was a nurse and she incorporated the first nursing training program. This occurred during the Crimean War which was from 1853 to 1856.
The third important development was of the cause and prevention of disease by Frenchman Louis Pasteur. “Considered the father of germ theory (1860s) and one of the founders of microbiology, he disproved the myth of spontaneous generation; developed vaccines for rabies, cholera, and anthrax; and created a process (now known as pasteurization) to slow the growth of microbes in food,” (Showalter, J.S. 2012, p.32).
The fourth important development was by Joseph Lister as he pushed forward antiseptic surgery. This was developed at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland. Lister cleaned his surgery instruments with a carbolic acid solution and made it necessary for surgeons to wear clean gloves. Also, he made surgeons wash their hands before and after surgery. Because of these new procedures and also the change in nursing he noticed that the number of wound injections dropped. Without these medical advances medicine, today would be completely different.
Showalter, J. S. (2012). The Law of Healthcare Administration. (7th ed.). Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.
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