Tell me About Series 2016-2017
Title: Florence and the nuns – lessons from the nursing experiences of the Crimean war for healthcare today
Speaker: Mr Paul Shield, Counsellor / Therapist, National Counselling Service
Biography: Paul Shield graduated as a Psychiatric Nurse from Portsmouth University in 1994. While working in the West London Forensic Service, he studied for the Postgraduate Clinical Diploma in Forensic Psychotherapy at the Portman & Tavistock Clinics [University College London, 1995-1998]. He completed a Diploma in Group Analysis [IGA, London 2012].
Paul has presented and published international clinical research on working with institutional healthcare issues while working as a Health Service Executive Counsellor/ Therapist in the National Counselling Service since 2000.
He has taught and developed mental health professional university programmes in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and was appointed Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin [2008-2013].
Paul has presented his research in the Trinity College Long Room Hub Postgraduate Programme and lectured on Trinity College extra mural courses.
Content: In 1854, fifteen Irish Sisters of Mercy set sail from convents in Dublin, Kinsale and Liverpool as volunteers to work alongside Florence Nightingale in Scutari Military Hospital during the Crimean war.
Press reports from the London Times newspaper war correspondents at the battlefield caused widespread outrage as to the poor care of wounded and dying soldiers; cholera and typhus were rife, the wards were disordered and filthy.
Traditionally, Florence Nightingale’s pioneering nursing insight and practical management skills have highlighted the potential damage that hospital care can inflict onto sick and injured patients. The diaries of the Mercy Sisters provide a rich source of ‘reflective practice’ as we think about, and discuss, the complexity of contemporary care in which –“the hospital shall do the patient no further harm”
The presentation will explore, from a historical vantage point, how media and political pressure, conflict and confusion can run the risk of the hospital ceasing to be a ‘thinking place’.
The psychodynamic work of nurses Isobel Menzies Lyth and Julia Fabricus, writing in the 1990s, provides us with a focus on the specific anxieties of maintaining a ‘thinking place’ in contemporary healthcare delivery where followership is just as vital as leadership in the ‘mission of mercy’.