2012.4-26.Eponyms nurses

DOI: 10.7241/ourd.20124.85                                                                     article in PDF
Our Dermatol Online. 2012; 3(4): 372-373
Date of submission: 01.07.2012 / acceptance: 29.07.2012
Conflicts of interest: None





Daifullah Al Aboud

Dermatology Department, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia

Corresponding author: Dr. Daifullah Al Aboud    e-mail: dalaboud@hotmail.com


Nursing is one of the oldest professions in the human life. It is a profession within the healthcare sector focused on the care of individuals. An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person. Most of the eponyms in medicine are after physicians and rarely to other healthcare providers like nurses. In table [1-8], I highlighted on two famous medical eponyms that are linked to nurses. The association with the name of a nurse represents beyond doubt a special feature and reflects the great contributions, these nurses made. There is no wonder that both eponyms are for females, as it is around the world, nurses have been traditionally female. And despite equal opportunity legislation, nursing has continued to be a female-dominated profession.
Eponyms in medical literature
linked to nurses

Nightingale Pledge
The Nightingale Pledge is a traditional pledge that was taken by new nurses. It is a modified Hippocratic Oath designed specifically for nurses. Named after Florence Nightingale (Fig. 1), it was composed by a committee chaired by Lystra Gretter,
an instructor of nursing at the old Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and was first used by its graduating class in the spring of 1893. In modern times, a number of institutions have modified or dropped the pledge altogether. The pledge is often used in ceremonies and programs during National Nurses Week (May 6-12) during which Nightingale's birthday (May 12) and Nurses Day (May 6) both take place. It celebrates Nightingale, her contributions, and nurses everywhere. Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910) was a celebrated English nurse, writer and statistician. She came to prominence for her pioneering work in nursing during the Crimean War, where she tended to wounded soldiers. She was dubbed "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night. An Anglican, Nightingale believed that God had called her to be a nurse.Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment, in 1860, of her nursing school at St Thomas' Hospital in London, the first secular nursing school in the world, now part of King's College London.

Figure 1. Florence Nightingale (1820 –1910). Courtesy, National Library of Medicine
Sister Mary Joseph's nodule [7,8]
It is a metastatic lesion of the umbilicus originating from intra-abdominal or pelvic malignant disease. The English surgeon Hamilton Bailey, in his famous textbook "Physical Signs in Clinical Surgery" in 1949, coined the term "Sister Joseph's nodule" after Sister Mary Joseph (1856-1939) (Fig. 2) a superintendent nurse at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, USA, who was the first to observe the association between the umbilical nodule and intra-abdominal malignancy. The expression has become widely accepted and used.Although Baluff in 1854 and Nelaton in 1860 had already described umbilical metastases, the best known description of the metastasis of carcinomas to this site as "trouser button navel" was published in 1928 by William James Mayo (1861-1939), son of William Worrall Mayo (1815-1911), the founder of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. This phenomenon is supposed to have been pointed out to Mayo by his long-serving head surgical nurse Sister Mary Joseph. Sister Mary Joseph, daughter of Irish immigrants, belonged to the 3rd order of the Holy Francis, was distinguished for her skills, intelligence and devotion to nursing which was also her calling. She worked for many decades at the world-famous Mayo Clinic and taught generations of young nurses. In recent years, the original surgical building at Saint Mary's Hospital has been named "Joseph Building" in her memory.

Figure 2. Sister Mary Joseph (1856-1939). Courtesy, National Library of Medicine
Table I. Selected eponyms in medical literature linked to Nurses
1. Nightingale P: Wikipedia® [Internet]. Wikimedia Foundation. [Updated 14 May 2012; cited 30 June 2012]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightingale_Pledge
2. Vieira M: [The Nightingale Pledge, today]. Servir. 2008;56:97-8. 3. Miracle VA: National nurses’ week and the Nightingale pledge. Dimens Crit Care Nurs. 2009;28:145-6.
4. Nightingale F: Florence Nightingale. Wikipedia® [Internet]. Wikimedia Foundation. [Updated 30 June 2012; cited 30 June 2012]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_ Nightingale
5. Nightingale F: Cassandra: an essay. 1979. Am J Public Health. 2010;100:1586-7.
6. Garofalo ME, Fee E: Florence Nightingale (1820-1910): feminism and hospital reform. 2010. Am J Public Health. 2010;100:1588.
7. Trebing D, Göring HD: [The umbilical metastasis. Sister Mary Joseph and her time]. Hautarzt. 2004;55:186-9.
8. Abu-Hilal M, Newman JS: Sister Mary Joseph and her nodule: historical and clinical perspective. Am J Med Sci. 2009;337:271-3.



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