1 September 1854 — Preview

Female Medical Ward,
Middlesex Hospital

Late-morning

The Sister from the neighboring medical ward approached Nightingale.

Had she heard the commotion next door? Dr. Hawkins was discharging all but a few patients to make beds available for an unexpected influx of new admissions from the outpatient hall.

Why so many clanks and thumps?

Oh, some porters are bringing in metal tubs for washing the patients before we put them to bed, others are replenishing the woodpile by the fireplace for heating water.
Isn’t that normally done in the hospital wash-houses?
Yes, but the staff there is overwhelmed. It seems that a severe visitation of cholera has occurred south of Oxford Street. . . .

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