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Clara Barton’s Biography and Contributions to Nursing Essay

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Updated: Jul 26th, 2022

Clara Barton (1821-1912), the founder of the American Red Cross, is one of the most honored people in U.S. history. She was a nurse who did humanitarian work and civil rights advocacy during the American Civil War. This report examines Clara Barton’s life and accomplishments as an advocate.

Barton was a first aid practitioner, educator, and advocate who saved many people’s lives. She was born on Christmas day in 1821, being the youngest of five siblings (Michals, 2015). When her older brother became ill, Clara saved his life, identifying her ability to be a nurse. At the age of 18, she managed to be a teacher for children whose parents worked for her brother (Michals, 2015). Due to such events, Clara learned how to advocate for people who need help and protection. During the Civil War, she was called “the Angel of Battlefield” for her successful treatment of soldiers, administration, and help in communication between the military man and the governments (Clara Barton, 2018). Clara effectively negotiated with politicians, civilians, and medical workers, showing the importance of medical suppliers and first aid delivery in emergencies.

By force of her personal experience, Clara Barton founded a new field of volunteering. In 1881, at the age of 60, Barton established the American Red Cross to provide help to people in distress (Founder Clara Barton). She knew how people need assistance and support in wartime. Moreover, Barton reported about missing soldiers helping their families to find them. Along with her team, they received over 63000 letters, identifying more than 22000 missing men (Founder Clara Barton). In 1905, she also founded the National First Aid Association America which was aiming to increase awareness about first aid help in emergency situations in civilian life (Clara Barton, 2018). Due to the organization, people knew what to do in critical moments and how to assist with injuries.

Apart from advocating for soldiers, medical workers, and civilians, she was an active activist in the women’s suffrage movement. She had equal payments with her male counterparts during her work as an office worker at Patent Office in 1854 (Clara Barton, 2018). Clara Barton was one of the bravest ones who achieved the right to vote for women, changing the nation. Through public speeches about women’s rights, she went against recognized norms of being a woman, supporting her peers in reaching equal rights. Barton understood that what was done was uncommon for women, thus, demonstrating that a woman can do various work. She advocated for women to be public figures and motivated them to strive for higher goals.

Overall, Clara Barton is one of the most prominent figures in American history who saved the lives of many people and provided help for the ones in need. She founded the American Red Cross to provide healthcare support for soldiers and civilians during the Civil War. In addition, Clara Barton established the National First Aid Association America to make the public aware of the significance of first aid and medical treatments in emergency cases. She taught people not to neglect medical care during injuries but to take immediate action. Despite her humanitarian and medical career, she was a women’s rights activist who contributed to getting the right to vote for women. Barton is a figure worthy of being honored by society and the government.

References

Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum. (2018). Clara Barton Broke Barriers for Nineteenth-Century Women. Web.

Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum. (2018). Clara Barton: first aid practitioner, educator, and advocate. Web.

Founder Clara Barton, (n.d.,). Web.

Michals, D., (2015). Clara Barton. National Women’s History Museum. Web.

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