Florence Nightingale Theory Essay

Florence Nightingales Environmental Theory Essay example

687 WordsFeb 8th, 20123 Pages

Abstract
As a young woman, Nightingale often accompanied her mother when she visited the sick. This inspired her to want to be a nurse, and against her parents’ wishes she entered a nurses’ training program. During the Crimean war she was asked by a family friend to come and care for the British soldiers at the army hospital. While there she witnessed filth, vermin, and death. Upon seeing the unsanitary conditions and the health risk to the soldiers she began her crusade to establish an environment that would promote health and healing. Thus: The Environmental Theory.

Florence Nightingale’s Environmental Theory and How it relates to Mans’ Health
The Environmental Theory focuses on how the environment: physical, psychological, and…show more content…

Nightingale believed health of the patient was a process affected by nursing, the environment, and human conditions (Torres, 1985, p. 41). Filth, vermin, dirty water, stagnant air, and raw sewage were a breeding ground for diseases and infection. With conditions such as these even a healthy person in a poor environment would soon experience a decline in health. Nightingales theory showed how the environment could inhibit or promote health for man.
Chitty (2011) stated “Nightingale promoted the view that nurses’ primary responsibility was to protect patients by careful management of their surroundings” (p. 306). Nightingale saw nursing as placing the patient in an environment where nature can assist in providing optimum health conditions. According to Gillette “Nursing functions influence the human environment to affect health” (1996, p. 264). While Nightingale understood the importance of medicine she emphasized the importance of environment on health. Nursing was not just for the patient but the environment and its relationship to the patient.
Nursing has made much advancement since Nightingale Environmental Theory but the focus on a healthy environment has remained the same. Pulliam (1997) noted in her article that Nightingales’ theory formed a solid foundation for nursing: fresh air, cleanliness, clean water, warmth, proper drainage, plenty of light, and stress free environment provided an optimum environment for healing.
Nightingales’ theory

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Florence Nightingale's Environmental Theory Essay

Florence Nightingale’s Environmental Theory
Ana C. Valdez
Amanda Rangel
Trini Garza
Texas A&M International University

Florence Nightingale Environmental Theory
Florence Nightingale changed the whole perspective of the way people look at nursing. From the middle of the 18th century to the 19th century, the birth of modern nursing began. Nightingale was recognized as the first nursing theorist and most commonly acknowledged as “The Lady with the Lamp”. At the age of thirty-one, Florence Nightingale educated herself and trained for nursing. She clarified her environmental theory in her well-known book “Notes on Nursing: What it is, what it is not” which explained the use of environment to improve a patients recovery. Nightingale addressed that anyone who would join the field of nursing be required to certain education and training. After the outbreak of the Crimean War, “she returned to England where she established a training school for nurses and wrote books about healthcare and nursing education” (LeMone, Lillis, Lynn, Taylor, 2011, p. 7). Florence Nightingale teaching involved:
• “Identifying the personal needs of the patient and the role of the nurse in meeting those needs”
• “Establishing standards for hospital management”
• “Establishing a respected occupation for women”
• “Establishing nursing education”
• “Recognizing the two components of nursing: health and medicine”
• “Believing that nursing I separate and distinct from medicine”
• “Recognizing that nutrition is important to health”
• “Instituting occupational and recreational therapy for sick people”
• “Stressing the need for continuing education for nurses”
• “Maintaining accurate records, recognized as the beginnings of nursing research” (LeMone, Lillis, Lynn, Taylor, 2011, p. 7)
Florence Nightingale’s environmental theory was set out to make sure the patient was placed in the best environment possible. Hospitals, in the late 1800’s, were very crowded with patients and very unsanitary. Nightingale believed that undetected pathogens lead to illness and infection. She strongly protected the fact that eliminating dirt from the patients surrounding and promoting good personal hygiene can help stop patients from developing diseases or infections. She promoted that nurses strictly concentrate on the visible vectors of disease. “With scientific validation of the germ theory and introduction of sterilization, practice patterns gradually began to incorporate the use of sterile technique as a major factor in preventing infection” (Cuzzell, 1999, p. 1).
Florence Nightingale’s beliefs included nursing being separated from medicine, nurses ought to be trained, the surrounding of the patient is essential for their health, nursing is an art and a science, and that the environment contributes to the patients healing process. In nursing, there are four Metparadigm concepts and “includes the physical, emotional and social, and spiritual dimensions of that person” (LeMone,...

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