Florence Nightingales Environmental Theory Essay example

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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
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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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