The history of Nursing Science
October 25, 2012
Florence Nightingale’s Environmental Theory
While the history of nursing can be traced back to the early first and second centuries, or even earlier, the study of nursing research and theories is a 20th and 21st century phenomena. The act of nursing is rooted in the Greco-Roman tradition of humanista, which core values are respect for the dignity of person, and the right to be free of pain and suffering; and the Judaic – Christian tradition of Caritas, with core values of solidarity with the sick, hungry, homeless, and hopeless (Evers, 2003). Coming from this line of thought it is not ...view middle of the document...
Florence Nightingale believed she was called by God to care for the sick and poor, attended the Fliedner School of Nursing in Kaiserswerth and studied nursing. Then, during the Crimean war in 1856 while caring for wounded soldiers, advocated for both the solders and the nurses who cared for them. She emphasized the importance of environment, psychological, and human needs to patient outcome. To prove this point, she conducted one of the first known nursing quantitative researches; using her knowledge of statistics, philosophy, and keen observational skills she used polar diagrams (statistical diagram) and case studies to show the relationship between environmental factors and positive or negative client outcomes.
. Today is common for patients and their families to expect to receive safe, reliable, and respectful care from hospitals, but in the Nightingale era it was not so as hospitals were dark and filthy. In notes on nursing Florence Nightingale offered one of the most revolutionary concepts of her time and it is still relevant to nursing today. She stipulated that the patient’s psychological, environmental, and biological, needs are as important as the medicine he or she take. This means that the implementation and rendering of efficient effective care is essential for the client’s wellbeing. And that the environment can be manipulated or altered to achieve faster recovery time from illness and to prevent illness reoccurrence (George, 2011). This holistic view of the patients’ psychological, environmental, and biological needs became the bases of what is known today as the environmental theory or model of nursing.
The environmental model is a grand theory that puts the patient at the center or care; with nursing staff assisting the patient achieve wellness as an observer who manipulates or alters the environmental factors. Nightingale identified factors that influence health and illness by affecting a patient’s healthy environment. Such as pure or fresh air and water, cleanliness, ventilation and warming, light especially direct sunlight, noise, health of houses, bed and beddings, variety, and nutrition. These, according to Nightingale the nurse can manipulate or change to affect a positive outcome for the ill client; and when one aspect of these environmental factors are out of balance, the client will have to use more energy to restore balance. Nightingale also...