Before Florence Nightingale’s time, people viewed medical practice as solely the administration of medicines or procedures for the benefit of the patient. Nightingale, however, believed that patients stood a greater chance of recovering if nurses not only treated the disease, but also cared for the patient by creating a recovery oriented environment. While in practice, she noticed a pattern of patients responding better to treatment when she also provided her patients with adequate nutrition, sanitation practices, and even fresh air. After years of research and data analysis, she proved the validity of the claims made in her environmental theory (Potter, Perry, Stockert, & Hall, 2013, p. 44). The purpose of this paper is to summarize the life and accomplishments of Florence Nightingale, explain the components of her environmental theory, and demonstrate the significance of applying her theory in modern medical practice.
The Work of Florence Nightingale
Before Nightingale, the nursing profession received constant scrutiny because of the lack of quality in patient care. During England’s Crimean War (1853-1856), Nightingale quickly rose to fame due to the high quality of care she executed on the sick and dying British soldiers. In 1854, she arrived at the Scutari Barracks with a following of over thirty nursing volunteers (Crook, 2014, p. 304). While here, she collected data based on how her patients responded to treatment in certain environmental conditions. In…