The Importance Of Florence Nightingale's Nursing Theory

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Florence Nightingale’s Nursing Theory
Florence Nightingale is arguably the most recognized and important influence in nursing history. She is most well-known for being the founder of modern nursing, devoting her life to preventing disease, make nursing a respected field, and delivering safe and compassionate care to patients by developing her environmental theory for other nurses to consider. Nightingales environmental theory focused mainly on meeting the needs of the patient within the environment (Jetha, 2014). The patient’s health is considered to be the recovery of disease and the restoration of their health. The main components of Nightingales environmental theory were pure air, pure water, efficient drainage, cleanliness and light. Along
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Cleanliness: The condition of the room and walls is just as important as pure air, water and effective drainage, as well as cleanliness and light. Unclean beds and bedding were just as big of a source of infection and disease as dirty carpeting and rooms were. Patients should maintain personal hygiene and cleanliness to prevent skin breakdown and infection.
According to Wayne (2014), Nightingale added to the five main principles of her environmental theory by recognizing the importance of the following elements:
• Noise: Patients should never be bothered by noises in or outside of their room. Likewise, she stated that health care providers should never whisper or have long conversations about patients when they can hear because she believed it was rude and cruel.
• Variety and social interaction: Patient’s need variety in their environment in aspects of color and form; she encouraged the use of flowers and plants in patient’s rooms. Nightingale also noted the importance of patient’s interacting with family and friends, as well as examining the social environment and adjusting it to meet the patient’s needs
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Nightingale paved the way for women to work in the medical field as nurses. She founded the first nursing school and developed a curriculum that would allow graduate nurses to be able to go out into the world and train others to become nurses. Nightingale’s implementation of specialized education for sanitation procedures, environmental health and patient care reestablished nursing as a well respected profession. She also distinguished that a nurse must be highly educated in the field of nursing and develop critical thinking skills to use the nursing process to solve problems. She believed that nurses should work in collaboration with other health care providers to promote patient health. For the past 150 years Nightingale’s nursing principles have been taught and are still used to assess the environment to reach patient needs. Nightingale developed a four step nursing process that correlates with her environmental theory; the nursing process that is used in modern nursing is very similar to Nightingale’s nursing process. The four steps are observation, identification of the environmental stressor that needs to be altered, implementation of alteration, and identifying the patient’s health status. Nightingale pioneered the sanitation reform for the medical field, identifying the need for hand washing techniques, gloves, and hygiene practices were more important than understanding the pathophysiology of disease. Her

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