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Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale’s environmental theory is a holistic approach to health care. The basis of this theory is the inter-relationship of a healthful environment with nursing. Nightingale noticed that external influences and conditions can suppress, or contribute to disease or death. The goal of the nurse should be to help patients retain their own vitality by meeting their basic needs through control of the environment. (Selanders & Crane, 2012)
There are three types of environment in Nightingale’s theory. The first is the physical environment. It consist of the physical elements where the patient is being treated such as the bed, the linens, the floors and walls, and plumbing. Nightingale manipulated the physical environment by using cleanliness, heat and proper plumbing. She insisted upon patients having access to fresh air and natural sunlight. The second is the psychological environment, which can be affected by the negative physical environment. A dirty and un-kept environment is a psychological damaging environment. One way that Nightingale manipulated this type was with the use of fresh flowers. The psychological environment requires various activities to keep the mind active and distracted from the pain and suffering of illness. It also involves therapeutic communication with the patient and family. The social environment consist of the patients hospital room and home, as well as the community that affects the patient’s specific environment. For example, a patient’s social support may consist of friends, family, church members or neighbors. ("Nursing Theory," 2012)
There are five major components of a healthful environment. They are, proper ventilation, adequate light, sufficient warmth, control of noise and control of odors. These were all important in the Nightingale theory. Fresh ventilated air can decrease the amount of…...

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Florence Nightingale

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