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 social, affects mans’ health. Nightingale believed for man to be healthy the environment had to promote health. By establishing a healthy environment nurses could be better prepared to provide quality care. Nursing was not just for man, but also for man’s environment and its ability to promote health. She believed man, the individual, was responsive to the environment and had reparative powers when in the proper environment (Torres, 1985). However, man was not just an individual; man was a total of his environment and the effect on him as an individual. According to Torres (1985) Nightingale saw the environment as all external conditions and influences affecting the life and development of an organism and capable of preventing, suppressing, or contributing to disease or death (p. 35). The physical environment focused on clean water, clean air, ventilation, warmth, odors, noise, and light. While the social environment centered on meeting emotional needs through communication with nurses, friends, and family. Together they affected the psychological environment promoting stress, which had an effect on the mind and body. Changing the room to allow sunlight, providing stimulating activities, and communication with the...
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Torres, G. (1985). Florence Nightingale. In J.B. George (Ed.), The Base for Professional Nursing Practice (pp. 34-49). Englewoods Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
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