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The Medical Application of Nightingale’s Environmental Theory.

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This theory was created by Florence Nightingale who lived from 1820 to 1910 . She is known by all and nay as the founder and discoverer of medical and scientific nursing. The tag ‘ the lady with the lamp’ for shedding more lights on a lot of medical and health issues. She is considered by many medical and health workers as the real first nursing theorist. One of the theories or perhaps the most important one she wrote in her long years of discoveries is the or Nightingale environmental theory.

This theory was responsible for uniting all the lost glories of nursing in one body and also to its usual health status of the nurse’s clients into the delivery of health care, and quite unbelievable, it is still studied and used in the medical and health world today. In this thesis of Florence Nightingale, she stated that; ‘is an act of utilizing the environment of the patient to assist him in his recovery’ (Nightingale 1860/1969), This particular quote implies or insinuate that the environment of the patient is more reliable to the health of the patient than a hospital environment, this night be so, because the body responds more to friendly and recognizable environment. This theory also encourage the nurse or health worker to be pragmatic in delivering health duties to a patient and also encourages them to prepare and arrange organized medium applicable for the balanced rehabilitation of the health of the patient in question.

The factors that are related to the immediate environment of the patient that can affect their health positively or negatively are:

  • pure fresh-air
  • pure water
  • effective drainage
  • cleanliness
  • light (especially sunlight).

Taking note that unavailability of at least one of this factors can impart the health of the patient. Therefore ideally the perfect surrounding for a sick patient is cleanly sanitized environment which is open or adequately ventilated with effective drainage facilities in order not to keep drainage waiter which in turn breeds mosquitoes and the environment must be open to sunlight or at least other forms of artificial light. This theory has been important and applicable for treatment in the Crimean war, when nurse Florence Nightingale and some other nurses helped injured soldiers and gave them fundamental health care.

In the case of Mrs. Adams, a 68-year-old widow who was referred to case management upon discharge from the hospital based on her physician’s recommendation that she is not able to care for herself independently, the immediate health actions that should be recommended for a case like this is putting her in an environmnet cleaned adequately with trusted amtiseptics to avoid minor infections, this place should also be adequately ventilated in order to aid adequate respiration, the presence of abundant clean drinkable water supply must also be available, as said earlier, the presence of adequate and reliable sewage or drainage system in the environment in order to avoid mosquitoes and other sewage related diseases on the patient and lastly the presence of adequate sunlight or any form of light in the accommodation of the patient which is in compliance with the Florence Nightingale theory’s five essential component of a perfect environment for sick and recuperating patient.

In a case such as Mrs Adams a 68 year old woman with diagnosis of breast cancer, hypertension and diabetes, a post-op mastectomy and inconducive living conditions, the appropriate plan of care I would use for this case is health and financial care planning, the financial planning is needed in order to put the apartment in a conducive conditions like fixing the lights and damaged air condition, so as for the apartment retain a source of lighting and maintaining an adequate air flow for a patient of Mrs Adams particular condition. The health planning is needed in order for her to recuperate fully. Firstly a diagnosis is needed, one showing her body responses to her health condition which in this particular situation might be grieving due to loss of husband shortly before. The goals and outcomes that should be pursued ares; healthy food (lower calories food, fibre containingfood less salt containing food), reduction of weight should be targeted, stoppage or limit alcohol and smoking habit should be at the top of the list, stress should be managed adequately, positive attitude, exercise and lastly relaxing. The healthcare should prioritise the psychological needs (air, water, food, shelter, clothing) which is part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper; ‘ a theory of human motivation’ over all other needs.

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