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Nursing Theorists - Essay Example

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A nursing theory refers to a group of definitions, concepts and propositions that are interrelated, and which are developed from many disciplines that are aimed to address and guide the practice of nursing care. …
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Nursing Theorists Introduction A nursing theory refers to a group of definitions, concepts and propositions that are interrelated,and which are developed from many disciplines that are aimed to address and guide the practice of nursing care. Through nursing theories, people are able to develop, describe, disseminate and apply the present knowledge in nursing. The role of nursing theories is that they offer a framework through which nurses are able to systematize their practice of nursing (Tomey, 2002). Besides, nursing theories allow the validation and development of current nursing knowledge. Over the years, there have been various figureheads who have advanced their theories concerning nursing, and these are applicable even today. They include; Dorothea Orem, Ida Jean Orlando, Callista Roy, Florence Nightingale, Virginia Henderson, Hildegard Peplau, Margaret Newman, Jean Watson, just to name a few (Tomey, 2002). Of all the famous nursing theorists in history, Florence Nightingale’s philosophy appeals to me most and closely aligns with mine. Florence Nightingale Biography Florence Nightingale was born on the 12th of May, 1820 in Florence, Italy and died in London, England, on the 13th of August, 1910. She was the founder of modern nursing and her works contributed to noteworthy improvement in the public health sector. Hailing from a wealthy family, Florence led the high social life that her family had introduced her to. Even though she was tempted by the bliss of high social lifestyles, Nightingale wanted to be independent and active in some activity, while being a God fearing lady (Mark, 2008). In 1844, Nightingale made up her mind to work in hospitals. As expected, her family opposed the idea as this was considered to be work for the lowly in society. During this time, conditions in hospitals were very terrible and sorry, and health care practitioners were not well trained, and had questionable morals. However, Nightingale was undeterred, hence, she began visiting health facilities. Her parents later allowed her to get nursing training in German at a place called Kaiserworth. By 1853, she had got a job in London as a superintendant in an institution of sick and distressed women. This made her independent from her parents. In the October of 1854, Florence and her group of 38 nurses offered services in the Crimean War (1853-1856) that pitted Britain, Sardinia and France against Russia. Conditions at hospitals at the British base in Scutari were deplorable. This became worse as the number of wounded soldiers increased. She convinced military doctors to accept her help. With the help of her privately raised money, Nightingale was able to bring order and improve the conditions in the military hospitals. After a year, the death rate had subsided by over two thirds. This marked the beginning of her charity and good actions to the needy. She went back home (where she was now a famous figure) after the war, and pushed for hospital reforms. After 1961, she spent most of her time in her home, assisting the needy and advocating for the rights of women. She died on the 13th of August 1910 (Mark, 2008). The Environmental Theory Florence Nightingale was the first nursing theorist, and the environmental theory was her main philosophy. According to Nightingale, health hazards are caused by unsanitary conditions (1859). Nightingale asserted that the environment is comprised of 5 components; light, warmth, noise, ventilation and effluvia. Nightingale also asserted that external influences are able to suppress, prevent or even contribute to disease. Her view of health and disease from an environmental perspective enabled her bring massive changes in the public health sector. Besides, the deplorable conditions in the Crimean war were as a result of environmental hazards which were spreading disease among the wounded soldiers. When Nightingale took over, issues of the environment were addressed, and the conditions were bettered over time (Mark, 2008). Nightingale’s environmental concept also discussed four aspects; person, environment, health and nursing. Nightingale described a person as a patient who receives the care of a nurse and is affected by the environment. She divided environment into social, physical and psychological, and normalcy in these three are necessary for a healthy life. Nightingale explained that health is controlled by the state of the environment (Mark, 2008). Therefore, Nightingale’s environmental philosophy is proficient and noteworthy in that it discusses disease from an environmental perspective. This is true because, disease causing organisms are derived from the environment. By encouraging conditions in the environment that harbor disease causing organisms, diseases thrive in the community. Therefore, Nightingale outlined the foundation of public health and the relationship of the environment with disease. I, therefore, share in her philosophy. References Mark, B. (2008). Florence Nightingale: The Making of an Icon. Taylor and Francis. Tomey AM, A. M. (2002). Nursing theorists and their work. Philadelphia: Mosby. Read More
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