Holistic Nursing Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2429 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Health - Nursing

The assumptions will also need development (Selandars, 2010).

Environmental Theory and Hand Hygiene

Effectiveness of hand washing in reducing infections

Hospital acquired infections are significant health issues in the globe. Even though there is a lot of innovation in the medical field, the chemical solutions of killing microorganisms that cause infections are not effective (Chen et al., 2011). Therefore, there have been substantial literatures on the area in an effort to provide a solution. Many of the studies have recommended the utilization of hygiene in reducing the prevalence of these infections. Nursing institutions accept that the environmental can influence patients, and it is the nurse's obligation to ensure patient safety (Molloy College, 2013).

Therefore, the college has listed the environment as a central concept in the humanistic nursing approach (Molloy College, 2013). On the other hand, hand hygiene is appearing in every study (Chen et al., 2011), and the investigators have supported hand hygiene practices. One practice is hand washing. It involves the rubbing of hands with water, and antibacterial soap, prior to and after handling of patients. In this regard, it is likely that healthcare workers' hands may become contaminated by the environment, or after providing care to patients.

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Hand washing is one of the concepts of personal hygiene advocated by Nightingale. Therefore, the environment, as suggested by the theorist can reduce the prevalence or prevent diseases. Hand hygiene, from both patients and healthcare workers, can help to reduce and control hospital-acquired infections. The approach is cost-effective, and results to a hygienic environment between the healthcare workers, and patients. There is substantial evidence, which suggests that hand washing can result to reduced prevalence of the hospital-acquired infections (Chen et al., 2011).

Applying Environmental Theory in Practice

Term Paper on Holistic Nursing Assignment

The apparent purpose of the theory is to offer a direction in nursing practice through the manipulation of the environment. In so doing, the patient realizes improved health. For efficacy in advanced care, the practitioner must comprehend the patient's condition and the immediate environment. The theory is wide in scope, and a wide variety of health practitioners can apply it in various nursing domains (Altimier, 2011). One of the domains that may require advanced care is the neonatal care unit, which is in an acute care setting.

This is because of the contact between the environment, infants, and the practitioners. The advanced nurses must be proficient concerning the children, especially because of the possible contact (Altimier, 2011). On the other hand, the NICU setting exposes the infants to bright lights, noise, and stress. This is where the practitioners borrow the theory put forward by Nightingale. Therefore, the practitioners and concerned healthcare facility have come up with a model, which borrows greatly from the environmental theory (Altimier, 2011).

The model aims to minimize the adverse effect of the NICU environment, and thereby improve the neurodevelopmental results. The model's objective is to control the environmental conditions, which are central in Nightingale's theory, such as bright light and sound (Altimier, 2011). The model developed is core to the principles of Nightingale to nurture the healing environment to achieve quality patient care (Altimier, 2011). The developmental model, after such an intervention, will result to improved care, similar to the environment postulated in Nightingale's theory (Altimier, 2011).


The goal of the theory is to prevent disease by altering the environment. The theme and concepts in the theory are consistent with nursing practice. Nightingale, through the theory, and its effect in nursing, research and education will remain in the current and future literatures. She made an essential contribution, particularly because the theory has applied properly in advanced care, but prior studies suggest that the theory can apply in an extensive range of areas in nursing practice. Nightingale's theory makes it is possible to change the society, and the nursing practice.

The model has several weaknesses, which require evaluation and development because the assumptions have proven ineffective. This is because the environment cannot prevent all the diseases, but it plays a crucial role in the prevention of diseases. The main themes in the theory are ventilation, and provision of light, in form of sunlight to the patients. Concepts provided in the theory can apply in advanced nursing practice, for instance, in the neonatal care unit, where the practitioners will have contact with the infants, as well as prevailing adverse environment in the setting.

The theory has substantial strengths, which have outweighed the weaknesses. Therefore, the theory is a significant contributor in the nursing practice. The theorist's wisdom and vision have proven effective in the current, dynamic nursing practice. For instance, the theory has also shown contribution to the elimination of hospital-acquired infections through personal hygiene, which translates to environmental hygiene (Chen et al., 2011). Overall, Nightingale is worth of praise for the creation of a major theory in nursing, which has endured time to continue shaping the nursing practice.


Altimier, L. (2011). Mother and child integrative developmental model care model: A simple approach to a complex population. New and infant nursing reviews, 11(3), 105-108.

Chen, Y., Sheng, W., Wang, J., Chang, S., Lin, H. (2011). Effectiveness and limitations of hand hygiene promotion on decreasing healthcare-associated infections. PLoS One, 6(11). e27163. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027163. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

George, J. (1995). Nursing theories: The base for professional nursing practice (4 eds.).

Norwalk, CT: Appleton & Lange.

Molloy College. (2013). Division of nursing: Graduate nursing program. Retrieved from http://www.molloy.edu/documents/Nursing/GradNursingHandbook2013.pdf

Nightingale, F. (1859).Notes On Nursing: What It Is And What… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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