Environmentally Safe Healthcare, and Emancipatory Knowledge Research Paper

Pages: 20 (5800 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Health - Nursing

Environmental Theory and Emancipatory Knowledge of Knowing -- Nightengale's Nursing Theory

Introduction- Modern nursing is a rewarding, but challenging, career choice. The modern nurse's role is not limited only to assist the doctor in procedures, however. Instead, the contemporary nursing professional takes on a partnership role with both the doctor and patient as advocate caregiver, teacher, researcher, counselor, and case manager. The caregiver role includes those activities that assist the client physically, mentally, and emotionally, while still preserving the client's dignity. In order for a nurse to be an effective caregiver, the patient must be treated in a holistic manner. Within the subject of nursing, there are often times in which different aspects of the practice must be analyzed by using primary research from other scholars. Nursing scholarship is vital to the profession, as we have seen, in order for the modern nurse to remain current with scholarship and practice. Case histories, for instance, provide a way to examine different aspects of nursing theory with tangible, tactical solutions, as well as strategic intellectual repartee' (Alligood, 2009, intro. In order for a nurse to be an effective caregiver, the patient must be treated in a holistic manner. This view, of course, was not always the case. In fact, it took a single nurse -- operating against all odds during a time period in which women's opinions were not valued, to change the overall paradigm of nursing. That woman was Florence Nightingale.Download full
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TOPIC: Research Paper on Environmentally Safe Healthcare, & Emancipatory Knowledge Assignment

Nightingale the visionary - Patient advocacy is another role that the modern nurse assumes when providing quality care. However, this is not a new paradigm or approach to nursing, but rather one in which there is a long historical tradition dating back to the late 19th century and ideals of Florence Nightingale, through the interpersonal advocacy model of Hildegard Peplau, and finally, epitomized and continually advocated by Jean Watson. Advocacy is the active support of an important cause, supporting others, or speaking on behalf of those who cannot speak for the elves (Kozier, Erb, & Blais, 1997). It is interesting to note, as well, that it was Nightingale's theories that formed the basis of modern nursing advocacy, the theory of the environment, and indeed, most of modern nursing practice.

Perhaps the most famous public nursing icon is Florence Nightingale, who loved from 1820 to 1910 and became famous for her patient advocacy during the Crimean War and influence on nursing practices during the American Civil War. In essence, Nightingale was the first nursing theorist, and perhaps because of her background in statistics, was able to objectively define the scientific problem and develop a program based on empirical training (Rehmeyer, 2008).

Florence was born into an upper class family, yet that did not stop her from using her education to address what she believed were some critical social and public health ills of the time. When she arrived at a British run hospital in Turkey during the Crimean War, she was appalled at the abject misery and chaos she observed. The wounded lay next to each other, many bleeding or septic. There was little fresh air; food and water were in short supply, and fewer basic medical supplies like bandages, iodine, and morphine. This all changed by the time she left Turkey after the war ended in July 1856. Most of the field hospitals were well-run, efficient, and fully stocked with mortality rates actually no greater than those in England at the time. However laudable this was, though, it was her diligent and continued efforts, her tireless lobbying, and her passion for her cause that she used her statistical knowledge to compile vast tables of data to show how many people actually died in the war, and in England, where and why. Through statistics, she discovered that in times of peace, soldiers in England had a fifty percent higher mortality rate than those of civilians. Principally, she found that lack of sanitation, inadequate food and supplies, and a basic lack of hygiene contributed to these findings. Some of the fixes were easy; replacing rotten flooring, flushing sewers, removing offal and animal carcasses. What made Nightingale stand out, though, was her willingness to break the protocol of the time and use charts to explain the statistical data, especially to Queen Victoria. Aside from nursing theory, then, one can say that Nightingale was one of the first to use statistics in a way to change health policy (Ibid.).

Besides being a forerunner for modern public health policy, Nightingale was an advocate of women's rights and Christian universalism. The first official nurses' training program, aptly titled the Nightingale School for Nurses, opened in 1860 with the advocacy noted that nurses should work in hospitals, assist the poor, and teach proper hygiene. Florence's ideas that nurses should be patient advocates and outgoing carry through in her theories, as well as basic expectations of nurses from her time forward (Bostridge, 2008).

It was in 1860 as well that Nightingale published her general theory of the nursing profession, Notes on Nursing: What it Is, and What it Is Not. While this is not a theoretical text, at least in the modern sense, Nightingale set down her ideas which have been subsequently translated into a theoretical vision that fits in with modern paradigm of patient care. Essentially, however, Nightingale's views were based on advocating some common sense principles for healthcare in general: ensure that medical conditions were as sanitary as possible in all circumstances; change the environment so it is more healthful for the patient and staff (adequate ventilation, light, warmth, low noise, cleanliness); use the environment of advocacy and caring to increase the recuperative powers of the individual. Certainly, her ideas about preventive medication and holistic health were far advanced for her time, yet as medical care in the 20th century evolved, more and more medical practices used Nightingale as their basic inspiration and standard for palliative care (Gill, 2004).

There are numerous museums, monuments, named hospitals and foundations all surrounding Nightingale. During the Vietnam War, for instance, her work in Crimea inspired a number of Army Nurses, which in turn sparked a renewal of study in her life and work in the general public (McDonald, 2005). Her name remains synonymous with the professionalization of nursing, and of patient advocacy and the importance of the nurse's role within the healthcare paradigm. Her very own commonsensical approach to care is best expressed in the conclusion to her 1860 book:

And what nursing has to do… is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him… You think fresh air, and quiet and cleanliness extravagant, perhaps dangerous luxuries, which should be given to the patient only when quite convenient, and medicine the sine qua non, the panacea. If I have succeeded in any measure in dispelling this illusion, and in showing what true nursing is, and what it is not, my object will have been answered… (Nightingale, 133).

Biography Early Life - Florence Nightingale, in fact, was the founder of the Nursing Movement, the second born daughter of wealthy landowner William Nightingale, who adopted the name Nightingale to get his inheritance from his uncle Peter Nightingale. Nightingale's father was against slavery, a Unitarian, and a Whig. . Nightingale was born during a trip on May 12, 1820, at villa Colombia, near the Porta Romana, in Florence Italy. Her name, Florence, was given to her after the city (Firenze). In1821, Nightingales family went back to England and settled in her father's home at Derbyshire where her father managed his lead work (Britain unlimited, 2009). Nightingale's mother was a daughter of a wealthy Unitarian family and liberal politician too (McEwens, and Wills, 2011), (Simkin, 2009), (Dossey, 2005). In 1823,Nightingale's family moved to Keynsham court in Presteigne, Herefordshire, and finally, in 1825 they moved again to Embley Park in Wellow, Hampshire.

Education - Nightingale was educated at home by her father, who was a graduate of Cambridge University. Her father taught her French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, and mathematics. Later on, she became very knowledgeable in statistics, which helped her and others in her statistical planning (Britain unlimited, 2009), (Dossey, 2005-page 24, 66, 67), (McEwen, and Wills, 2011-page 123). In 1837, Nightingale became the "practical mystic" (Dossey, 2005-page 55-59). Nightingale said she was called by God, and started finding her path to a career. She refused to marry Lord Houghton, by whom she was being courted, simply because she wanted to continue with her mystical path. As she travelled to Italy, Egypt, Greece, and Kaiserswerth in Germany she became aware of her duty to the world, therefore she made her own choice and focused on it without paying attention to her parent's interest (Dossey, 2005, 57). That same year Nightingale's family went back to Europe and Nightingale met Mary Clark in Parish. Clark was a popular woman who was well-known to men in the political world. The Nightingale family returned to England in 1839 and Nightingale and her sister were presented to Queen Victoria at her birthday… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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