Florence Nightingale was a well-renowned reformer, who pioneered and reformed modern-day nursing and came to be known as “Founder of Modern Nursing”. Defying the notion that the occupation of nursing is meant for people with low status, Nightingale pursued to become a nurse, despite belonging to a cultured British family. Instead of living a carefree life, as conventional English women would do, Nightingale started nursing in the early 1850s at Middlesex hospital for governesses. Her performance there was highly appreciated. After the Crimean war broke out, Nightingale rose to the call of Secretary of War Sidney Herbert, in order to provide nursing services for the injured soldiers. Nightingale especially worked and efficiently managed the hospital which was previously in very ill sanitary conditions. Based on her observations in the Crimean War, she wrote her Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency, and Hospital Administration of the British Army. She also wrote notes on Hospital, discussing how to manage the civilian hospitals. In recognition of her services to the nation, Queen awarded her with a brochure which later came to be known as “Nightingale Broche” and an award of $250,000, which she used for her cause. She also served as Authority on healthcare reforms in Mayfair and Authority of Public sanitation issues in India.
The nursing theory proposed by Nightingale orbits around manipulating the environment for a patient’s cure and for speeding up the healing process. She believed that nature itself has the power to cure and the basic task of a nurse is to make the best possible natural conditions available to be acted upon the patient in favor of his health. Environment, which itself can be altered by nursing practices, has a deep influence on a patient, either it can suppress the diseases or it may put a man on the deathbed. Establishing the notion that the environment can be used to assist in curing the patient; by vigilantly controlling and monitoring few environmental aspects, the health process can be accelerated. Some of these elements include efficient ventilation of patient’s rooms to allow an adequate influx of fresh air.
Ensuring the provision of light, especially Sunlight, since it casts a beneficial impact on health. Keeping a good level of cleanliness in the room is also very much essential. There must be a supply of fresh water; the patient’s room must comply with all the necessary sanitary standards. Avoiding noisy conversations near the patient. The bed and bed sheet must be clean and its height must be at a comfortable level. Help patient out in keeping him/herself clean and dry. Employing interpersonal skills for assisting the patient also boosts the recovery process. The nursing theory as put forward by Nightingale is being widely appreciated and largely practiced till today.