Environmental Theory

Topics: Nursing, Environment, Florence Nightingale Pages: 19 (4609 words) Published: January 26, 2014
Chapter 1
Background of the Study
Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) are the most common nosocomial infection, accounting for 38 percent of nosocomial infections.  It is estimated that SSIs develop in 2 to 5 percent of the more than 30 million patients undergoing surgical procedures each year. The environment plays a big role whether or not the patient would develop Surgical Site Infections. (Brunner & Suddarth, 2008). The postoperative period extends from the time the patient leaves the operating room (OR) until the last follow-up visit with the surgeon. This may be as short as one week or as long as several months. During the postoperative period, nursing care focuses on reestablishing the patient’s physiologic equilibrium, alleviating pain, preventing complications, and teaching the patient self-care. Careful assessment and immediate intervention assist the patient in returning to optimal function quickly, safely, and as comfortable as possible. (Brunner & Suddarth, 2008). According to The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS, 30 years ago, approximately 90% of tonsillectomies in children were done for recurrent infection; now it is about 20% for infection and 80% for obstructive sleep problems (OSA). The rise in the incidence of tonsillectomy is one of the major phenomena of modern surgery, for it has been estimated that 200,000 of these operations are performed annually in this country and that tonsillectomies form one-third of the number of operations performed under general anesthesia in the United States. There are, moreover, features in the age, geographical and social distribution of the incidence, so unusual as to justify the decision of the Section of Epidemiology to devote an evening to its discussion. (Glover, 2008) The environmental aspects of Nightingale’s theory (ventilation, warmth, quiet, diet, and cleanliness) remains a significant component of current nursing care until today. These concepts, even from the 21st, showed significance as the global society encounters new issues of disease control. Like for instance, sanitation and water treatment somehow controlled sources of diseases and sickness. In places such as clinics and hospitals, the control for room temperature for an individual patient is also considered. Also, the same environment, though it contains technology that helps for recovery, may create uncomfortable noise that would affect the healing process. Nightingale’s theory has been used to provide general guidelines for all nurse practitioners for a number of years. The universality of her concepts still remains relevant except for some specific activities. The concept of the nurse, patient and environment are still applicable and relevant in all nursing settings today. Florence Nightingale believed that disease was a reparative process; disease was nature’s effort to remedy a process of poisoning or decay, or a reaction against the conditions in which a person was placed. Nightingale did not provide a definition of nature. In her writings, she often capitalized the word nature in her writings, thereby suggesting that it was synonymous with God. However, when she used the word nature without capitalization, it is unclear whether or not the intended meaning is different and perhaps synonymous with an organic pathological process. Nightingale believed that nursing’s role was to prevent an interruption of the reparative process and to provide optimal conditions for its enhancement.

Nightingale felt that nurses needed to be excellent at the observation of their patients and the environment. She also believed that persons desired good health and that they would cooperate with the nurse and nature to allow the reparative process to occur or alter their environment to prevent disease. Nightingale strongly believed that appropriate manipulations of the environment would prevent diseases; this concept underlies modern sanitation activities. (Octaviano &...
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