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Environmental theory by Florence Nightingale

One example of a nursing theory is the environmental theory from Florence Nightingale. Even though her intention was not to actually develop a theory, her rules for practice ended up becoming one, “thereby making her model both descriptive and practical” (Butts & Rich, 2018). Nightingale used 13 facets of nursing care that addressed patient needs, although they are not all-inclusive. Florence also briefly touches on giving one’s whole attention to a patient and to never rush them through an assessment – as I’m sure this will not only make the practitioner more likely to miss a crucial piece of the puzzle, but will also hurt the trust of the practitioner-patient relationship. “‘Always sit down when a sick person is talking business to you, show no signs of hurry, and give complete attention” (Clatworthy, 2010). A practitioner can use Nightingale’s basic patient rights to healthcare to provide holistic care. Alternately, an example of a non-nursing theory is the way of deontology. According to our text, it “literally means ‘the study of duty’” (Butts & Rich, 2018). I chose this theory because it is all encompassing related to morals, but can easily be shifted to use in a nursing setting. As a practitioner, it is one’s duty to provide the best care for a patient, not only addressing their physical needs, but all other needs as well – emotional, mental, and spiritual. Immanuel Kant’s theory is useful in this situation “because rational choice is within one’s control, whereas one has only tenuous control over personal emotions, only reason – and not emotion – is sufficient to lead a person to moral actions” (Butts & Rich, 2018). “Kant’s ethics sees the ground of morality in pure reason” (Yudanin, 2015). It is within reason to view a patient as multifaceted, therefore the practitioner must fulfill their duty to provide, again, holistic care. When taking these two theories, along with two practitioners who operate on either theory separately, and joining them together, the aforementioned practitioners can truly address every issue and also engage in preventative care to meaningfully treat a patient.


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