In the field of nursing, conceptual model frameworks and nursing theories are important tools used to understand the complexity of human activities and the functioning of the human body within a healthcare system. A conceptual model framework is a fictional representation that simplifies the understanding of the human body and its operations through the use of visuals such as pictures, diagrams, and videos. It helps nurses visualize and comprehend the functioning of the real system in a simplified manner (Alligood, 2017).
On the other hand, a nursing theory is a well-established description of a specific phenomenon in the nursing sector. It is characterized by substantive reasoning and thorough documentation that explains the occurrence of the phenomenon. Nursing theories consist of ideas, descriptions, interactions, and conventions that support the existence of a particular phenomenon. They provide a foundation for nursing practice and guide nurses in their decision-making processes (Alligood, 2017).
One example of a nursing theory is Florence Nightingale’s environmental nursing theory. Nightingale proposed that the environment, whether healthy or unhealthy, has a significant influence on the immune system of individuals. She emphasized that if patients are exposed to an unhealthy environment, their chances of quick recovery are minimized (Zborowsky, 2014). Nightingale developed this theory during the Crimean War when she observed that despite providing medication, the health conditions of soldiers deteriorated. She concluded that the dirty environment and poor sanitation were significant contributing factors to the worsening of the soldiers’ conditions. According to Nightingale’s theory, environmental conditions that can facilitate the healing process include access to clean air, clean water, adequate lighting, efficient drainage systems, and overall cleanliness for patients (Zborowsky, 2014).
Nightingale’s environmental nursing theory serves as a valuable framework for understanding the impact of environmental factors on patient outcomes. It highlights the importance of creating and maintaining a clean and supportive healthcare environment for optimal healing. Nurses can apply this theory in their practice by promoting cleanliness, ensuring proper sanitation measures, and advocating for the provision of essential environmental resources.
Additionally, Nightingale’s theory can also be integrated with other nursing theories and models to provide a comprehensive understanding of patient care. For example, her theory aligns with the holistic nursing model, which emphasizes the importance of considering the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of an individual in healthcare (Alligood, 2017). By combining these frameworks, nurses can develop a more holistic and patient-centered approach to care, addressing not only the physiological needs of patients but also their environmental and psychosocial needs.
In conclusion, the use of conceptual model frameworks and nursing theories is crucial in the field of nursing. These frameworks help nurses gain a better understanding of the complex human activities and the functioning of the human body. Nightingale’s environmental nursing theory is an example of a nursing theory that highlights the impact of environmental factors on patient healing. By integrating theories and models, nurses can provide holistic and patient-centered care, ensuring the well-being of individuals in healthcare settings.