Florence Nightingale achieved fame while tending to the needs of soldiers during the Crimean War in the mid-19th century. She became known as "The Lady with the Lamp," an iconic designation depicting a nurse making her solitary rounds, comforting patients. After the war, she wrote books and established a school to train nurses in their care of patients. She believed that nursing was a calling apart from medicine that required specific training and education.
Nightingale's theories revolutionized nursing and are as relevant today as when she first proposed them, so much so that she is considered to be the founder of modern nursing. One of the most important of her contributions is the Environmental Theory, which refers to the role that environment plays in the recovery of a patient.
The Environmental Theory proposes that the fundamental needs of patients include fresh air, pure water, efficient drainage of sewage materials, cleanliness of the patients and their surroundings, and plenty of light, particularly direct sunlight. Patients also require warmth and quietness.
Nurses have to assess other environmental factors, such as specific diets, on an individual basis. Overall, Nightingale believed that it is the duty of nurses to provide the best possible conditions so that patients can recover naturally. These all remain standards at modern hospitals, clinics, and other places of healing.