Florence Nightingale played a prominent role in the creation of the nursing model of treatment. The Crimean War in the nineteenth century witnessed Nightingale's compassionate and dedicated care that changed the face of the nursing environment. Although it wasn't widely adopted until 1960, it was in the making with Nightingale's published work in 1859: 'Notes on Nursing:What It Is, and What It Is Not'.
Features of the nursing model of treatment largely came into play only during the second half of the twentieth century. Until 1960, it was the medical model that was in place to treat a patient. However, with the need for change in the health care department to treat a patient with better facilities and affect an all-round treatment, the nursing model took over: one in which the nurses play an active and very important role.
The medical model was chiefly scientific and controlled by the doctor within a system that only treated the disease irrespective of the person suffering from it. On the contrary, the nursing model took up a more holistic approach of treating a patient based on additional details such as family background, environmental and home conditions, financial conditions, etcetera. In essence, the nursing model was based on a socio-physio-psychological approach.
According to Riehl & Roy (1980), the Nursing Model of treatment may be defined as "systematically constructed, scientifically based, and logically related set of concepts, which identify the essential components of nursing practice and provide a cohesive and systematic approach to the patient."
Some of the main features of the nursing model which became a success in the health care field, are:
• The patient:
The patient is the most important feature that determines the mode of treatment. That is to say, the patient is assessed for mental stability or instability, the gender, genetic related factors such as hereditary ailments (diabetes, blood pressure, history of heart diseases, mental health illnesses, etcetera), work / studies related stress factors and even religious beliefs and practices.
There are many environmental factors that affect the efficacy of the treatment. These can be the home settings, neighborhood, school or work environment or even the weather conditions. Changes to one or more factors can affect the patient for the better thereby bringing about a much faster and less medicated treatment.
Assessing the all round health conditions of the patient is very important. Determining the recurrence of illnesses, history of previous illnesses, vaccinations that have been or to be taken, nutritional factors, etcetera are some of the main inclusions under this feature of the nursing model.
This is a feature where the nurses themselves affect or influence the treatment of the patient. There is a lot more than just administering the required doses of medicine. Constant care, vigilance, compassion and timely attention can bring about recovery of a patient's illness within a much shorter time frame.
There are many nursing models that are in use today. Some of them are the:
- Nightingale Model of Nursing (Adult Nursing)
- Roy's model of nursing (Psychiatric Nursing)
- Casey's model of nursing (Children Nursing)
- Ramona T Mercer maternal role attainment (Perinatal Nursing)
- Erickson, Tomlin & Swain: Modeling and Role-Modelling (Holistic Nursing)
The most important feature of the nursing model however is its all-round interaction with the patient. This interaction is so intense and closely knit with the emotions of the patient that a good and efficient nurse can make a huge difference to the life and death scenario of the patient. The nursing model brings out the best in every nurse and is a major support to the medical model which works along side it. All in all, this model is in the best interest of the patient and became a success by the trial and error methods that Nightingale so painstakingly undertook to highlight. Health care wouldn't be this good, if it wasn't for the creation of the nursing model of treatment.