IntroductionNurses are to advocate for their patients, educate them and raise awareness in regards to their health and well-being. Nursing care is aimed towards all aspects of health care including prevention as well as treatment of disease. Prevention has become a major focus in the nursing industry and health promotion is an important responsibility of nurses.
This paper will discuss how health promotion is defined and what purpose is serves in the nursing profession. It will review the evolving nursing roles and different ways to implement health promotion, as well as cover the different levels of health promotion, which are geared towards the disease they target. Health Promotion
“Health is thus not only about disease and medical care systems but also about the environment around us, which influences the mental and physical state of a person. It is a multidimensional phenomenon.” (Ambedkar, Pg 189) When promoting health it is important to realize that an individual’s health encompasses the person as a whole. It includes their environment, physical and mental well-being, cultural beliefs and background as well as religion.
To promote health in a positive manner with positive outcomes for the patient all these things need to be considered and the interventions and education need to be tailored to each individual’s personal needs and beliefs.
Health promotion is about promoting ideas and concepts that motivate and educate people to adopt healthy behaviors, it is lifestyle changes, not something that can be forced on people, but educate to empower change. It is providing education that is personalized and empowers them to take control of their environment or conditions thus improving their health status. Purpose of Health Promotion in Nursing
Health promotion is a major role in nursing. Nurses need to empower patients to promote health, prevent disease and treat illness. Education and teaching that is tailored towards patient’s specific and individualized needs is imperative to “enabling patients to increase control over their lives and health.” (Laverack, pg 170)
The purpose of health promotion in nursing is to reach out and educate families, communities and individuals to adopt healthy choices therefore adopting healthier lifestyles. Nurses need to be educated and diversified to educate a diverse population with multiple needs.
This requires critical thinking to overcome challenges in spite of culture, religion or lifestyle. Most people resent change and find it difficult to adapt which is why education is so important. Nurses need to inform and promote awareness, but also be sensitive to a diverse, multicultural population. This can present obstacle’s that may be important to their patient. Nurses need to critically think be able to find a way to overcome these obstacles while still promoting health and compliance and meeting the needs and wants of their patient. Evolving Nursing Roles
Nursing plays a huge role in illness prevention and health promotion. When providing care for others nurses should make every interaction count. When doing routine cares, treatments or assessments use the time to educate and promote health awareness. Nurses are “expected to display a specialization of knowledge, technical competence, social responsibility and service to their clients. Their level of professionalism is attained through education, training, professional codes of practice and core competencies.” (Laverack, pg 4) Nurses assess, advocate for their clients, educate on disease prevention, and promote self-care and health awareness.
“Health communication and health education strategies are used to increase knowledge levels and raise awareness so that clients can make informed choices about decisions regarding their lives and health.” (Laverack, pg 6) These skills are necessary so that patients can take control over their lives and their health. Health Promotion Methods
Health promotion needs to start in the community, be geared towards people prior to illness. Health care needs to focus on and promote social organizations to educate, demonstrate and screen for illness. The best methods to promote health to the population and spread education are through community development, community organizations, and encourage community participation. The goal needs to be to inform the public and educate them of illness, risks factors and lifestyle changes. Providing them information gives them the assets to draw upon to take control of their lives. Levelsof Health Promotion
There are three levels of health promotion and they are described by the disease they target. There is primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. Primary prevention is aimed at preventing disease. (cdc.gov) This is where the public is made aware of health issues and educated on risk factors and alternatives to lifestyle changes. Primary prevention is where community outreach is important. Secondary prevention is used after the disease occurs but before the person notices anything is wrong. (cdc.gov) Secondary prevention involves routine doctor appointment and screenings to identify problems.
When a patient is in the phase of secondary prevention it is the opportunity to educate them and empower them to make change to prevent symptoms. Tertiary prevention targets those who already have symptoms of a disease. (cdc.gov) While in the tertiary phase the goal is to manage the illness. Prevent damage, prevent pain, prevent complications and improve quality of life. Conclusion
Health promotion is about empowering people to take control over their health and their lives. Now more than ever nurses have a huge role in health promotion by educating, interacting and role playing for their patients and their community. Health prevention is at utmost importance to prevent illness and disease, but also to maintain health with an illness or disease. Nurses are to advocate for their patients, educate them and raise awareness in regards to their health and well-being. Nursing care is aimed towards all aspects of health care including prevention as well as treatment of disease.
ReferencesAmbedkar, S. Nagendra Nagendra, Shilaja (2006). Primary Health Care Policy Issues and TrendsJaipur, INDLaverack, Glen (2007). Health Promotion Practice: Building Empowered Communities, Buckingham, GBR Levels of Disease Preventions, retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/EXCITE