The field of healthcare has been changing continuously. Healthcare was once viewed as the treatment and curing of diseases and illnesses. Currently, healthcare has begun to focus on preventing diseases and educating people about healthy lifestyles so that diseases do not have a chance to progress. This type of healthcare is known as Health Promotion. Health promotion encourages better health in communities through the collaboration between the community and the healthcare system. It gives people the ability to control factors that can affect their health before needing intensive care for their diseases or illnesses.
Health promotion seeks to provide optimal health standards for the public (Levine, 2006). There are three levels of health promotion which seek to continue to promote optimal health considering the absence or presence of a disease according to the doctor and the absence or presence of a patients illness. The primary level of health prevention aims to decrease the probability or occurrence of the disease (Levine, 2006). Immunizations, health education, fitness programs, and similar lifestyle education are factors that contribute to primary prevention mechanisms (Levine, 2006).
Populations that are receiving primary prevention regimens have neither the disease nor the illness present. Secondary prevention involves screening to detect and treat diseases before they occur at the earliest stage. At this level of prevention the illness is absent but the disease may be present. Tertiary prevention attempts to improve the quality of life in individuals who have already contracted both the disease and the illness. This level of prevention seeks to reduce complications and disability in the patient from the disease and illness (Levine, 2006).
Health promotion is a very important duty for nurses and as highly trained professionals in healthcare, they have an important role in implementing their education to the public. Unlike many other healthcare professionals, nurses are in close contact and provide constant and direct care to individuals.
As stated in one article, “…nurses work in diverse settings that provide ideal opportunities for health promotion to create healthy homes, schools, healthy cities and workplaces”(Nursing, 2011). Nurses play a vital role in health promotion through providing education, early intervention, and constant monitoring. Health promotion can be accomplished in several ways by nurses.
Nurses can identify client, family and group needs, set goals, plan and provide services, and evaluate the impact of their care. Nurses can formulate health promotion strategies for the public and can encourage self-care and independence. Nurses can also work with healthcare providers from other disciplines to manage their care (Levine, 2006).
The purpose of health promotion in nursing practice is to create healthy homes, schools, cities and workplaces. Nurses work in many diverse settings which gives them the ideal opportunity for health promotion (Nursing, 2011). Nurses practice health promotion because they have the unique ability to access and detect illness and disease at its early stages. Nurses have a vital role in educating communities, individuals, and families by providing information about health and illness with the aim of changing peoples’ attitudes and behaviors towards health.
Nurses can assess the circumstances in which people live and provide adequate choices to individuals seeking help. Health promotion is not solely comprised of health education. It is also comprised of “creating political and social interventions designed to change policies and services as well as promoting social responsibility for health” (Nursing, 2011). Nurses can work with other healthcare providers, managers, policy makers, and agencies to promote awareness in certain areas affecting the health of a certain demographic.
They can also help pave the way towards the implementation of safer products, healthier public services, and cleaner environments for society as well as lobbying for health promotion services for underserved populations such as the poor, elderly, disabled people and minority groups (Nursing, 2011). Nurses are capable of providing health promotion as active members of society preventing and treating diseases at its onset and making changes to promote public health.
There are many methods for implementing health promotion, specifically in respect to the nurses’ role. In all areas of nursing, these methods can include gathering information, interpreting it based on normative values, organizing grouping on healthy values, identifying the problem and then planning appropriate goals and intervention.
Specifically nursing intervention in health promotion include screening, education, counseling, and crisis intervention. All these intervention methods require strong communication skills from the nurse. In today’s society, nurses have to work collaboratively with different professionals, including physicians, nutritionist, psychologist, therapist, individuals and community groups. A nurse must play different roles within this group to work towards health promotion (Levine, 2006).
An example of primary health promotion can be found in the Amazing Wellness journal. According to the famous Nurses’ Health Study, eating a healthy diet, maintaining body weight, moderate physical exercise, not smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption lowered the risk of heart disease by a staggering 83 percent. These five simple behaviors can reduce the risk for heart disease by a number greater than the effect of any drug on the planet. Nurses can take advantage of this type of information and share it with their communities to promote optimal health and wellness in society (Bowden, 2011).
After reviewing the three articles, I found that health promotion strategies are important for the improvement of overall community health care. Rather than curing a disease when it is apparent, health promotion seeks to prevent the disease. In health promotion, health education and legislation plays a very important role in nursing. The three levels of health promotion can be used in different areas of disease and illness severity to prevent and treat the progression of an illness.
The primary level of health promotion is geared towards individuals who do not exhibit a disease or an illness. It focuses on preventing a disease or illness before it can occur by providing alternate lifestyle choices or education that can help people live healthier lives. Secondary health promotion occurs when the disease is present in the individual and treatment is needed to prevent further progression through screening and treatment. T
ertiary health promotion focuses on individuals who have already contracted the disease and the illness. Nurses can ameliorate their symptoms and treat them in order to better their quality of life. Nurses have a unique role in the healthcare field which allows them to utilize their talents and education to practice health promotion in all areas. Nurses have a unique role in health promotion and are essential beacons of light to their communities and society itself.
Nursing and health promotion. The Aboriginal Nurse. FindArticles.com. Retrieved from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3911/is_200012/ai_n8923039/ on April 23, 2011. Levine, B.S. (Ed.). (2006). Cardiac/vascular nursing review and resource manual, 2nd Ed. Maryland: American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Dolgun, Gülümser Dolgun. (2011). The Role of the Nurse on Health Promotion and Health Maintenance of Adolescents. Türkpediatriarsivi. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. . Bowden, Jonny. (2011). Total heart health: keeping your heart in shape. Amazing Wellness. Retrieved from on April 23, 2011.