Health Promotion and prevention can be used interchangeably in that as a society we need to start promoting healthier lifestyles now in order to prevent disease and poor health later in life. This interchange of terms is seen in the definition of prevention in the publication, The Language of Prevention, “A description of the concept of ‘prevention’ is provided as the term used to refer to the efforts of society to promote, protect, and sustain the health of the population,” (2006, p. 2).
The purpose of health promotion in the field of nursing is leaning more and more to reducing the recurrence of disability and disease therefore reducing readmissions of patients. Teaching plays a large role in this. With such a ride range of decreased education in the country and with so many cultures and languages there are many barriers when it comes to teaching patients about their illnesses and ways in which they can care for themselves to prevent further illness and hospital admission.
Nursing roles and responsibilities have greatly evolved from taking care of the patient acutely to constant education in order to prepare the patient to care for themselves to prevent readmission due to further illness. Every time a nurse walks into a patient’s room they must use that time as a way to educate the patient.
“There are ample opportunities for health systems to advocate, enable and mediate for health, to change policies, legislation and practices to create and ensure more equitable health-promoting environments,” (Ziglio, Simpson, & Agis, 2011, p. 219). Nurses and other healthcare providers are now being looked at as models of health promotion due to our advanced knowledge of health and our access to resources to maintain and promote health. Healthcare providers are now being looked at from the community in regards to health promotion as well.
Evidence-based practice is one of the biggest methods that is used in nursing to increase health promotion. By using Evidence-based practice, “nurses can be more independent in their practice, place a greater emphasis on promoting and maximizing health, and more than ever, are accountable morally and legally for their professional behavior,” (Edleman & Mandle, 2010, p. 19). Nurses are also placed in a variety of roles throughout the community, not just in the hospital setting. Nurses are not only advocates for their patients, but the are also becoming care managers.
The role of the care manager is to, “prevent duplication of services and reduce costs,” (Edleman & Mandle, 2010, p. 19). Nurses are on the forefront of health care by also becoming consultants, Deliverers of services, and educators, healers, and researchers. By attaining such a wide variety of roles within the healthcare system, nurses are able to provide input and help implement the changes needed in order to steer our society in a healthier manner.
There are three levels of health promotion. These levels are the Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary levels. By following the three levels of health promotion society can be lead in a variety of ways to a healthier lifestyle. From something as focused as Heart disease al the way to eco-climatic change the three levels of health promotion provide a guideline of target groups in which to focus our goals of health promotion.
“Primary prevention is to limit the incidence of disease and disability in the population by measures that eliminate or reduce causes or determinants of departures from good health, control exposure to risk, and promote factors that are protective of health,” (2006, p. 3). The primary level’s goal is to effect change within a population as a whole.
For example, According to the American Heart Association, “The health of populations throughout the world is seriously compromised by the ubiquitous occurrence of CVD. Most important are the atherosclerotic and hypertensive diseases.These 2 conditions have been projected for the year 202 as ranked first and second in frequency among causes of death,” (Labarthe & Dunbar, 2012). Therefore it is the goal of the American Heart Association to promote health within the population to reduce the effects of heart disease.
The secondary level of health promotion is defined as it, “aims to reduce progression of disease through early detection, usually by screening at an asymptomatic stage, and early intervention,” (The Language of Prevention, 2006). According to an article obtained from the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, decline in the health of humans can be directly correlated with the decline of our ecosystem. For example, more and more people are showing signs of allergies to pollutants. The article goes into detail of the effects of disease transmission related to the climatic conditions by stating, “The dynamics of transmission cycles of vector borne diseases is temperature sensitive.
For both malaria and arboviruses, warmer temperatures may shorten the extrinsic incubation period within the vector, while temperature, rainfall and humidity modify the abundance and longevity of the mosquito vectors and alter the behavior of human and animal hosts,” (Butler & Harley, 2009). This represents the secondary level of health promotion by setting goals to populations that are not currently showing symptoms of illness or disease, but are at risk.
The third level or tertiary level of health promotion is defined as occurring, “when a defect or disability is permanent and irreversible,” (Edleman & Mandle, 2010). This level focuses on the individual and includes, “measures to reduce impairments and disabilities, prevent or delay subsequent events, (including prevention of recurrences), minimize suffering and promote the patient’s adjustment to chronic conditions,” (The Language of Prevention, 2006).
Nurses play a huge role in this level by being one on one with our patients and providing education and tools to rehabilitate our patients and prevent relapse, therefore reducing the number of readmissions to the hospital setting and subsequently reducing costs. References
Butler, C., & Harley, D. (2009). Primary, Secondary, and tertiary effects of eco-climatic change: the medical response. Postgraduate Medical Journal , 230-234.
Edleman, C. L., & Mandle, C. L. (2010). Health Promotion Throughout the Livespan. St. Louis: Mosby, Elsevier.
Labarthe, D., & Dunbar, S. (2012). Global Cardiovascular Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: 2011 and Beyond. Circulation: Journal of theAmerican Heart Association , 2667-2676.
The Language of Prevention. (2006). Retrieved from National Public Health Partnership 2006: www.nphp.gov.au
Ziglio, E., Simpson, S., & Agis, T. (2011). Health Promotion and Health Systems: some unfinished business. Health Promotion International , 216-225.