Health plays an important factor in the everyday life. In our society, there are those who stay healthy while others always unhealthy. In the field of nursing, it is important to find out reasons as to why lack of health is a continuing problem in the society. This is the key to becoming effective in the sector. The parameters that define health are known as health determinants. These range from social, economic, personal, and environmental factors. This is an important topic as it holds the key to the professional nursing practise.
Dealing with health issues is no longer an easy affair as it was earlier. In the past, people believed that health issues could only be dealt with in the hospital. The best way to deal with such cases was only medical in nature (Craven & Hirnle, 2009). At present, it is evident that there are a number of factors that come into play to define health. Good health can only be achieved when all the above mentioned factors balance well. This brings us to the field of nursing. Understanding health determinants would help effectively and professionally give care to those who are in need of it.
The key to excellent care giving depends on the understanding of different health factors that affect the client. Without proper understanding of such, the probability of giving wrong care is high. Moreover, public policies and the present political ideologies are not factors to be wished away when it comes to health care. For this assignment, the major health determinants dealt with are: culture, individual health practices and coping skills, and hand hygiene. These are important factors that are particularly relevant in the nursing profession.
They seem to be very insignificant in general, but are crucial when it comes to health, they play major roles. Lack of attention towards them has led to the continued deteriorating health in some individuals, families, and even communities. This explains the reason for identifying this particular topic for this assignment. They are very well discussed below. Culture Culture can be defined as a set of behaviour patterns by certain community or society. Such behaviours may include the following: beliefs, actions, language, communication, thought, customs, values, and religious, racial, or social groups.
This brings us to the point that all of us belong to one or more ethnic groups. Everyone is thus a product of different personal, cultural, and ethnical historical past. All the many factors mentioned above affect, in one way or another, our health. In the presence of such multiculturalism, it is evident that dealing with health issues is truly a complex affair. Nurses need to be able to find out the culture of every client to find out how to deal with them. Nursing themselves come from different cultures.
According to Potter and Perry (2006), different cultures and ethnic groups respond different to health care policies and practices. There are those that easily accept the system in place, while others have are slow in doing so. Nursing profession seeks to make our society as healthy as possible. To achieve this, there are a number of health promotion and prevention programs that do take place. Different citizens do participate in such campaigns depending on the cultural background or beliefs. This also leads to the discrepancies on the access to the required health information.
In the long run, a number of people will have different health priorities, something that affects the general health of a given community. Social and economic well being of any community is therefore affected by the culture. For instance, a number of health issues have been associated with the racial or ethnic harassment, either in school or at work. This can also be a major obstacle to the efficiency of the nurses. This is evident in an instance where language and linguistic differences prevent people from accessing basic social services like health care and other benefits.
In the long, a certain community become prone to certain diseases than others. For nursing to be effective, it will call for the establishment of those policies that ensure equality of participation, contribution, and opportunity (Potter and Perry, 2006). Individual Health Practices and Coping Skills Individual health practices and coping skills are those activities that people are able to employ with an aim of promoting health care, preventing diseases, solving certain problems, or developing self reliance.
These factors are majorly lifestyle- related. This means that the personal health practices involve certain individual choices. It should be noted that these individual choices are mostly influenced by the social, environmental, and economic factors. In most cases, all these factors would be play within places where a person stays, grows, work, and/or learns. In today’s world, human kind is presented with a lot of choices to embrace. Some of these choices adversely affect the health condition of individuals.
Research has shown that heart diseases are very much associated with the psychological and biochemical pathways linkable with socioeconomic events. An example of individual health choice is smoking. The numbers of smokers continue to increase by each year among the younger generation. In Canada, this rate has been found in certain communities like the Aboriginals. Other hazardous behaviours that adversely affect health include: unprotected or unsafe sex, alcohol and other drugs abuse, things witnessed in most of the young men in the country.
Eating habits are also part of the personal health problems. This has been found to contribute to a number of deaths through diseases like cancer and heart diseases (Thomson, 2010). According Thomson (2010), skills that individuals use to effectively interact with the surrounding world are known as coping skills. Most of these skills are acquired in the early stages of life and keep on influencing life into adulthood. Research has shown that those who learn good coping skills are able to adequately come up with mechanisms of self-reliance and enhanced health life (Graham, 2007).
Such people are rarely prone to indulge in health risk activities. Nursing professionals should be aware with such to ensure that adequate measures are taken. All nurses should be aware of their own personal health practises. Awareness should help in coming up with coping skills for effective nursing practice. Hand Hygiene Hand washing is a very minor hygienic practice, but it has a major implication on the health. This can be defined as cleaning of hands with water or other liquids or soap to remove, dirt, soil, and/or microorganisms.
This is a practice that has the ability to prevent or minimize the spread of certain diseases. Hand washing is a practise that is instrumental in the nursing field. Due to the different activities that nurses undertake, there are a number of bacteria and viruses (pathogens), and chemicals that stick in their hands. It is therefore important to wash such hands thoroughly before the contamination of oneself or others. Accidental touching of the eyes, ears, and mouth would lead to the spread of pathogens. To effectively clean hands, water alone is not enough.
The use of soap and detergents help in the solubility of the contaminants for easy removal. Antibacterial soaps and hand antiseptics can also be used for cleaning hands. There are critical times when washing hands are necessary; after visiting toilets, after changing diapers, before eating, before and after preparing foods like fish, poultry, and meat. This practice also helps in preventing diarrhoea, influenza, and child death. Embracing this will ensure that nurses achieve their goals of saving lives (Goldmann, 2006).
Conclusion Out of the above discussion, it is evident that health determinants play crucial roles in the directing individual health. Culture, personal health practices and coping skills, and hand hygiene are important heath determinants that have to be taken with utmost importance. Every practising nurse should be able to ensure that all of them are looked into to be effective. This is the only way to achieve the nursing professional goals. Lack of looking into them can lead to avoidable catastrophes, even death.