Health promotions in nursing practice

Health promotions can be defined as giving people control over their own health and helping them improve their health status. Health promotion focuses on helping individuals, families, and communities develop proficiencies needed to gain control over everyday life. Therefore, the ultimate goal of the health promotion model is to promote a sense of well-being, not just the absence of disease (Grand Canyon University, 2011). Now, that nurses understand the focus they must compare the three levels of prevention, show how nurse assume their role and show how the different levels of health promotion can be implement. To begin, in order to begin to compare the three different ways of prevention a nurse should examine her own beliefs and definition of what constitutes prevention. When nurses compare the three different levels of prevention, the ideology is to increase the overall quality of life.

For example, from primary prevention of a nurse who washed their hands to prevent them from getting sick, to a secondary prevention a women who gets her yearly pap smear to check for cervical dysplasia to prevent cancer, to a tertiary prevention like someone who takes their medication to prevent a flair up of congested heart failure or asthma. These levels of prevention may operate on a continuum, but occasionally they overlap in practice; therefore, the nurse must clearly understand the goals of each level to intervene effectively (Edelman, 2010). Nurse roles have evolved over the years. At one time, nurses were just there to attend to the needs of the sick and health promotions historically were focused on the public’s health.

However, over time health promotions have evolved to encompass the individual, the family and the community with the focus nationwide to implement disease preventions and promote healthy environments and behaviors (Grand Canyon University, 2011). Since our focus has changed, a nurse’s role and responsibility have shifted to that of a health promoter to improve the overall quality of life, hence positive patient outcomes (Rush, 1997). Nurses are no longer found just in a doctor office or as a bedside nurse; nurses have assumed roles of responsibility as an educator to help patient’s change their attitude and behavior in reference to their own health care status (Edelman, 2010). Lifestyle risk factors such as smoking, poor diet, or inadequate physical activity are the cause of many chronic conditions and co-morbidities, which can cause further complications to the disease process and hinder our efforts to prevent death. Therefore, nurse’s as health promoters know it is essential to educating patients about risk factors and to supporting them to make these changes to their lifestyle to benefit their own health (Lawrence et al., 2011).

Small improvements to exercise, nutrition, and reduction in tobacco use can have measurable effects on these chronic conditions and disease, which is why the role of the nurses have evolved from being a simple submissive worker to one that is an independent educator who must educate patients on how to make changes (Ormond et al., 2011). To treat these long- term chronic conditions, the nurse’s responsibility is to herself, her colleagues and her patients in an effort to assist individuals and families to focus on strategies for behavioral changes (Edelman, 2010). While the role of the nurse has changed over the years, nurse’s ultimate responsibility is to protect, educate and advocate for our patients, their families and the community, which affects the overall health of the public. Nurses and health care providers have to be resourceful in order to plan interventions and implement some methods of health care promotions. The implementation where children are taught basic primary preventions can be seen in schools as they are educated about washing their hands, brushing their teeth, and saying no to drugs, eating healthy with the food pyramid and covering the mouth when they cough. The clever part is that children are adaptable to change and love to learn; children don’t know why these things are so important to their own health and that’s because it’s presented on their learning level. Health promotions for teenagers can be seen in walk in clinics, community centers and planned parent-hood that are community resources to help with pregnancy concerns, sexually transmitted diseases and even HIV.

Many teenagers are scared to talk with their parents or teachers and these resources are sometimes all these teens have available to them. Wound care clinics; diabetic educational class, colonoscopy and mammogram screenings are set up by healthcare professionals to help individuals prevent things from happening through education. There are also prevention’s that are addressed outside of clinical medicine perspective such as in the state or federally driven primary prevention; for example, smoking bans in public places (Oberg, 2010). Healthcare providers and nurses that work in the professional organizations use their voice to lobby legislation to help us fight to increase preventions in an attempt to implement changes; for example, education involving safety risk such as those who drink and drive, go without seat belts or even the use of drugs. This is why we have seen national campaign ads in order to educate on these dangerous and yet modifiable life style changes, which are needed to implemented for primary, secondary and tertiary preventions (Edelman, 2010). In conclusion, it must be emphasized that health promotion requires lifestyle change.

Nurses understand that individual tailored lifestyle management programs will need to be an incorporate principle for healthy behavioral change. Once a lifestyle change has been adopted, due diligence and vigilance is needed to ensure that the changes are maintained by the patient (Edelman, 2010). How an individual define health and health problems are important because their definitions influence how they well they will attempt to improve their health (Edelman, 2010). Nurses can advocate for health changes and provide all the educational resources available to patients and families, but ultimately nurses must know that it is up to an individual or family to assume responsibility for their own personal health. References

Edelman, Mandle, C. (2010). Health Promotion throughout the Life Span (7th Ed). Mosby. Retrieved from Grand Canyon University. (2011). NRS 429V, Lecture notes 2. Retrieved from Lawrence, M., Fraser, H., Woods, C., & McCall, J. (2011). Secondary prevention of stroke and transient ischemic attack. Nursing Standard, 26(9), 41-46. Retrieved from Oberg, E. (2010). Preventive services update. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 9(4), 22-26. Retrieved from Ormond, B., Spillman, B., Waidmann, T., Caswell, K., & Tereshchenko, B. (2011).

Potential national and state medical care savings from primary disease prevention. American Journal of Public Health, 101(1), 157-164. Retrieved from Rush, K. (1997). Health promotion ideology and nursing education. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 25(6), 1292-1298. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2648.1997.19970251292.x. Retrieved from

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