Health Promotion

Health promotion is a popular phrase commonly used within the health care environment. In nursing, professional nurses play a huge role in preventing illnesses and promoting health. Hence, this accentuates the imperative of including health promotion and disease prevention as part of the critical components of generalist nursing practice.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2015) asserts that the imperative of promoting health and preventing diseases and injuries stems from the need to improve population health.   The significance of these concepts is that they assist in the preparation and minimization of health implications of emergencies. Recently, the popularity of preventive health has grown tremendously, as individuals look for ways of improving their overall health and wellbeing. To help them make better decisions, nurses are stepping in and advancing this effort, aiming at the reduction and prevention of disease prevalence. As such, generalist nursing practice accentuates a solid background of these concepts.  

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Health promotion and disease prevention often concentrate on maintaining people’s health and wellbeing. In meeting Essential VII, during the BSN program, I have always been involved in healthcare education, aiming at encouraging changes in behavior and actions through augmented knowledge. According to Whitehead (2018), some nurses believe that being healthcare practitioners automatically implies their involvement in health promotion. Nonetheless, this is not often the case, as most of them tend to confuse health promotion and health education. Health promotion means empowering individuals, families, groups, and communities.   For instance, I used to take part in health-promoting activities where I, together with other student nurses would help mothers commence breastfeeding within a half-hour of delivery, showing mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they are separated from their young ones in OB clinical, or even in Public health term, in Adult Day Care, we were able to give a speech about COVID-19 to our elder clients, and teach them how to prevent to get sick.

References American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2015). The essentials of baccalaureate education for professional nursing practice. Published October 20, 2008. Whitehead D (2018) Exploring health promotion and health education in nursing. Nursing Standard. Doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11220 peer 1: RE: Discussion Prompt COLLAPSE I believe that health promotion and disease prevention are important to the baccalaureate nursing program because they correlate directly with the formation of a care plan for our patients and their continuity of care. One article I found stated that lifestyle and behavioral choices account for a large part of premature deaths in the United States, (Ali and Katz, 2015). If a nurse has a full comprehension of disease processes, and the modifiable risk factors, then they can perform a patient teaching that will hopefully resonate with the patient and prevent early death.  According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, one of the key factors of our nursing student program is to identify behaviors and assist our patients in changing those that are detrimental to their health, (2008).

During one of my rotations, I had a patient who had experienced a myocardial infarction. My nurse allowed me to do some of the patient teachings about lifestyle changes. I went over with the patient what their normal day of eating and exercised looked like. He came to the realization once he began writing out what his normal day/week of eating looked like, that due to the hours he worked he eats a lot of fried, fast food, and a lot of frozen dinners high in sodium. Once he had this epiphany it became easier to teach him about simple changes he could make every day that would make a difference. Likewise, he realized his sedentary job was a contributing factor to his myocardial infarction and that something as simple as going for a walk every evening, could improve his overall health. 

Ali, A., & Katz, D. L. (2015, November). Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: How Integrative Medicine Fits. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from American Association of Colleges of Nursing.  (2008).  The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for professional nursing practice.  Retrieved from: peer2: Health promotion and disease prevention are both important at an individual level and at a population. It is important at an individual level because it leads to a longer life free of complications for those individuals and it keeps people farther away from the hospital which is good for the individual and his family and it is important for the population because it leads to a healthier population free from disease. Within medicine, I’ve heard before that the most important intervention any person can take is disease prevention as opposed to treating illness.

As nurses, one of the most important functions we play with our patients is the importance of teaching our patients so that once they leave the hospital they have all the information they need to stay healthy and continue with their lives. So health promotion and disease prevention are important at an individual level for protection for that particular individual. On the other hand, health promotion and disease prevention are important at a population level for protection and longevity within the population. This includes things such as attending one’s yearly medical appointment checkups, getting vaccinated, and other practices such as staying home when you are feeling sick.  Geckle (2016), shares that as nurses the role we play here is more solely educational by providing education to the population about preventing disease and also providing the community with resources for those that need them (Geckle, 2016).

Nurses act as a bridge helping connect people in need of resources to their respective resources.  I’ve been able to see these ideals within all my clinicians throughout my journey on West Coast. Public health definitely dealt with a bigger emphasis on community health and helping and educating the community about the disease and all the other clinical dealt more on an individual level. All my other clinicians, especially in discharge education, are emphasized to promote health maintenance and avoiding disease prevention while in public health I was in a clinic that provided free medical services to the community for those in need or without insurance.

Definitely, the emphasis there was both individual and community because the clinic sought to help the community stay healthy and prevent disease. 

References American Association of Colleges of Nursing.  (2008).  The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for professional nursing practice.  

Retrieved from: Geckle, J. (2016). Use of Multimedia or Mobile Devices By Adolescents for Health Promotion And Disease Prevention: A Literature Review. Pediatric Nursing, 42(4), 163–167.

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