Keith A. Cunningham
Grand Canyon University
Family Health Promotion
November 07, 2010
A review of nursing literature was conducted using the Grand Canyon University online library. The literature was reviewed looking for references to health promotion at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. From the review some questions were answered regarding the nurse’s role in promoting health to the public. Health promotion can be defined as assisting others to achieve optimal health or as advocating supporting positive health practices become the norm by personal, private, and public entities (Edelman & Mandle, 2006). Since health promotion is a relatively new area of study, there are many definitions. However, the basic tenet of health promotion is the prevention of disease and advocating healthy practices which result in decreased morbidity. Nursing practice uses health promotion to increase overall health of the client. The nurse is pivotal in this process in that the nurse provides education and support to the client. With the cost cutting measures being employed in healthcare, access to providers is becoming more and more precious. It is the purview of the nurse to fill the gaps between access to providers and the needs of the client. Nursing is becoming more involved in the process of health promotion. The nursing profession is a profession of caring. Nurses provide positive support to the client and assist the client to establish their goals. The nurse uses their knowledge of healthcare and positive practices to encourage and support the client to reach their goals. It is important for the nurse to understand that the goals of the client may differ from the goal of the provider. It is the responsibility of the nurse to understand the client’s goals and to understand methods which are acceptable to the client to achieve those goals. Nurses from all areas of nursing are responsible to implement health promotion in their practice. Nurses from all disciplines can teach, coach, and encourage healthy practices with the client to guide them to their health goals. This can be with the individual client as well as with a private population, such as an occupational health nurse, or with a pubic population such as a school nurse or public health nurse. Primary health promotion is the prevention of disease by educating the client on proper nutrition, exercise, sanitation, avoidance of high risk activities, protection from diseases by immunization and protecting the client from environmental factors for disease. Nurses can assist the client in this area in a variety of ways. While most clients can understand the education, they often are unable or unwilling to follow the advice of the nurse. Also, it can often fall on the nurse to prevent the disease or defect, such as the prevention of pressure ulcers on a debilitated client (Anders, et al, para 2). Secondary health promotion is the early detection or diagnosis of disease. The goal of secondary prevention is to alleviate the symptoms, prevent secondary problems related to the disease process, prevent spread of communicable diseases, and shorten the length of the disability related to the disease process. The goal of secondary prevention is to extend the lifespan and improve survival. The nurse is involved in this process mostly by educating the client in methods to improve the outcomes of the treatments being utilized. An example of this would be educating and encouraging the client with CAD to quit smoking, control weight, increase physical activity, maintain their medication regimen, and control their blood pressure (Mosca et al, 2010). Tertiary health promotion involves restoring the client to their best health condition and rehabilitation following disease. The nurse’s role in tertiary prevention is to assist the client to find available resources, assisting in placement, and educating the public and...
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