Health Promotion: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary
Health promotion is a very vague term that can mean many things and has many definitions depending on who you ask. According to O’Donnell (1987, p.4) health promotion is “the science and art of helping people change their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health.” This definition makes a lot of sense and sounds like he is speaking of the physical aspect of health. There are different kinds of health including physical, mental and physical. I believe this is why there are so many definitions. The U.S. Public Health Service proposes that health promotion is more of advocating health in hope that it will become a “societal norm” for people individually as well as for the private and public businesses (Kreuter, 1980). The medical field is one “public business” that does a lot of health promotion for everyone, nurses especially. Nurses’ role in health promotion is necessary and critical. Nurses have a multi-disciplinary knowledge including many resources to help people understand their situation and get their health moving in a forward direction. Traditionally, nurses focused on preventing disease and changing the behavior of individuals regarding their health. Due to nurses becoming more diverse in their knowledge, their responsibility of being a “health promoter” is more complex. Currently, nurses are so focused on treating people who have illnesses and teaching them how to become healthy that teaching patients how to stay healthy is quite a challenge. Teaching individuals how to remain healthy is, in my opinion, going to be the future of nursing. Being an advocate, educating people/communities on how to move towards a better quality of life and focusing on all types of prevention. There are different levels of health promotion including primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary prevention involves health promotion including education, genetic screening, periodic examinations and even...
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