This is essay is going to examine the principles of nursing and health. In order to do this it must look at the concept of health then describe the dimensions that make up health. Secondly, an adult individual will be chosen in order to discuss the determinants that affect their health. It will then go on to explain the underpinning professional, ethical and legal principles that would be taken into consideration if the individual were to require nursing care. Finally, it will identify how carrying out this assignment has informed the writers personal concept of nursing.
Before being able to describe the dimensions of health, it is important to look at the concept of health. Throughout the years, there have been many definitions of health, usually relating to the physical aspects of illness rather than a holistic view. The World Health Organization (WHO) provided a well-known definition in 1946. This states that ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. This definition contributed to the process of thinking about health as a wider concept as it demonstrates that other factors can influence health and wellbeing. The WHO further developed their definition of health in 1984. This definition includes individuals being able to accept and cope with changes in their environment as well as accepting that people strive to fulfil needs and achieve goals. It also very importantly suggests that an individual can have a disability but still considered as healthy. It is due to the complicated nature of health that the different dimensions are considered in order to gain a holistic overview of health.
The dimensions of health are all linked and affect each other. The dimensions are physical, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual and environmental. Naidoo & Wills (2009, p.4) also suggest sexual health as another dimension. They describe this as