Community Teaching Essay
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The first step to a healthy community is by health promotions. In the world now, people are more concerned about their health compared to the past and most of them are motivated to take care of themselves. The idea of teaching the community is to prevent certain health problems and the effects if they are not taken seriously. I believe the nurse and other health care professionals has an important role in conducting the community health programs. This community programs will persuade the public to have healthy life style by showing negative effects of a sickness or disease if it’s not prevented or treated world. “Educational and community-based programs and strategies played an important role in reaching Healthy People 2010 objectives. Over the next decade, they will continue to contribute to the improvement of health outcomes in the United States” (Institute of Health, 2014). This is different compared to the way healthcare was performed in the past. Prevention of health is the first step instead of waiting to get the disease and then cure it.
There are many types of diseases in this world and most of them can be prevented by having a healthy lifestyle. Community educational programs and other methods of health promotions is the best way to spread awareness of a disease or sickness because lot of are unaware of the dangerous diseases in this world and how it can be prevented.
For this community educational program, I presented the prevention and health promotion of cardiovascular diseases and stroke to a church community. The demographic of the audience was people from South India and age group is from the 40s to 70s. The teaching is done through a power point that projected into a big screen. This method is an effective teaching method, since the visual presentations keep the audience interested in the topic and the main point of what I am explaining is listed on the slides at the same time. This topic was selected because this diseases is one of the killer in the world. Cardiovascular disease means heart and blood vessel diseases, which include coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and aortic disease. Another reason I chose this topic was because this disease is somewhat common in this community.
One of main reason I chose this topic because this is one of leading causes of death in this world. “In developed countries heart disease and stroke are the first and second leading cause of death among adult men and women. The main forms of CVD are coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke. About half of all deaths from CVD are from CHD and about a quarter are from stroke” (Health Knowledge, 2010). “Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of adult disability. About 800,000people in the United States have a stroke each year. One American dies from a stroke every 4 minutes” (CDC, 2015). Most of the people dying from CVD have one or more major risk factors. The modifiable risk factors includes high blood pressure, increased lipids intake, smoking, diabetes mellitus, physical inactivity, stress, alcohol abuse, and etc.
A person with more risk factors has more chance in having cardiovascular disease. The second reason I chose this topic is because the people from this community is high risk for cardiovascular diseases. Their diet is not exactly ideal. Some families do eat a balanced diet and exercise, but a quiet amount of people diet consists of rice, fried food, and lot of red meat. Some of them do smoke and drink alcohol. This is perfect for this community, giving them awareness of the risk of having this diseases can persuade to change their lifestyle to a healthier one.
In order to develop a community teaching plan, the community itself should be assessed. I chose this topic after assessing the health pattern of the community and decided to focus mostly on the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In past couple of years, some of the community members had cardiovascular related health problems. Recently couple of them had heart attack and stroke during their middle age. They were too young to have a heart attack. I knew that people were aware of the diseases but I don’t think they knew much about preventing it. As a healthcare professional, I took it as my responsibility to make sure they received the right information. During my assessment, I found out that many members had more than one risk factor of getting a heart attack or stroke. Lot of them are inactive, which causes obesity, and does not eat healthy food. The presentation was overlooked by other health providers and church committee member.
They made sure the information and content of the topic was informative. According to the evaluators, the presentation and the information looked very educational for the health of the people in the community and they agreed that the topic will be interesting to the learner. Speaking in front of a group of people was intimidating at first, but as I went on with the presentation, I completely forgot being nervous because I am explaining material I familiar with. I used the power point to help the audience keep track of what is going on. This was essential because it went along with what I said and helped the audience not lose track what I was talking about. At the end of the presentation, I answered the questions that was presented by the audience and a group discussion on figuring out a way to change each other’s lifestyle into a healthier path. This was similar to when I council patients except I have a presentation set up and the audience is larger.
The presentation was held in the church’s community meeting hall. The audience included men and women in different age groups. People showed active participation throughout the presentation and by asking questions after the presentation. During the group discussion, it can be seen that the audience did pay attention to the material that can lead them to a healthy life. Their participation shows that they understand and they are aware of the risk factors and how they can modify their lifestyle to prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke. They were motivated to learn, since many of their relatives and friends had this health problem. These little things are positive feedbacks showing that the audience is satisfied by the material. It is easier for the audience to be tuned into the material that is taught to them because taught by someone from their own community. Therefore language barrier wouldn’t be an issue.
When it comes to the areas of strength and improvement, there are a lot of strengths and some needed some improvements. I was well prepared for the teaching the community about the disease. I had the power point ready and looked over information to help the people understand the danger of cardiovascular related diseases and how to prevent it. The entire presentation was done in a systematic way. It was really easy to follow along with. The slides had pictures to keep the audience interested in the presentation. Each slide contained main points where I explained it more in detail to help the audience understand the material much easier. One of the strengths was that I felt confident talking to them because we are all from the same community and we can relate with each other.
The group discussion was pretty successful because they talked among themselves to brainstorm ideas on how to promote a better healthy lifestyle. Another good thing is that, if some of the audience have trouble understanding English, they can me the question in Malayalam, the language we speak. This way everyone knows what is going on and they will learn something that change their life. There are certain areas where that needed improvements. One main one was technology. It took me a little bit of time and help to figure out the whole presentation projection to the big screen. I was little anxious when I started but it went away after a while.
Some of the barriers that happened during the teaching was discomfort for the some of the audience and other distractions. The room temperature was a little cold for some of the audience. There were other distractions like phones going off and people talking amongst each other. These are distractions which got my attention and distracted other members of the audience. I should asked them to turn their phones to silent before I started the presentation.
In conclusion, the whole process was successful and people know more about cardiovascular diseases and stroke and how to prevent it. It healthcare providers responsibility to make sure that everyone is aware of the dangers caused by diseases of this world such cardiovascular related diseases. “Although most of the major risk factors for heart disease and stroke are modifiable or preventable, over 80 percent of Americans report having at least one major risk factor or related. It is the role of public care nurse, to give health education to prevent condition” (CDC). It is the role of the public nurse to give health education to patients to prevent and reduce the modifiable risk factors. After the teaching program, the effectiveness should be evaluated.
In the discussion after presentation the group could verbalize the main symptoms of stroke which are facial drop, weakness, or numbness of arms, slurred or garbled speech. They learned the symptoms of heart attack like chest pressure and chest pain that radiates to the arm, back, jaw, or stomach, cold sweats, nausea, light headedness, and etc. They
understood the importance of calling EMS if they notice such symptoms on themselves or someone nearby. This shows that the audience did learn a lot from this community educating program.