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Health Prevention and Promotion

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There are many definitions of health promotion. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines it as “the process of enabling people to increase control over their health and its determinants, and thereby improve their health” (Health Promotion, 2014). Per the American Journal of Health Promotion (O’Donnell, 2011) it is “the art and science of helping people discover the synergies between their core passions and optimal health, enhancing their motivation to strive for optimal health, and supporting them in changing their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health”.

In the opinion of the author, the aforementioned definitions refer to becoming involved in one’s own health and health care and taking responsibility for utilizing all systems available to prevent disease and gain optimal health. This may involve families, communities, and other available resources in the health prevention and promotion process. In the article by Collins (2009) health promotion and prevention is achieved by collaboration of nurses, public health workers, and physicians to promote the care needed to obtain the desired outcome. Each article involved discussed the need for education in all the areas of the health care arena for prevention and early detection of disease for greater health promotion. Nursing’s Role in Health Promotion

In the realm of health promotion nurses need to use all available avenues to get the patient involved in their own health and well-being. In the article by Collins (2009) the collaboration and education of health care providers resulted in providing better preventive care in oral health. The oral health entities on their own were not reaching the many populations in the communities so employing the nurses in the public health community and in schools helped in educating people in the importance of oral health care. In providing the nurses with the necessary education in oral health, they in turn where able to deliver consistent information to children and their families then had been previously done. In this authors opinion the nursing community became the primary educators in oral health care promotion and prevention of disease. Without the nurses the people would not have been reached and the education would not have been delivered. In the article by Goad (2014) the nurse also is the educator not just the caregiver.

The nurse plays in important role in educating on the risk factors and signs of skin cancer and where to go for treatment if needed. The nurse educates the patient on doing self checks and what to look for in skin changes along with protection from the sun. Davies (2009) states that the nurses role is important in the recognition, education , and treatment of skin cancer. The author states regardless of whether the nurse works in a primary or secondary care setting they will be able to recognize suspicious areas and refer the patient to proper care. Nurses play an important role in the care and treatment of skin cancer by providing education in prevention, protection, and aftercare. According to the this author the overall role of the nurse is not just as caregiver but as an educator. From the first line of communication to the last the nurse is who the patient has contact with.

The modalities used for education in the arena of health promotion in the articles included verbal, written, pictures, diagrams, and handouts including dental packs. In the article by Collins (2009) a puppet show was utilized by the nurses to demonstrate proper dental hygiene to children and their families. In the authors opinion, the articles provide insight into the multiple modalities the nurse will utilize to educate people in promoting better health. This author noted how nursing has evolved from being the caregivers to inclusion of educator, facilitator, and health promotor. Without the nurses role in the community healthcare would not be available to all people. Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Levels of Health Promotion

The primary level of health promotion is prevention. In regards to oral health, education of people in the primary and secondary care settings is crucial in getting the pertinent information out to the public (Collins, 2009). This is also a component in the articles by Goad (2014) and Davies (2009). The components of primary health promotion used in the education of skin care by Davies (2009) and Goad (2014) was encouragement in the use of sunscreens, the use of hats, long sleeved shirts and long pants. Per Collins (2009), resources such as dental nurses in the schools, dental staff holding clinics at schools and in the community, and the distribution of dental health packs and posters were used as primary health promotion modalities.

In the secondary level of health promotion, recognition of ill health and what to do to prevent further decline is the focus. Educating the patient with sunburns of the consequences of future sunburns and what skin changes can occur and what to do to prevent that from happening (Davies, 2009). Davies (2009) and Goad (2014) both spoke of identifying lesions that had cancerous changes and getting the necessary treatment then how to prevent further cancerous lesions and preventive care. In the article of oral health, identification of poor oral care and dental caries leads the nurse to direct the patients in proper care to prevent further decline and to get treatment for current identified problems. The tertiary level of health promotion is helping people manage the disease and prevent further deterioration. In all the articles presented, care of the patient post diagnosis was important in their future health. Arming the patient with valuable knowledge in how to handle their disease, what to do to prevent further progression, and how to maximize their quality of life was discussed by each author.

This author feels that education is the major component in all levels of health promotion. Without it patients, people and communities would not get the health care needed to obtain optimal health.

Health Promotion. (2014). Retrieved from World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/en/ Collins, E. F. (2009). Collaboration between primary and secondary/tertiary services in oral health. Primary Health Care, Vol. 19, No. 1. February 2009, pp. 35-39. Retrieved from://eds.b.ebscohost.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/ehost/command/detail?vid=221&sid=acec9041-d390-4162-9827-2032d3f2e674%40sessionmgr110&hid=108&bdata=JnNpdGU. Davies, A. (2009). The effective management of squamous cell carcinoma.

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