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01.05 Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

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Overview

Health promotion and disease prevention are the primary roles of community health. Goals are set both locally and nationally to help guide our practice.

Nursing Points

General

  1. Healthy People 2020
    1. National health goals
      1. Improve health
      2. Set every 10 years
    2. Health starts in
      1. Community
      2. Neighborhood
      3. Schools
      4. Workplace
    3. Emphasis
      1. Creating environment that promotes health
        1. Addressing determinants of health
        2. Improving access to and quality of care
        3. Promoting healthy environment
  2. Health promotion
    1. Enables people to take control
    2. Focus on individual behaviors
    3. Non-clinical efforts
      1. Raise awareness
      2. Health fairs
      3. Wellness programs/clinics
        1. Child nutrition
        2. Workplace wellness
    4. Empowerment
  3. Disease prevention
    1. Focus on specific efforts
      1. Manage health
      2. Eliminate disease
    2. Preventative measures
    3. Clinical efforts
      1. Vaccinations
      2. Screenings
    4. Levels
      1. Primary
        1. Eliminates agent
        2. Increases resistance
      2. Secondary
        1. Early detection
        2. Treatment
        3. Prevent progression
      3. Tertiary
        1. Reduce damage

Nursing Concepts

  1. Health Promotion
  2. Patient Education

Reference Links

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

Hi guys! Welcome to the health promotion and disease prevention lesson. So what’s more important in community health than promoting healthy behaviors and preventing illness? Absolutely nothing, that’s the whole point of community health! So we are going to talk about what this means and maybe even put some earlier lessons into perspective here. That said, let’s get started! 

So let’s talk a little about Healthy People 2020. This is a national health initiative that gets renewed every 10 years. What do I mean? It’s a project aimed at achieving healthy lifestyles for everyone. They base this renewal on the outcomes and research from the previous years’ objectives so the goals change that frequently. What Healthy People says is that health starts in our schools, the community, the workplace and the neighborhood. This is so important because what have we been talking about up to this point? How important it is to educate the public, promote awareness and prevention, right? So these initiatives that come out help guide what that should all look like. Now we talked about educating the community but we never went into detail about the layers of the community. What do we do in each layer? Well we have wellness groups and programs in the community and neighborhoods. In schools we have nutrition programs and as much as some of us hated it back when we were in school, we have GYM! It’s not just to get the extra energy out! There are lots of workplaces adopting a healthy lifestyle option with gym memberships with those exclusive benefits or exercise groups, some groups even walk on their lunch breaks. So the goal here is to get people thinking about their health and choices and to get them more involved in it.

Now, the emphasis of Healthy People 2020 is to create an environment that promotes health. How do we do that? Here’s that phrase again and I told you, you would see it. Determinants of health. We need to identify and address those individually. That’s first and foremost. Because honestly how do you expect something to change if you don’t know what it is? Just to review, the determinants were social, behavioral, environmental and genetics. Now each of these has its own objectives set by Healthy People 2020 but they all go back to that same overall goal. Now, improving access to and quality of care is vital to promotion and prevention too. Have you ever heard someone say “Oh they took him to the county hospital” and your immediate thought is “not there!!” I’m guessing that has something to do with the quality of care at that hospital. Healthy People wants to improve that so people don’t have to pick and choose which hospital to go to if they need it. So what Healthy People is seeking to do is what we’ve been talking about throughout our lessons here. It’s all about health promotion.

So we saw health promotion in the introduction lesson. Remember we said it focuses on enabling people to take control of their health and seeks to empower people. How do we do this? We increase awareness in the community and hold people accountable. We use health fairs, wellness programs and clinics to make that happen. These all focus on behaviors. So what if I told you nurses aren’t the only ones in the community who provide education? Peer support allows the sharing of experiences to provide a little extra guidance. I can tell you peer guidance is a great aspect of education because the information comes from first-hand experience and it comes super easy because it’s even more simplified. Sometimes it’s just nice to know there are people who have had a similar experience. Listening to their take can help you connect the dots with what you’ve read or heard and make it make sense to you, or it can build hope and confidence.  If that’s not empowerment, I don’t know what is.

So disease prevention again we talked a little bit about in the introduction lesson. Now this is different from health promotion because it zeros in on specific efforts to manage health and to eliminate diseases. We do this using preventative measures so this is more clinical approach. Vaccines and screenings are the way to go here. We are aiming at getting rid of the disease altogether or catching it before it does too much damage. So what’s also very different about disease prevention is it has stages of prevention. There’s only three, but you can see the focus of it in each one specifically, and you may even see where the Healthy People 2020 emphasis is too.

So like I said there are three categories to disease prevention. Primary prevention aims to eliminate the agent. We talked in the epidemiology lesson about the agent in the triad being the cause of the disease. So, we’re removing the catalyst and preventing the disease from ever happening by educating on risks and behaviors. If I tell you unprotected sex causes STDs, you’ll probably protect yourself won’t you? Vaccinations are big here too. The whole point of them is to build immunity to specific diseases so even if the agent is introduced, your body will automatically fight it off so you don’t actually get sick.  Secondary prevention is your early detection. This is your preventative screening like mammograms and prostate checks. This is also where those wellness programs I mentioned earlier come in. My job introduced this initiative where employees can wear athletic attire to work. The hope is we will be more willing to work out because we come dressed to. This works for everyone involved. They want us to make healthier lifestyle choices so we stick around longer, and we are given the time to do it instead of having to fit it into a million other things in our personal life. I’m kidding but a little serious. Also really big here, child nutrition programs at schools. We are teaching healthy choices to our children from an early age to prevent chronic diseases. Then there’s tertiary prevention. This serves as the damage control category. I already have the disease, now minimize the effects of it. This is where your more chronic issues fit in. We want to maximize quality of life here and maybe help you live longer. How do you live with the disease and not let it take over? We have support groups and education groups, there’s disease management programs and clinics. Remember when we’re talking about disease we’re not just talking about infectious diseases. There’s an entire world of chronic diseases we should be addressing too.

So here’s some key points. It’s almost time to evaluate Healthy People 2020 and update those national goals so we can continue promoting health and wellness in the community. Be mindful of the new objectives so we can stay on track and keep educating. Promoting health is all about raising awareness and empowering the public while prevention is all about eliminating disease. And remember that when we are talking about disease, we are not just talking about acute, infectious disease. We are talking about anything that takes us away from well-being.

So that’s all for health promotion and disease prevention. Make sure you check out all of the resources attached to this lesson. Now, go out and be your best self today! And, as always, happy nursing!

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