01.04 Health Promotion Model

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In today’s lesson, we are gonna focus on something called the health promotion model

So what exactly is health promotion?

Well, health promotion focuses on wellness. Some goals of health promotion are preventing disease, promoting overall wellness and minimizing the likelihood of getting sick.

There are several different models out there that are “health promotion models,” but the gold standard is one by Dr. Nola Pender. She created and organized 5 key principles. These are person, environment, health, illness and nursing.

So when we say “person,” what do we mean? Well, health promotion is first about the person, or the patient.

As the nurse, you need to take a look at your patient, and look at some key factors. These are things like eagerness to learn, willingness to change and understanding the severity of illness or disease.

For example, if you have a patient who has COPD who’s a smoker, and they are eager to learn, but unwilling to drop the habit of smoking, then you have a barrier that you have to overcome. Patients also have to understand how sick they could really get. That’s where you come in as the nurse - to educate. You then have the ability to educate the patient on how the illness could affect them in the long run.

When we talk about “environment” we look at things we call “extrinsic factors”, so things that are outside of the patient’s own life or control. So these things are like family or work, money difficulties, insurance, etc.

If you have a patient who is willing and eager to learn, who wants to improve their life, but doesn’t have any money to get insurance, then that’s a barrier the patient has to overcome. So when you’re talking to your patient, talk to them about their family, work, and homelife, so that you can help them identify barriers that they may not see, and then you can give them resources.

When you’re promoting health for your patient, as the nurse, you need to think about their current health situation. How healthy are they? Do they have diabetes or high blood pressure? Are they at risk for disease because of family history of particular illnesses? What are their goals, so for instance do they want to run a marathon or compete in some sporting events? The goal here is to always aim for self-improvement for the patient and make sure that they’re doing this at all levels, regardless of how healthy they may be.

Let’s take a look at illness. In the last slide, I talked about diabetes and hypertension. That was about gauging their health level. When you look at the illness aspect of health promotion, we want to look at how the illness affects your patient.

Is the illness chronic or acute? Here’s an example. If your patient has hypertension, that tells you that in terms of their health, it means that promoting something like increased cardio (like a treadmill) promotes the health aspect.

BUT….what if they can’t handle a treadmill? That means that their illness is impacting their health, so we have to gauge what they need or can handle, especially in a cardiovascular illness. You can’t just tell your patient to hit the treadmill aiming for a 7 minute mile...they may not be able to handle it. That’s why you have to look at their illness in addition to their overall health.

One other important point to talk about is the acuity, or how short term we expect the illness or disease to be. A cold or virus causing mild respiratory issues in a patient who wants to exercise is short term, so we can adjust what we promote for them. We expect this to be short lived, so rest, fluids, proper nutrition can help them recover more quickly and be able to exercise.

Also, consider what the risk for disease is. So family history heart attack or stroke in a patient who has minimal control of their blood pressure means that they have a higher risk. In this area, definitely focus on how illness or disease affects the patient.

Lastly, let’s look at how nursing affects health promotion

Think of it this way. You’re the infantry, the front lines, the protector of your patient. Your patient relies on you to help guide them and educate them, so focus on your patient holistically when it comes to health promotion. Learn to recognize barriers that they may not see. It helps that we as nurses can be unbiased sometimes.

Also, be sure to know both local resources and national resources for your patient. A pamphlet or website can be extremely helpful, or even directing them to an organization for support can promote wellness.

Hitting some quick nursing concepts….

The health promotion model is exactly as it says - let’s promote not only health but wellness.

Patients need us for education, which goes hand-in-hand with health promotion and also with health policy. There are lots of health initiatives nationally and for the state that you live in to promote wellness.

Now for a recap…

When you promote health, look at your patient as a person first, and look at if they’re ready and willing to learn.

Take a look at their environment and the people in their lives, so that you can find weaknesses or barriers. Also, you can find strengths within their environment, so advocate for those.

Health is about how healthy the individual is, and what goals they want to achieve. Are their goals short term or long term? Cater your education to your patient.

Whatever illness or diseases they have, take those into account when looking at their overall wellness. Also, can we implement the right health focused goals when they are currently sick?

Lastly, you are your patient’s front line. Give them positive resources and education. You’re the ribbon on the outside of this big present of health promotion we give our patients - you keep it all together.

Well that’s it for the health promotion model. Make sure you check out all the resources attached to this lesson. Now, go out and be your best selves today. And, as always, happy nursing!!
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