NURSES ROLE IN HEALTH PROMOTION ESSAY
Nurses Role in Health Promotion for Patients
Nurses’ role in health promotion has a high rate of success since they work in various settings and interact with people from different cadres. They look after patients in healthcare facilities, patient homes and within the community. Most of the time, they perform a diagnosis and give the instructions to care givers hence they are the people to spend more time with the patients. Nurses therefore play a “key role in promoting patient health” (Irvine, 2005). The long hours they spend providing care enables them to understand other life aspects by patients in addition to the ailment they are recovering from to determine if their lifestyle is healthy. They are also able to follow up if a patient is following the instructions and advice on improving the quality of life.
Nurses interact widely with patients at different places getting an environment to educate and discuss the health status than the physicians who only meet with a patient in hospitals and clinics. It is the reason behind the argument that nurses have a potentially critical role in promoting patients’ health (Irvine, 2005). A good example is that it is the responsibility of nurses to provide continuity of care to a patient after a hospital discharge. Usually a community nurse will follow up on the progress of recovery. It will include educating the patients on how to live a healthier life and prevent diseases. For patients who are under the care of their families, a nurse also becomes an agent of healthy promotion to other people in the home. The ultimate point is that nurses can reach everyone.
Nurses Role in Health Promotion in Communities
To strengthen communities and to create a supportive environment are some of the pillars for supporting the initiative by world health organization (WHO) for having “health for all.”
In every community, there is a nurse, but it is not usual to have doctors in the smaller neighborhoods. The proximity of nurses to members of the community enables them to be educators, advocates, and coordinators of promotion of health including lifestyle changes. (Blais& Hayes, 2011). Usually, it is upon nurses to educate their patients about the benefits of observing a healthy lifestyle including the essential habits that people neglect such as exercising, taking a balanced diet, exercising and getting an adequate amount of sleep.
A nurse can coordinate a healthy plan with patients to substitute unhealthy choices with wholesome and beneficial alternatives. For instance, nurses are essential in creating a healthy meal plan and regimen for exercising to help obese persons in reducing their weight.
Another critical role that nurses play in promoting health is to encourage members of the community to attend regular screenings and early detection diagnostic tests (Blais& Hayes, 2011). The motivation helps in early detection of terminal illnesses such as cancer before reaching life threatening level.
Nurses Role in Health Promotion By Immunization
Immunization is a critical element and cost effective way of promoting preventive care. According to WHO, vaccination prevents up to three million deaths per year. Nurses play an essential role in advancing the health of children by administering an immunization.
“When functioning in a health promotion model” (Rankin 2005), each contact that nurse have with patients or their families is an opportunity to educate their patients or families. They advise parents on the excellent ways of taking care of their kids and coordinate childhood immunization programs in their respective areas. Also, they administer recommended immunization such as Hepatitis B vaccinations to adults, offer advice and administer travel vaccines.
As health care gravitates more from treatment to prevention of infections, nurses have a significant role in health promotion for patients, communities, and immunization for preventive purpose. With a range of ways to promote healthy living and preventing disease, nurses should be proactive in providing education on eliminating risk factors.