Serious wheezing, coughs, colds and asthmas are some of the health issues that affect smokers.

Nurses Role In Health Promotion Smoking cessation

Governments and health organization spend much time and resources encouraging smokers to stop the habit as it is dangerous to theirs health and that of people around them. Due to more interaction with the patients, nurses are a crucial group in identifying smokers and helping them to quit the habit by taking these steps.

Encourage smokers

Nurses should advise smoking patients to quit. Their message should be clear, strong but persuasive. It is essential to inform the patients about the health risks associated with smoking including any existing related ailments and those that are likely to occur. A nurse should use the medical records for each patient to personalize the message and provide it often. The effort can be an initiative of a nurse or in collaboration with another member of healthcare staff. A nurse should assess the level of interest by a patient to stop smoking. Any information to other medical staff should be based on the answer by a patient on the level of readiness to quit. A nurse may also refer patients to other resources in community and health care system to enhance their interest in quitting.

Develop a quit program

Nurses nowadays go for further education and serve in senior roles. It is essential for nurses to develop a program fitting with organizational commitment to help overcome smoking. It might include finding a tobacco cessation coordinator to provide better training and training to further help in health promotion on how to make this deserved lifestyle change. Addiction cessation staff play as an essential part of supporting nurses as they might know everything about quitting smoking. A good program should be empathetic, supportive and non-judgmental.

Nurses Provide right resources to the patients

An informed intervention might call a nurse to provide products that act as the alternative to smoke such as nicotine gum. Nicotine patches or lozenges also help to reduce withdrawal symptoms by replacing part of the nicotine available in tobacco or cigarettes thus increasing the chances to stop smoking.

It is also necessary to prescribe some cessation relief medication if necessary to counter withdrawal symptoms. Nurses know how to encourage their patients through the quitting program by using lines of communication that empower patients to quit.

Provide help to deal with cravings

Addictive nature of nicotine is the reason that many patients relapse. It is just one chemical out of the thousands in a cigarette. When someone stops smoking, it will cause various withdrawal symptoms that could lead to relapse. These symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Hunger

A nurse should inform the patient beforehand about the withdrawal challenges and help to overcome them. It is necessary to inform and encourage quitting smokers to delay the urge lighting up a cigarette. The urge disappears after some minutes marking the first step to overcome the habit.

Encourage the passion to do something that shifts their attention to something else and take water when the urge to smoke sets in.

After helping a patient to overcome smoking, a follow-up plan that includes home visits and conversations by phone or other means is necessary to prevent relapse. Nurses are better placed to follow up progress by patients and prevent relapse.

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