Medical and scientific advancements have changed the way we define health and rightfully so; diseases and available treatments are vastly different than in the past. Disease that were once death sentences are now virtually eradicated, for example polio or measles, in developed countries due to advances in immunizations. With these advancements the focus of healthcare has shifted from treatment to prevention and health promotion; if people can transition to a healthier daily lifestyle, they will not get sick in the first place. As stated in our Health Promotion textbook health promotion is, “The process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behavior toward a wide range of social and environmental interventions” (GCU 2018). Even health promotion has changed overtime in the United States, instead of focusing on disease prevention we have begun to focus on preventable chronic illness, such as diabetes and hypertension, with an overall goal of a healthy lifestyle. Per our Health Promotion textbook, “The goal is to create a culture of health in which health promotion and disease prevention is the focus rather than seeking treatment for disease” (GCU 2018). Organizations such as the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) are encouraging Americans to take a more proactive approach to their health rather than reactive.
Nurses play a large role in health promotion as it is a part of our daily activities when interacting with our patients; every time we step into that room is a chance to education. As stated in our Health Promotion textbook we are educators, “A major role for the nurse is that of the educator … Teaching health promotion and prevention strategies are key to saving lives and helping patients and families live their best lives” (GCU 2018). Utilizing evidence-based practice (EBP) is a vital tool as it is tested and proven information that can be used to educate our patients on health strategies. Educating our patient with the newest, most up-to-date information will not only improve health promotion but will ultimately aid our patients into making true, long-term lifestyle changes.
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Grand Canyon University (Ed). (2018). Health promotion: Health & wellness across the continuum. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs429vn/health-promotion-health-and-wellness-across-the-continuum/v1.1/