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AO2 - Promoting Good Health The number of health professionals that are involved in the primary care aspects of the health service are vast. You have health visitors, midwives, practice nurses, environmental health officers, health promotion specialists and school nurses. They all prevent ill health on a number of different levels. All health workers work at promoting good health. Health promotion is about raising the health status of individuals and communities to enable people to increase control over and improve their health. Health gain, health development and health improvement are the terms that professionals often use while describing the process of working to improve people's health. There are three levels of health promotion. * Primary prevention * Secondary prevention * Tertiary prevention Primary prevention is to try and eliminate the possibility of getting a disease one way of primary prevention is to give childhood immunisations the primary care sector they immunise children against diseases such as polio, small pox, flu and MMR this is usually done by a nurse at a health centre or the individuals GP surgery. This is to prevent the disease manifesting not only in that one child but throughout the country taking the number of cases of fatal childhood dieses down dramatically. http://www.google/images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az/measles/images/MMR%2520charts_4485_image001.gif This is the UK annual notifications of death between the years of 1940 and 2006 Other ways for primary prevention is to educate young people on smoking as part of personal social health education (PSHE) within schools. Another example is that the school nurse as a part of her role would educate the young people about sexual awareness and what the long and short term effects of having sex are, from sexually transmitted diseases, to the conceiving of a child and how to use different preventatives such as condoms and the pill. This is giving patients the knowledge and understanding in hope that they will act upon the advice that you have given them.
Screening test will assess the baby's risk of having spina bifida and downs syndrome the risk of this is 1 in every 250 however it can not always say for certain. Depending on where you are from will depend on what you get tested for. Some women from Africa, Asia, middle eat and the Mediterranean suffers from a genetic abnormality of the blood, the midwife will offer to test to see if their baby carries the Thalassaemia disease. She will also organise for the expecting mother to have her glucose tolerance test this is done by the patient fasting for 6 hours coming into the surgery and having their blood taken then they will be given a glucose drink and more blood will then be taken the blood sugar should rise then quickly go back to normal. An AFP test is also offered to woman by their midwife during pregnancy the test measures the amount of alpha fetoprotein. AFP is a protean that is created by all unborn babies low levels of alpha fetoprotein can mean that the baby has a higher chance of having downs syndrome whereas high levels of AFP can mean they have a higher chance of having spina bifida A midwife does not only take blood on every appointment that you have with either her, the hospital midwifes (when you go for your scan) or your GP you have to take a urine specimen this is to test to see if you have the right amount of protean in you urine and not an excessive amount as this could lead to pre-eclampsia. Once you have had your baby the midwife will do home visits to see if you are recovering okay both mentally and psycially, to help you with advice or anything else that you will need. When the baby is four days old they do the Guthrie test more communally know as "the heel prick test" they take blood out of the baby's heel and put it on a
Health visitors also organise and run baby clinics this is because health visitors make home visits less regularly as the child gets older. So opening a clinic the parent can bring the child to be weighed and checked over. They also have health promotion groups for breast feeding, parent support and parenting courses such as competent parent's confident kids. Health visitors also ensure that children have the correct immunisations at the right stages of their lives. This is primary prevention as they are taking actions to prevent from Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, haemophilus influenzae (Hib), meningitis c, German measles, mumps and rubella; these are administrated by injections normally in the leg. These will take place at two months, three months, four months, twelve months, thirteen months, and and three to five years and thirteen to eighteen years. Children have the same jab more then once over this period of there lives. Also they ensure that the elderly have the jabs that they need such as the flu jab this is to ensure that if they catch a cold it doesn't escalate into phenomena. Health visitors work closley with other health professional such as speech theripists, social workers, school nurses and distric nurses. As a health visitor they know when children are not meeting the government's recommended stages of development so they can refer children that are having trouble with speech and launage to speech theripists. If a child is on the at risk regisiter the health visitor works alongside both childrens services and the parents to ensure that the child can remain at home. When a child starts school and they are concerned with any aspect of the childs health they may liase with the health visitor about further action that needs to be taken or what has been put in place already. If they think that a child has hearing diffculities they will ferer them to the distric nurse for an additional hearing check. Holly Law UNIT 3 - promoting good health Page 1 JANUARY 2008
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