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The Role of the Nurse in Health Promotion

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The Role of the Nurse in Promoting Health Introduction Over the last few decades the promotion of a healthy lifestyle has attracted a huge amount of attention. Health has obviously been a well discussed issue politically and culturally (Bunton et al., 1995). This paper offers a history of the development of the idea of promoting health in order to properly understand what is meant by the term. The role of the nurse in health promotion is explored with specific reference to a patient undergoing bowel surgery. In order to do this a health promotion model is chosen by critically comparing two different models, and a health promotion strategy for the patient is developed using this model. For the purpose of this paper The World Health Organisation (WHO) definition of health will be used. WHO describe health as not just about ones physical condition or absence of disease but encompasses a persons mental and emotional state, their social and societal position and their spiritual and sexual condition (WHO, 2010a). Health Promotion Health promotion is a phrase that can be used on a global, national or individual scale. Its exact meanings and the action taken to promote health can be different at different levels. For example a government will promote health in a very different way to a nation or community than a nurse will promote health to an individual or family on a hospital ward. It was not until the end of the 70's that the term health promotion became popular, however in under 10 years it became a powerful factor on the formation of national policy (Parish, 1995). The WHO defines health promotion as a process of empowerment. That is giving people the power to take control of and improve their own health. It does not just involve intervention in the behaviour of individuals but must include societal and environmental considerations (WHO, 2010b)". ...read more.


to be expelled. They are created for a wide range of reasons but it is beyond the scope of this assignment to cover them all. They are, however, only created when there is no or little other alternative and when an illness is going to deteriorate without the surgery (White, 1997). Having a stoma is a huge change for any person. Needless to stay having moving a person's anus to their abdomen can cause them a wide range of problems and it is the job of a nurse to help them learn to manage and cope with their new stoma. This help is a form of health promotion, and in order for a person to return to health promptly a health promotion strategy must be put in place. For any health promotion strategy to be successful it must be well planned, implicated and then evaluated (Whitehead, 2003). This author will design a health promotion strategy for client X using Beattie's model of health promotion as a starting point. Implicating this strategy will not be possible as this is a theoretical piece of work; however ways that the strategy could be evaluated after use will be discussed later. This model was selected for its relative simplicity and the ease at which it can be understood. Potential Negative Influences on the Health of Client X Personal image problems are not uncommon with this kind of surgery (Brown and Jacqueline, 2005). Client X now excretes faecal waste from a hole in his abdomen and has to wear a special pouch to collect it, which will be referred to here as a stoma appliance. These appliances, although designed to be discrete, are still different from anything anyone else normally has to wear. Client X is still young and is soon to be married. It can be assumed he has an active sex life and personal image issues could cause problems with sex. ...read more.


model of health promotion (Beattie, 1991), it can be shown that nurses have are involved with most types of health promotion activity. It has already been shown that nurses play a large part in educating individual patients about their health. Nurses also educate communities or groups of people. Examples of this include members of the Student Nurse Organisation increasing awareness of the need to donate blood at Salem Community College (Bournias, 2008), research nurses publishing evidence based papers on best nursing practice or nurse educators who train student nurses. Nurses regularly carry out activities that fit into the disease prevention domain. Tasks as simple as turning patients with reduced mobility to reduce the chances of pressure sores are forms of disease prevention to individuals as is the reduction of disability or complications caused by a chronic disease by implementing rehabilitation (USPSTF, 2010), even if this means a nurse referring a patient in their care to another member of the multi disciplinary team. Health protection involves legal and legislative activities which are less within the direct control of most nurses. It is possible however for nurses to influence local hospital policy and even national law by providing research and educating the right people about their working experiences. These are only a few examples of nursing activities which cover most of Tannahill's three main domains and there are countless others that will overlap to cover the other combined domains. WHO defines health promotion as a form of empowerment (WHO, 2010b) giving people control over their own health. While this is a undoubtedly a large part of health promotion the activities described in this paper suggest that the role of the nurse in health promotion goes further than this and the author proposes the following definition. The role of the nurse in health promotion includes any activity carried out by a nurse or nurses which has a positive influence over the health, as defined by the WHO (WHO, 2010a), of an individual, group of individuals or community. ...read more.

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