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This essay will attempt to discuss the importance of safer sex health education and the importance of health promotion in this area.

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Introduction

This essay will attempt to discuss the importance of safer sex health education and the importance of health promotion in this area. Over the last twenty years, two events have occurred which have shaped sexual health promotion and education, specifically, the emergence of the HIV epidemic and the change in social attitudes towards sexuality and sexual behavior (Irwin, 1997). These events are in turn reflected in an increasing emphasis on primary prevention (DOH, 1992). Health promotion and health education within this clinical area is a legitimate role for the health professional and is an essential nursing function (Ingram-Fogel, 1990). In 1987 The World Health Organisation (WHO) discussed the issues of sexual health promotion and concluded that due to a wide range of individuals, cultures, social differences, sexuality and gender roles, there is no single definition of a sexually healthy individual. However, Curtis et al (1995) cites the WHO's (1986) description of sexual health state that, "He or she needs a capacity to enjoy and control sexual and reproductive behaviour in accordance with a social and personal ethic. Freedom from fear, shame, guilt, false beliefs and other physiological factors inhibiting sexual response and impairing sexual relationships. ...read more.

Middle

and state, "The transmission of information to individuals perceived to live in ignorance of it, and The creation of trusting relationships with clients, so that they will be more likely to adopt the advice given to them" (Gott and O'Brien 1990)." During a consultation with the nurse the patient is able to ask any questions or discuss any concerns they may have, in return the nurse is able to assess what safer sex means to the patient and whether they have the knowledge about the correct way to use protection, it might be that the patient is embarrassed to say what the problem is and the nurse has to cover all specific areas in turn, thus giving the client information on all types of protection and the ability to understand the consequences of not protecting themselves , this empowers the client with the vital information that they need and makes them more aware of the preventative measures they need to take and where the protection is available. The author noted that on two occasions during a consultation with the Nurse that the clients were unwilling to discuss the reasons as to why they failed to use the correct protection or discuss the implications they believed it might have on them, they just wanted to be free from the STI and forget about what had happened. ...read more.

Conclusion

STI or disease as this may have the opposite effect and the client may well switch off and ignore any information that is given to them, although during the consultations that the author observed there was a good nurse/client relationship, the clients appeared relieved and happy to talk to someone who was not judgmental as to why they were there. This essay has briefly considered an approach to sexual health promotion and education. In order to evaluate the impact of health promotion and its educational outcomes, it would be of benefit to have further discussions about safer sex with the client at subsequent follow-up appointments. However, most behavioral changes take time, and constant reinforcement can have the opposite effect when discussing issues surrounding sexual health. Due to the client's having a tendency to distance themselves from the situation being discussed (Miller and Bor, 1991) It is clear to the author that health promotion and education are an ongoing processes and that as professionals it is important that we have a clear understanding of the role of the nurse in this activity. It is also a fundamental requirement for the nurse, to have an ongoing process of positive strategies to meet the needs of the client, now and in the future. ...read more.

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It would have been helpful if the student provided some context to the topic, ie. what are the types of health promotion and which was used in the GM clinic? Perhaps the student could have provided some statistics on the rate of STDs before and after the emphasis on health promotion to further illustrate the important role health education/promotion plays. Nevertheless, a good piece of work that used the student

Marked by teacher Diane Apeah-Kubi 05/09/2013

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