Health promotion in nursing

Health Promotion in Nursing Health is a daily concern. Medical practitioners, including nurses, are bestowed with responsibility to promote health at all times. Their professional oath requires that they provide healthcare services, educate people on the primordial relevance of health children and families; and, uphold laws and policies promoting health as a human right. Health promotion is therefore the advocacy, popularization and an endless responsibility of health providers for the general welfare of their constituents or clienteles. O’Donnell (2009) explicated that health promotion is both a science and an art about engaging people to optimize health standards to attain balance of physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual health. Changing their lifestyles through combined learning experiences help increase their awareness, develop their skills, motivate them, and nurture them within supportive environments for better health practices (Christensen, 2004). Medical experts opined that health promotion is one of the core practices in nursing because upholding quality life and healthy lifestyle are keys in the reduction of the major causes of morbidity and mortality affecting people, especially those bereft of immediate access to health services (Brunello, Fort, Schneeweis, & Winter-Ebmer, 2011). Nurses purposively assume the leadership in health advocacy to motivate people to care for their well-being and practice this within their respective households. In health centers or in hospitals, nurses must provide quality advice using social contexts and health conditions as springboard to raise the consciousness of the people. Nurses bridge the communities and the health providers, too. They engaged them in deliberate discourse specially pertaining health risk in correlation to unemployment, poverty, homelessness, violence, illiteracy, and other sociopolitical causes that hinder the capacity of underserved populations to engage in health-promoting activities. Thus, engaging people to control their very lives via educational and social services geared toward quality and conducive living (Brunello, Fort, Schneeweis, & Winter-Ebmer, 2011). Experts opined that there are varying methodologies in extolling health promotion as a process with broad, multidimensional socio-ecological approaches. From socio-ecological lens, nurse’s role for healthcare is a cornerstone which was exemplified by Florence Nightingale, an icon of health service. Nightingale appreciated that health could be sustained through environmental control to prevent illness. This is because nurses work within multidimensional social, cultural, economic and behavioral factors (Fawcett, 2000). Thus, they are formally educated to gain the opportunity of upholding, endorsing, conscienticizing health policies as advocate for social justice and as leaders that are perpetually analyzing the rapid social changes affecting peoples (Fawcett, 2000). Nurses, like the rest of medical practitioners, confront health challenges to reduce risks posed by ten leading causes of mortality and morbidity globally. These are atherosclerosis (heart disease and stroke), cancer, septicemia or neonatal infections, tuberculosis, diarrhea, dementia and alzheimer’s disease, accidental injuries, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, respiratory tract infection, and cancer, including diseases related to obesity and aging (World Health Organization, 2011). There is an estimate of 150, 000 people who die each day worldwide (WHO, 2011). In emerging nations, poor sanitary conditions and dearth of access to modern medical technology cause death to persons with supposed curable infectious diseases. Tuberculosis for instance, a bacterial disease, have already killed 1. 7 million people in 2004. Malaria causes about 400–900 million cases of fever and 1–3 million deaths annually (WHO, 2011). Experts forecasted that AIDS death toll in Africa may reach 90–100 million by 2025 (WHO, 2011). Medical experts pointed that most leading causes of death can be prevented through proper diet and physical activity for human life longevity. Nurses could play pivotal role in capacitating communities to make people pro-actively engage in promoting their health, especially on their children’s well-being, hence, making their respective children as health-promoting actor (Heymann, 2001). Health experts must likewise encourage patients to seek or access medical services and to improve their system of intervention to ensure that affordable quality services are accorded to remote rural areas considered as infested with high-risk infections (Heymann, 2001). In doing so, nurses must help facilitate integrating diverse services to motivate peoples’ access to health services to reduce mortality and morbidity incidences; improve reproductive health; manage TB rehabilitation and other transmissible infections. Nurses therefore must take part in developing a system to allow greater integration of communication among stakeholders; strengthen referral system; and make holistic epidemiological profiles of patients, including those critical situation associated to geriatrics, poor nutrition, sanitation problems and psychiatric ailment (Heymann, 2001; WHO, 2011). This can assist in the preventive system of healthcare that could either be primary, secondary and tertiary. The first aimed at increasing people’s resistance to illness thru immunization and eating of nutritious food. The second relates to early detection or screening and immediate accessing for health providers while the third is about medication, rehabilitation and recovery of from illness (Fawcett, 2000). All of them are necessary but it’s always prevention from illness as the best way for quality living. Nurses prefer that. References Brunello, G., Fort, M. & Schneeweis, N. & Ebmer, R. W. (2011). The Causal Effect of Education on Health: What is the Role of Health Behaviors? IZA Discussion Paper No. 5944 and Economics Series 280, Institute for Advanced Studies, Bon Germany. pp. 3-30. Christensen, P. (2004) The health-promoting family: a conceptual framework for future research. Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 377-387. Fawcett, J. (2000). Analysis and Evaluation of Contemporary Nursing Knowledge.  2nd Edition. FA Davis, Philadelphia, PA. pp. 3-589. Heymann, SJ. ( 2001). The Widening Gap: Why American Working Families are in Jeopardy and What Can Be Done About It. Basic Books, New York, NY, pp. 15-245. O’Donnell, M. P. (1989). Definitions of health promotion: Part III: Expanding the Definition. American Journal of Health Promotion, vol. 3, p. 5. World Health Organization (2011). Summary Report of the 1st Meeting of the International Advisory Group for the Revision of ICD-10 on Mental and Behavioral Disorders. United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland. pp. 1-4. Pender, N. J, Murdaugh, C. L. & Parsons M. A. (2002). Health Promotion in Nursing Practice. (6th ed). Upper Saddle River, Prentice Hall, Pearson Educ. Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.