Mary Ann Ray
Grand Canyon University: - NRS 429V
July 13, 2013
There was a time in history when health meant simply the absence of illness or disease. Today health means so much more and a new era has dawned . Today medical personell promote health not just prevent disease. Health promotion is defined as the process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health (World Health Organization, n.d.). It encompasses a combination of health education and related organizational, political, and economic changes aimed at improving health (Hooyman & Kiyak, 1999). In addition, health promotion focuses on helping individuals, families, and communities develop the competence and capabilities they require to gain control over day-to-day life events and circumstances, thereby achieving a sense of security. Therefore, the ultimate goal of the health promotion model is to promote a sense of well-being, not just the absence of disease (Lecture 2). The driving force for the current health care promotion is Healthy People 2020. There is a call to action for nurses to play a major role in shifting the health care system from a traditional illness and cure model to a health promotion and disease prevention model (Lecture 2).
Health promotion can be divided into three levels, the first level is that of primary care, the second level is secondary care and the third level is tertiary care. We will use the example of high blood pressure and cerebrovascular accident for the purpose of demonstrating how these three levels of health promotion are used.
Primary care is described as the prevention of disease and concentrates on education as a means of prevention of an illness or disease. In our example of high blood pressure the nurse will provide educational information on ways to maintain a healthy blood pressure. The nurse could provide this education in any one of many ways or use a combination of teaching materials. Perhaps providing reading material on the effects high blood pressure on the body and prevention measures, having patients watch a demonstration of yoga and meditation as a means of maintaining a healthy blood pressure. In an article printed in the American Journal of Public Health during May of 2010 the idea of preventing high blood pressure and increasing a person life span is discussed. The article is about the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health and a colorful poster that was created by them for the purpose of educating persons about high blood pressure prevention targeting the Chinese population. The poster contains the Chinese character for longevity on a red backdrop, red is the Chinese color of happiness. “The goal of the program is to reduce death and disability related to high blood pressure through programs of professional, patient and public education”. The program was effective as a study showed that in 1972 when the study was launched only twenty five percent of the American public knew that there is a relationship between high blood pressure and heart disease and stroke and today more than seventy five percent of Americans are knowledgeable about the relationship of high blood pressure and cerbrovascular accidents and heart disease (Article 1).
Secondary care or prevention entails diagnosing a disease prior to symptoms occurring. In our patient who has been diagnosed with high blood pressure this would mean helping them to lower the blood pressure. The nurse might suggest the patient get good rest, seven or eight hours instead of just three or four hours per night, instruction on eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber, drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated, limiting the intake of alcoholic beverages or eliminating alcohol all to gather, getting regular exercise by walking, swimming or riding a bike instead of sitting on a couch watching television or