NRS 429V Week 5 Discussion Question 1
Explain the role of health education in health promotion. How is the nursing process used in developing health education? Describe a contemporary issue, local or global, that a family may experience today. What steps would the nurse take to address these as part of a health education plan?
I really enjoyed this article Dr. J, thankyou. It is essential to the profession that we remain compassionate and empathetic to our patients, these qualities go hand in hand with modern science and medicine to truly provide healing on all levels. One cannot function without the other in my opinion. People come into our care desperately needing kindness, support and true healing, providing compassion along with modern medicine can be difficult to navigate at times, nurse to patient ratios are so high still after the Covid pandemic. The staffing shortage and limited support really takes away time to engage and provide that nurse to patient tender contact. Communication and engagement with our patients allows a person to be seen, heard and genuinely cared for, thus better patient outcomes and overall satisfaction with their stay. I feel it is a general consensus that a heavy work loads, nursing burnout, under staffing, and over all hospital budget cuts have lead to less time available during a shift to connect and provide that needed one on one time with every individual patient we encounter. Theses issues have been ongoing and really need to be addressed on a bigger platform from healthcare administrators to hospital CEO’s and even a governmental level. People deserve time, compassion, consideration and most of all just to be seen and cared for, nothing replaces human kindness and contact. Scientific advancements have come along way and provide miraculous outcomes, however the “art” of nursing in our daily practice needs to remain and hold the same weight in patient care.
This is a great article, and my main take away is that finding that right balance between nursing as an art and nursing as a science is essential in providing a wonderful patient experience. When I encounter challenging patients, I pause and try to look deeper to understand where that negative behavior is coming from. Most of the time it is from their frustration that they cannot do what they typically do in the comfort of their homes. The article made a good point about the patients not being in their element and in an unfamiliar environment, and that alone may already be giving them anxiety or worry, thus affecting their response to care. Having years of experience as a nurse with admirable clinical skills is not enough to say that one is an exceptional nurse. A preceptor once asked me what the difference is between a good nurse and an exceptional nurse. He said a good nurse does what is expected of him or her, while an exceptional nurse is the one that treats the patient as if they were a family member.
The exceptional nurse puts themselves in the patient’s shoes, and goes the extra mile to provide a positive patient experience. When I read the article, I immediately remembered that conversation. Providing care, compassion, and communicating effectively with the patient and their family so that the nurse can effectively implement interventions is an art. We should remember that we are our patient’s source of support and assurance, their safety blanket when they are not in their comfort zone. Most of the time, the patients do not remember how sick they felt, how many times they were poked, or the painful procedures they had to go through. What they remember the most is how their nurse took care of them and how their nurse made them feel during their hospital stay.
Patient education is one of the most important nursing interventions in any healthcare setting. It is the patient’s right to be informed about their condition, prognosis, and available treatments so they can make intelligent decisions about their health and lifestyle or behavior (Edelman et al., 2021). When patients have a good understanding of their condition and the treatment plan, they feel more involved and empowered to comply with interventions. Health education helps individuals achieve optimal levels of health. It promotes self-management of acute and chronic illnesses and continuity of care after discharge, and crucial in providing safe and patient-centered care (Potter et al., 2022). Health education must be relevant to the needs, language, and literacy of the patient, or the population in a community setting. The nursing process helps provide a clinical decision-making approach so that the nurse can develop and implement an individualized plan of care for the patient. In developing health education, it is important to assess the patient’s needs, literacy levels, cultural background, and other factors that may influence their perception of health and readiness to learn. The nursing diagnosis element helps with the identification of conditions that may interfere with learning. Planning entails creating objectives for learning, including behavioral goals and an ideal method of teaching. Implementation includes involving the patient in the education process. Families may also be included if appropriate. Evaluation determines the outcomes of the health teaching method, content, and relevance (Potter et al., 2022).
An example of an issue that families may experience today is obesity, both in adults and children. This is mainly because of poor food choices and lack of exercise or physical activities. To address this issue, the nurse needs to establish trust and rapport with the family members. The nurse can then gather information from the family about their eating habits, food consumption, access to nutritious food, activities, health practices, and their knowledge about obesity. It is important to know how the family learns so that the nurse can figure out the approach or method of teaching to use and prepare the age-appropriate materials for the family. Effective communication is key to providing quality education. The health risks of the condition must be clearly explained so that the family can make better food choices and lifestyle changes. The nurse should also make referrals to appropriate interdisciplinary team members and share resources or available assistance that the family might need.
Edelman, C. L. & Kudzma, E. C. (2021). Health promotion throughout the lifespan (10th ed.). Elsevier.
Potter, P. A., Perry, A. G., Stockert, P. A., & Hall, A. M. (2022). Fundamentals of nursing (11th ed.). Elsevier.