Case Study 1 – Health Promotion
In this case study, J.R a nurse practitioner is faced with a far too common scenario in healthcare. Often, we encounter elderly patients from different cultural backgrounds that avoid medical treatments and prefer homeopathic treatments instead. It can be a difficult task to convince such patients to participate in medical treatments or even screenings. J.R s doing the right thing by encouraging positive health behaviors for her patients by encouraging them to attend a screening event.
Traditionally, disease prevention encompasses primary, secondary and tertiary prevention strategies (Ali & Katz, 2015). The purpose of the primary intervention strategy is to promote lifestyle changes such as physical activity, and diet (Ali & Katz, 2015). It is typically used for at risk patients to prevent diseases. The purpose of the secondary intervention is to identify those with early stages of a disease that is still asymptomatic. The utilization of preventative services along with an increase in screening rates can significantly reduce the risk for chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol (Ali & Katz, 2015). Lastly, tertiary prevention strategies are utilized in patients with established diseases that are symptomatic. Tertiary prevention can have direct influence on disease progression, reduction of morbidity and the improvement of the patient’s overall quality of life (Ali & Katz, 2015).
Encouraging the patients in this case study to participate in a screening event is identified as secondary prevention strategy. Since these patients do not see a provider regularly, they may already have early onsets of chronic illnesses and may not even know it. As a nurse practitioner, encouraging these patients to participate in this screening could help identify the ones at risk and offer ways to keep their illness manageable.
Despite significant advances in medicine and technology in the United States, there are still far too many people affected by health disparities. Health disparities are defined as gaps or differences in the quality of life and healthcare across social, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups (Riley, 2012). Additionally, factors such as sexual orientation, lifestyle choices, lack of access, environmental characteristics, and age can also be significant contributing factors to health disparities (Riley, 2012). In this case study, these patients’ culture, age, and socioeconomic status are all contributing factors in their health disparity.
As a nurse practitioner our role is to promote health and decrease disparities in the communities we serve. The challenge that I anticipate experiencing as a new provider is not knowing everything and learning on the job as I hone in my skills. As a new provider there will be a lot to learn at the beginning. It would be unrealistic to expect to know everything right out of school. To improve this weakness, I plan on continuing to take every opportunity to learn new things daily. I also plan on asking questions when I am unsure of something. My strength are my ability to adapt easily to new environments also being a fast learner. I think my strengths with time will help me overcome my weakness as I become a better provider.
Ali, A., & Katz, D. L. (2015). Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: How Integrative Medicine Fits. American journal of preventive medicine, 49(5 Suppl 3), S230–S240. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2015.07.019 (Links to an external site.)
Riley W. J. (2012). Health disparities: gaps in access, quality and affordability of medical care. Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, 123, 167–174.