An Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) is supposed to play a range of roles so that the needs of the target population (i.e., the members of a local community) could be met successfully. These roles often define the very purpose of an APRN’s existence and, therefore, include crucial tasks that a nurse must complete to prevent the instances of negative outcomes among patients. Because of the opportunities that it offers to patients and fellow nurses, the education-related role should be mentioned first. An APRN must create an environment in which a patient and a nurse could engage in the consistent acquisition of the relevant skills and data. Thus, the significance of the educational role of a nurse must be emphasized extensively.
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Apart from offering opportunities for both nurses and patients to develop the necessary skills, an APRN must assume the position of a communicator and negotiator. There is no need to stress that the importance of building a dialogue between a patient and a nurse is a crucial step toward providing efficient care and meeting the needs of the target population successfully. However, in a range of cases, patients and their legal guardians may make a mistake when deciding between the existing options. Therefore, a nurse must be able to deliver the relevant information to a patient and their legal guardians so that the right choice could be made and the environment for improving the patient’s well-being could be provided. The role of an administrator should also be incorporated into the set of the ones that an APRN will have to play in the context of the contemporary healthcare setting. As a result, an APRN will be able to arrange the process of managing patients’ needs efficiently.
Health Policy and the Advanced Practice Role
Despite the attempts at addressing the issue of childhood obesity, the problem remains topical for numerous families and communities. One might argue that the current trends of a drop in childhood obesity rates should be considered an indicator of the successful management of the problem (Dietz et al., 2015). However, even though the rates of the problem have been reduced, it still requires further management so that the current progress should not be affected by the lack of enthusiasm and the failure to carry out the program fully (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2017). The issue of childhood obesity should be viewed as a reason for concern due to the effects that it has on patients’ health, including the increased threat of developing diabetes or cardiovascular disease (CVD). Therefore, the further enhancement of the problem management, especially as far as the promotion of the related community programs is concerned, will have to be deemed as one of the priorities of an APRN (Gortmaker et al., 2015).
The current policy toward managing childhood obesity can be described as primarily an awareness-raising one. On the one hand, the identified approach allows embracing a wide range of audiences and, therefore, introduce every member thereof to the threats of childhood obesity. On the other hand, it does not contribute to developing culture-specific approaches that will help target a particular community. Herein lies the primary problem with the current concept of childhood obesity management. The development of a single general framework instead of several culture-specific ones affects the quality of managing the needs of the target population.
To make a difference and change the current situation, one will have to consider applying the strategy that will help convince the target population about the necessity to manage their children’s weight and, therefore, engage in the active acquisition of the relevant knowledge and skills. For this purpose, it will be crucial to incorporate social media into the set of tools used by nurse educators as the means of attracting the attention of the target audience. By inviting parents to participate in a dialogue and communicate with nurses, one will be able to create the environment in which the information about the signs of symptoms of obesity, as well as the measures allowing the prevention of the problem, will become easily available to everyone. As a result, the instances of obesity will be identified at the earliest stages of their development and addressed accordingly.
As a family nurse practitioner, I would focus on providing counseling about obesity and offering strategies for obesity management. Furthermore, I would attempt at addressing the community, in general, along with targeting its every single member, in particular. Finally, learning more about the culture of the target population will be a crucial step toward understanding how to handle the issue of childhood obesity efficiently.
It would be wrong to expect a positive change in the levels of childhood obesity immediately after the program is implemented. Instead, the dynamics of change should be assessed based on the percentage of the community members that develop a responsible attitude toward the subject matter. Thus, it is the change in the number of people attending consultations, as well as the levels of involvement in social media, that will have to be measured.
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Dietz, W. H., Baur, L. A., Hall, K., Puhl, R. M., Taveras, E. M., Uauy, R., & Kopelman, P. (2015). Management of obesity: Improvement of health-care training and systems for prevention and care. The Lancet, 385(9986), 2521-2533. Web.
Gortmaker, S. L., Wang, Y. C., Long, M. W., Giles, C. M., Ward, Z. J., Barrett, J. L., … Cradock, A. L. (2015). Three interventions that reduce childhood obesity are projected to save more than they cost to implement. Health Affairs, 34(11), 1932-1939. Web.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2017). Declining childhood obesity rates. Web.