Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is one of the most spread illnesses among the US population. Not only is this health condition dangerous, but it also may lead to rather serious complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, and other severe conditions. Patients suffering from CKD have different types of support needs to cope with their problems. In order to eliminate the risks presented by CKD, governments of many countries are developing programs aimed at spreading people’s knowledge about the disease and its complications.
The Support Needs of the Participant and Interventions of the Professional Caregiver
Ever since she has been diagnosed with CKD, J. F. has been experiencing the following needs:
- The acutest problem is concerned with the need to buy bags of dialysate. The lack of insurance coverage plays an aggravating role in the patient’s health situation.
- The second issue of high importance is social support and psychological needs. Although J. F. has not mentioned her ethnicity as a vulnerability factor, she still needs support from her close ones and medical staff every time she feels discomfort or loss of strength. The psychological needs include coping with the untreatable condition, the ability to face the diagnosis, and the planning skills.
- The third support need is the educational one. The patient needs to receive proper instruction about her health condition so that she could pay particular attention to health conditions that may be impacted by CKD.
Based on the identified support needs, the following interventions of the professional caregiver may be suggested:
- The caregiver should help J. F. to find alternative ways of obtaining the bags of dialysate. It is necessary to check for healthcare policies and legislative acts and find out which of them are aimed at helping people with CKD. The caregiver can help the patient to check whether she corresponds to the requirements of any of such programs and assist her in gathering the necessary data and documents to apply.
- To provide social support for the patient, it is necessary to enroll her in some social campaigns and meetings being held in the neighborhood or at a hospital. Such patients should not feel deserted alone with their illness. They need to feel that they are taken care of and that somebody supports them.
- There are many obstacles to patient education on the side of caregivers as well as patients. Patients usually have a low baseline awareness of the seriousness of their disease and the consequences it may cause. Caregivers may not have enough time or clinical confidence in patient education (Narva, Norton, & Boulware, 2015). Thus, it is of utmost importance that caregivers do their best to find a possibility to tell patients about the adverse impact of CKD on other organs and systems. In this way, high awareness among patients will be gained, and there will be fewer cases of unexpected disease complications.
The Ways of Implementing Healthy People 2020 Objectives
The goals for patients with CKD identified in Healthy People 2020 are primarily associated with the need to design and implement measures for the improvement of these people’s quality of life. Also, there is a crucial issue of insufficient financial resources. Other objectives are concerned with the necessity to prevent cardiovascular risk and reduce kidney failure due to diabetes (“Chronic kidney disease,” 2017).
To prevent cardiovascular risk, two kinds of interventions are suggested: pharmacological and lifestyle. Lifestyle intervention involves such steps as smoking cessation, weight management, dietary protein restriction, and dietary sodium reduction (Gansevoort et al., 2013). Pharmacological intervention presupposes the reduction of blood pressure, vitamin D supplementation, glycemic, lipid, and hemoglobin control, and antiplatelet therapy (Gansevoort et al., 2013).
To address the problem of kidney failure, it is recommended to perform a regular assessment of the available resources, design programs that help to diagnose acute kidney injury, and supply healthcare providers with sufficient training (Remuzzi et al., 2013). Also, it is necessary to organize constant support from the community.
Nursing Professional’s Role as an Advocate for the Participant’s Acceptance of Diagnosis and Treatment
The nurse’s role as a patient advocate is widely acknowledged by healthcare professionals. The role of a nurse in patients’ acceptance of diagnosis and treatment cannot be overestimated. Nurses spend much time with the patients, and it is in their power to provide support and surveillance for the customers of healthcare facilities. These specialists are considered the patients’ “gatekeepers” (Choi, 2015, p. 53).
In J. F.’s case, the nurse’s advocacy role is embedded in several significant responsibilities. First of all, a nurse needs to challenge bad practice and biased attitudes towards the patient in case if any of such situations take place. Secondly, a nursing professional has to assist J. F. in accessing the proper social and health care, support, and information (Choi, 2015). Thirdly, a nurse as an advocate needs to engage J. F. in making decisions about her health and inform the patient about all alternatives and their outcomes.
The mentioned rules relate equally to diagnosis and treatment methods. Being an advocate means that a nurse has to allow the patients to make the most important decisions concerning their life. Whether the nurse agrees with these decisions or not, J. F. has a right to choose what to do about her health situation.
Environmental and Social Impact on the Patient’s Health
The most damaging environmental impact of the growing incidence of CKD is made by chemicals. Being exposed to a great range of environmental chemicals leads to the failure of renal function (Kataria, Trasande, & Trachtman, 2015). Such chemicals produce a negative effect on the following aspects of cardiorenal function: blood pressure, albuminuria, serum uric acid concentration, and glomerular filtration rate (Kataria et al., 2015). In order to eliminate the adverse impact of the environment on people’s health, it is necessary to locate the chemical factories at an appropriate distance from cities where many people live.
The most widely investigated factor of socioeconomic status (SES) associated with CKD is income (Plantinga, 2013). However, it is not the only one. Apart from income, there are such crucial issues as education and occupation. In addition to that, there are such socioeconomic factors as the links between CKD and life course and area-level SES. To eliminate the prevalence of such factors, it is necessary to design and implement interventions against the spread of such negative factors.
Chronic kidney disease presents a number of complications for patients and their practitioners and families. However, under appropriate management and with proper education, the quality of life of such patients can be significantly increased. In order to satisfy the support needs of CKD patients, nurses need to design and implement a variety of interventions aimed at patients’ education and relieving the symptoms of their disease.
Choi, P. P. (2015). Patient advocacy: The role of the nurse. Nursing Standard, 29(41), 52-58.
Chronic kidney disease. (2017). Web.
Gansevoort, R. T., Correa-Rotter, R., Hemmelgarn, B. R., Jafar, T. H., Lambers Heerspink, H. J., Mann, J. F., … Pang Wen, C. (2013). Chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular risk: Epidemiology, mechanisms, and prevention. The Lancet, 382(9889), 339-352.
Kataria, A., Trasande, L., & Trachtman, H. (2015). The effects of environmental chemicals on renal function. Nature Reviews Nephrology, 11(10), 610-625.
Narva, A. S., Norton, J. M., & Boulware, L. E. (2015). Educating patients about CKD: The path to self-management and patient-centered care. Clinical Journal of the America Society of Nephrology, 11(4), 694-703.
Plantinga, L. C. (2013). Socio-economic impact in CKD. Néphrologie & Thérapeutique, 9(1), 1-7.
Remuzzi, G., Benigni, A., Finkelstein, F. O., Grunfeld, J.-P., Joly, D., Katz, I., …, Tonelli, M. (2013). Kidney failure: Aims for the next 10 years and barriers to success. The Lancet, 382(9889), 353-362.