Nurses usually need to empower their patients to help them make lifestyle modifications. These empowerment activities are associated with the health promotion task by completing which nurses assist patients in overcoming possible barriers related to their environments (Raingruber, 2016). For example, there were situations when I had opportunities to empower patients to think they could modify their lifestyle in order to cope with chronic pain. In this case, barriers included the patient’s interest in a certain therapy with high risks of developing adverse effects. It was important to demonstrate all available alternatives related to using another therapy, keeping a diet, focusing on exercising, and organizing daily routines that could help the patient cope with chronic pain. It was also important to demonstrate what dosage of medications is appropriate and what factors can influence alterations in dosing.
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Another example is associated with empowering the patient to quit smoking in spite of the fact that all members of his family smoke. I developed an easy-to-follow plan for six months that was oriented to helping the whole family concentrate on smoking cessation activities. The plan included a short list of lifestyle modifications that should have been implemented on a daily basis. Thus, the experience in health promotion demonstrates that the biggest challenges are related to patients’ lack of knowledge regarding healthy choices and the impact of their families. To manage challenges, it is necessary to motivate not only patients but also their relatives to change their daily routines (Young, 2014). Therefore, a nurse should communicate with patients and their relatives and propose plans that can be easily understood to follow without much pressure and stress to avoid patients’ resistance.
Raingruber, B. (2016). Contemporary health promotion in nursing practice (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Young, S. (2014). Healthy behavior change in practical settings. The Permanente Journal, 18(4), 89-92.