Environment plays a crucial role in the life of people as it impacts all spheres of their activity. For this reason, the healthcare sector considers it one of the fundamental issues that should be given attention with the primary aim to ensure positive results and improve the health of the nation. There is a continuous process of the environments improvement that is introduced to monitor the situation regarding the given issue. Unfortunately, despite multiple efforts, there are still environmental factors that may have a pernicious impact on outcomes and patients health. In this regard, environmental health remains one of the major concerns for health workers and facilities.
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There are many perspectives on the discussed issue. The term “environmental health” can be determined as the branch of the public health system focused on the investigation and management of all aspects of the natural and built environment with the main focus to eliminate all negative factors and create settings promoting patients recovery (“Environmental health,” n.d.). It encompasses a wide array of activities and extensive theoretical knowledge needed to assess known risk factors and ensure their elimination or reduction of their pernicious impact on patients (“Environmental health,” n.d.).
At the same time, this field investigates environmental barriers that impact health at the moment and looks for ways to overcome them. These can be complicated access to health services, lack of health education (both in workers and patients), poor living conditions, and disregard of sanitarian norms.
Problematic access to health care has always been one of the primary concerns. People living in various areas may experience problems with acquiring services they need because of the lack of facilities, transport, and health workers (Granbom, Iwarsson, Kylberg, Petterson, & Slaug, 2016). The given barrier has a significant impact on the health of the nation as thousands of patients do not have an opportunity to consult with therapists. Additionally, emergent cases pose a threat to the health of this group because of the much time needed to deliver patients to the closest health facility (Granbom et al., 2016). In this regard, complicate access along with the lack of affordability become a significant environmental barrier affecting the sphere and reducing its effectiveness significantly.
Lack of education is another factor that should be discussed. In accordance with the latest statistics, about 15% of all patients do not understand real causes for the emergence and development of their illness and performed actions that promoted the further evolution of symptoms (Rantakokko, Tormakangas, Rantanen, Haak, & Iwarsson, 2013). Moreover, health workers errors because of the poor knowledge result in the emergence of critical problems in patients and deteriorate their outcomes.
Nurses Contribution to the Improvement
Finally, inappropriate living conditions and disregard of sanitarian norms remain two common barriers that significantly deteriorate the health of the nation and precondition emergence of multiple health concerns. The outbreak of infectious diseases is often associated with this factor as inappropriate hygiene creates an environment beneficial for the emergence and development of pathogens (Rantakokko et al., 2013). The lack of health awareness can go along with inappropriate living conditions as there is no clear understanding of the real causes for the emergence of particular health problems.
Regarding the scope of the problem, and its impact on the sector, a nurse, as a health worker who remains in contact with patients, should devote specific attention to eliminating these barriers. First, he/she can provide patients with information about the causes for the emergence of particular diseases and how the observation of sanitarian norms can help to enhance the quality of their lives. Second, a health worker can investigate individuals homes to reveal risk factors and explain how living conditions can be improved to avoid health problems. Finally, he/she can contribute to the development of environmental health by collecting information about topical concerns impacting the population now and investigating them to reduce their negative impact.
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Environmental health. (n.d.). Web.
Granbom, M., Iwarsson, S., Kylberg, M., Petterson, C., & Slaug, B. (2016). A public health perspective to environmental barriers and accessibility problems for senior citizens living in ordinary housing. BMC Public Health, 16, 772. Web.
Rantakokko, M., Tormakangas, T., Rantanen, T., Haak, M., & Iwarsson, S. (2013). Environmental barriers, person-environment fit and mortality among community-dwelling very old people. BMC Public Heatlh, 13, 783. Web.