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Promotion of Public Health: Improvement Strategies

Whether physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, or sexual health is concerned, it is essential that there is a public understanding of the inestimable value of health. However, those who has ever tried to inform people of at least a healthy diet or the benefits of exercise have not always meet full understanding. There are, of course, individuals who are eager to learn how to lead a healthy lifestyle, but such individuals are more of an exception. Still, even though it can be difficult sometimes to evoke a positive response from the population, one should not forget that health is the most vital thing in life and do one’s best to promote it. Firstly, it is necessary that one should have a clear perception of what it means to be healthy; further on, one can inform others about such basic things as, for example, damage done by smoking, the importance of proper nutrition and exercise.

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As a nurse, one has to understand the responsibility of promoting public health. The basic and most important goal of it is to encourage people to take care of parts of their life that affect health. Not only should nurses be informative, but it is also needed that they are listened to. This is why a good nurse develops a holistic approach towards the concept of health. It means that, as opposed to purely medical approach, it is not only the bodies that should be healthy but also the patients’ mentality and their vision of themselves in the world. In health promotion, it is necessary to be able to amalgamate education both on health maintenance and preventative techniques. This includes individuals exposed to diseases, aging, and dying (Evans et al., 2014).

The damage caused by cigarette consumption is hard to overestimate. Smoking, whether of cigarettes of other tobacco-containing products, is still the leading cause of untimely lethal outcome in the developed countries of the world. However, it can be prevented. A longitudinal study where the control group consisted of more than a million British women of diverse smoking status sheds light upon what actually happens to a human (female in this case) organism that stops smoking at some point in life. Women who quit the habit at a relatively early age (25 to 34) still were under risk of having lung cancer. However, their overall mortality was more than 90% lower than that of those who smoked continuously. Those who quit smoking at the age of 45-54 were at greater risk of chronic lung diseases, but their mortality rate was still 60% lower than that of the smokers. Thus, the study shows that it is practically never too late to promote a healthy lifestyle and gain some extra healthier years to one’s lifespan (Pirie et al., 2013).

Healthy eating habits is another thing to be promoted for the sake of common good. Strangely enough, many people (especially parents) admit they would like to know how to eat and cook healthy and teach their children healthy eating, but they just seem to not know where to begin. A research studying the reasons for the profound difficulty of teaching children – as well as their parents – healthy eating concludes that, most commonly, it is admitted that healthy food is too costly, especially for low-income households. Besides, cooking healthy food is believed to be taking too much time because it seems that all the products involved have to be fresh and usually raw. Another reason is the accessibility of fast food that is cheap and edible on-the-go. However, as the study shows, the majority of the parents would like to learn to cook and eat healthy, and there are numerous ways of promoting proper nutrition: local schools provide nutrition classes and programs where the whole families can take part (Slusser et al., 2011).

As to the exercise, simply stating the fact that it is good for one’s health and not only as a means of losing weight does not seem to directly lead to a positive outcome. For example, some studies reflecting on the problem of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) state that exercise can decrease the amount of fat on the liver. Exercise as such had never been regarded as a cure for NAFLD in itself. Some of the specialists are ready to adopt the new approach to NAFLD treatment; however, it is tracking the patients’ progress that seems to produce most difficulty. As it was stated, one cannot simply provide patients with valuable information that exercise is good and stop at that. The patients need to be motivated, his/her goals should be individualized, and their progress should be carefully checked, which calls for implementing health promotion strategies (Johnson et al., 2012).

Thus, there are individuals who are very reluctant in taking care of their own health, which means such individuals should be carefully guided. Nurses promoting public health should be competent in this area, and then it is possible that they inform the patients on the very basics of health maintenance to enhance their living.

References

Evans, D., Coutsaftiki, D., & Fathers, P. C. (2014). Health Promotion and Public Health for Nursing Students. Exeter, United Kingdom: Learning Matters.

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Johnson, N. A., Keating, S. E., & George, J. (2012). Exercise and the Liver: Implications for Therapy in Fatty Liver Disorders. Seminars in Liver Disease, 32(1), 65-79.

Pirie, K., Peto, R., Reeves, G. K., Green, J., & Beral, V. (2013). The 21st Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Stopping: A Prospective Study of One Million Women in the UK. The Lancet, 381(9861), 133-141.

Slusser, W., Prelipa, M., Kinslera, J., Erausquin, J. T., Thai, C., & Neumann, C. (2011). Challenges to Parent Nutrition Education: A Qualitative Study of Parents of Urban Children Attending Low-Income Schools. Public Health Nutrition, 14(10), 1833-1841.

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