The concept of health promotion has recently been given enormous attention across the world, mainly because it is believed that health promotion goes beyond global issues of racial differences and spiritual paths. In addition, health promotion surpasses variations in cultural norms and ethnicities.
There has lately been significant influx of efforts geared towards the promoting healthy measures at the international level, including programs that endorse wellness activities and action that have been validated to enhance the individual health. Interestingly, health promotion owes its success not only to the physicians who directly treat patients, but also to other healthcare and non-healthcare professionals.
Healthcare professionals are composed of nurses, technologists and technicians, while the non-healthcare professionals include members of the government, as well as members of the academe, the private industries and non-profit community-based organizations.
The purpose of health promotion in the nursing practice is essential in conveying the connection between a patient and his immediate surrounding, in that the external setting has a major influence in the success of instilling a healthy lifestyle in an individual. In the paper authored by Cezar-Vaz et al. (2007), the patient is described to be physically located within a “social ecosystem” wherein interactions are often occurring between individuals present within that same special area.
In addition, each patient inherently carries his personal identity and thus generates a unique conglomerate picture of the patient that induces his actions and choices towards following health-related activities.
The field of nursing practice thus focuses on operating between the environment of the patient and the patient himself, with the goal of playing as a mediator between medicine and the personal identity of the patient, in order to achieve a condition that fosters healthy living.
Such integration encompasses differences in ethnicities and religious backgrounds hence nurses play an important role in health promotion. It is important to note that nurses have the capacity to assimilate the cultural norms that are recognized in every country, as well as close the gaps between different social groups.
It is unfortunate that these social disparities frequently serve as cause to the misconception of healthcare-related activities, including health promotion.
One interesting example of the role of the nursing practice in health promotion is signified in the research conducted by Puskar et al. (2006), which describes the role of nurses in detecting symptoms of depression among teenagers in rural communities.
It is well-known that every school is equipped with a school nurse who directly interacts with students. Such opportunity for social exchange between a nurse and a student provides a unique venue in screening for any mental health disorders among students and this can be performed even while conducting routine activities such as attending to first aid measures to students or the mere annual physical examination of students prior to any school sports activity.
More importantly, the characteristic daily presence of the school nurse allows the students of the school to trust this school official, which in turn provides a positive influence among the students to express any concerns on their mental, as well as their physical condition, should there be anything that is affecting their performance at school and at home.
It is often difficult for adolescents to express their emotions and trust individuals who are not related to them and the school nurse is thus positioned in a unique role as a mediator between the individual student and his immediate environment.
The roles and responsibilities of nurses have evolved in health promotion because these healthcare professionals are now recognized to be in direct contact with the patients and that they spend more time interacting with the patients than the attending physician.
The special linkage between the patient and the medical field is thus provided by the nurses. During earlier decades, nurses were perceived to simply assist in the administration of medications and the performance of diagnostic tests on patients, situated by the side of the attending physician.
Today, this role has evolved, wherein the nurse plays a critical role in making the patient feel better, as well as providing medications and assisting in diagnostic tests, because the nurses have a peculiar position of being in the middle of the patient-physician connection. The special role of nurses is also depicted in the article of Winkeljohn (2007) which narrates the contribution of nurses in the treatment of chemotherapeutic drugs to cancer patients.
The paper describes that nurses play a part in the proper actions that are performed by patient because these healthcare professionals have included in their professional activities to teach the patient in different methods in monitoring their drug intake and providing information on what to do in case of emergency situations that are related to their medical condition. Such modified and evolved role in patient care has resulted in the safety of a significant number of patients.
Health promotion pertains to the field of medicine that facilitates individuals in modifying their way of life in order to attain healthy living. The purpose of health promotion in the nursing practice is essential in conveying the connection between a patient and his immediate surrounding, in that the external setting has a major influence in the success of instilling a healthy lifestyle in an individual.
The roles and responsibilities of nurses have evolved in health promotion because these healthcare professionals are now recognized to be in direct contact with the patients and that they spend more time interacting with the patients than the attending physician. The special linkage between the patient and the medical field is thus provided by the nurses.
Cezar-Vaz MR, Muccillo-Baisch AL, Soares JFS, Weis AH, Costa VZ, Soares MCF (2007): Nursing, environment and health conceptions: an ecosystemic approach of the collective health production in the primary care. Rev. Latino-am Enfermagem 15:418-25.
Puskar KR, Stark KH, Fertman CI, Bernardo LM, Engberg RA, Barton RS (2006): School based mental health promotion: Nursing interventions for depressive symptoms in rural adolescents. Californian J. Health Promot. 4: 13–20.
Winkeljohn DL (2007): Oral chemotherapy medications: The need for a nurse’s touch. Clin. J. Oncol. Nurs. 11:793-796.