Table of Contents
As per the World Health Organization, “Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve their health.” The focus of the nurses on health promotion includes prevention of diseases and changing the behaviour of the people relating to their health. Health promotion is important as it plays a crucial role in maintaining the health status of people, their families, and communities and of the nation as well. Moreover, it improves the overall quality of life of the individuals and prevents premature death. The current study will discuss the role of nurses in major health promotion strategies suggested by WHO identified in the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion.
Overview of the condition
Commonly known as flu, influenza is caused by an infectious influenza virus though individuals may show mild to severe symptoms. The observable symptoms of influenza infection include runny nose, high fever, sore throat, joint and muscle pain, coughing and others (Uehara et al. 2020). As the flu attacks in lungs, throat and nose it is highly risky for young children, people with underlying chronic diseases and weak immune system. It can be primarily treated through fluid intake and rest and the body is allowed to fight with the infection. Nurses have a very major role in using health promotion strategies for the sake of health of the entire community. The strategies and the role of the nurses in promoting health against the spreading the influenza are described below:
Five major strategies for health promotion
One of the five major strategies for health promotion includes “Building Healthy Public Policy”. This is performed collaboratively by policy makers in all the sectors and at all the levels. The aim of this policy making is to directing the individuals to become aware of the, disease, its consequences that may occur through their decision, and to acknowledge the responsibilities of the individuals regarding their health. Specifically, for the health promotion in the context of dealing with influenza, nurses may take necessary actions for restricting contact between the affected individuals and others (World Health Organisation, 2020). Nurses may strengthen surveillance for influenza infection globally. They may collect and utilise data regarding the spread of the virus, new information such as changes in the behaviour of the virus, and can develop an evidence based understanding about how the problems can be dealt with. They are required to identify the vulnerable and follow the immunisation policies thoroughly so that transmission of the disease can be prevented.
The second action area or strategy includes “Creating of supportive environments”. Formulating healthy public policies help in developing supportive environments so that everyone can live at a place that is safe for them. As mentioned by Van der Vliet et al. (2018), the changing patterns of the lifestyle, leisure and work play as a crucial influencer of health. Therefore, the connection between people and their environment creates the basis for socio-ecological approach to health. Therefore, nurses are needed to promote a reciprocal maintenance of health of each other, the environment as well as the community.
Nurses may also play an active role in providing education regarding how the action of a person affects themselves, their community as well as the environment. The strategy that nurses will apply focuses on creation of safe environment such as encouraging affected person to follow policy guidance so that other people does not get affected by the same and people that are vulnerable can be educated about how to protect themselves and their community from being infected as well. The environment will be stimulating as well where individuals will take active participation in following the policy guidance such as maintaining minimal distance with the affected person and so on. The role of the nurse here is also to develop community team which will spread the awareness in the community (World Health Organization, 2019).
Another strategy is to “Strengthen Community Actions”. One of the major determinants of effective health promotion is effective and concrete actions of the community. The key actions of the communities include setting priorities, planning strategies, making decisions and implementing the plans so that better health condition can be achieved. In this regard, the nurses play a crucial role in empowering the communities, developing their sense of control and their ownership so that they can take active part in changing the condition they are living in (Duprez et al., 2020). Nurses are required to identify the human and material resources available in the community and will help the community members to identify the same. This might enhance the self-help tendency as well as social support so that they do not face helpless situation when they need assistance the most.
Nurse’s role here is to develop flexible systems that would promote public interactions. Along with this developing a non-judgemental environment while reviewing medication and using non-clinical terms to engage the members of the community is essential for increasing participation of the individuals as the comprehensibility increases. On the other hand, community members are required to provide adequate information regarding their part of primary action towards controlling the infection and the people or institutions they may approach for the further treatment and assistance, funding support and others (Houghton et al., 2020). Therefore, nurses play a crucial role in preventing the infection and promoting health through community engagement and empowerment of the community.
The strategy of “Developing personal skills” is as important as strengthening the community actions. As mentioned by Khishfe et al. (2017), enhancing personal understanding and knowledge regarding an issue helps in development of an individual personally as well as socially. Under this strategy, health promotion has been considered as a system which provides support in developing personally and socially based on spreading of information, health education and enhancement of the life skills. As the sphere of knowledge increases, options available for people in exercising more control over their personal health, their environments increases. Additionally, through the help of this enhanced knowledge and understanding, they can make beneficial choices for protecting and promoting their health.
In this context, the nurses need to make sure that the individuals are being able to learn throughout their life. It will include learning about how to prepare themselves for all the phases of the spread of the infection, the process of coping with it and others. Therefore, it is needless to say that developing a strong base for understanding earlier in life is crucial for developing sense of control (Langenhof & Komdeur, 2018). In order to achieve the same nurses may collaboratively work with the schools, family members of the children, different work settings and to the broader community. Therefore, not only with the schools nurses are required to tie up with the professional, educational and voluntary bodies and within the institutes themselves for increasing awareness and greater sense of control among people.
WHO suggests considering health promotion as a shared responsibility. Under the strategy of “Reorienting Health Services”, it is suggested individuals, groups of community, health service institutions, health service providers and governments to work collaboratively in health promotion activities. These bodies are required to work together in order to develop a healthcare system which will lead to the contribution to pursuing health. Besides the clinical and curative services health sectors are responsible for work increasingly towards health promotion. Here the role of the nurses is to collaborate with the healthcare service providers, organisations and need to follow governmental policy while taking active part in spreading the knowledge and skill to deal or cope with the problem among individuals and their community (Kates et al., 2018). Therefore, it clarifies to take necessary educational actions along with the educational approach by the nurses in promoting health.
Nurses will only provide curative services but they also engage with their institutions and government to make decisions and applicable strategies in preventing the influenza infection and further spreading of the same. However, in doing so, nurses need to take care of the cultural aspects which influences the behaviour of different community members. Based on this, the approach to health promotion will be culturally sensitive, respectful and rigorous so that all inclusive action may be taken (Willis & Ross, 2019). Here, the nurses are required to assess the needs of the community members for achieving a healthier life such as clean and hygienic environment and others. The connection between the health sector/healthcare providers and political, physical, social and economic environment may be established where based on the available economic resources and social capital; community members may take necessary actions to improve their health condition.
In conclusion, health promotion is a crucial factor for increasing awareness and empower people to help preventing the influenza infection and spreading of the same. It is a collaborative action where, the governments, health professionals, community members and individuals can take part for enhancing comprehensibility of health requirements and outcome. Moreover, nurses are required to take active part in educating, empowering and building community team so that resources can be provided to every member seeking assistance. Additionally, nurses are also needed to consider cultural diversity and need to respect the same while working with the community members with regards to health promotion.
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