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Health education plays a central role in health promotion. This is because in order to promote healthy living, it is important for individuals to understand why they are engaging in healthy behavior. For example, for an individual to go out of their way to become physically active and avoid junk food, they should have an incentive to do so. Health education provides this incentive as individuals learn of the association between a sedentary lifestyle/ junk food and diseases like diabetes and obesity. The nursing process is inherently tied to patient health education. This is because part of the nursing duties is to fight for patient advocacy. This means that nurses should ensure that their patients are properly informed about their health in order to make health-centered decisions. A contemporary issue that a family may experience today is a family struggling with obesity. The nurse can address the issue by first meeting with the family together, and then with each member individually. The nurse should focus on health education and discuss the implications of obesity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. They should inform the family about how much they can positively affect their lives through the addition of regular exercise and healthy eating habits. A critical role of the nurse is to develop realistic health goals for the family and to provide a real plan that can help the family to achieve these goals.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) (2018b), health promotion is “the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve their health” (para 1). Health education is defined as “any combination of learning experiences designed to help individuals and communities improve their health, by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes” (World Health Organization [WHO], 2018a, para 1). Nurses are actively involved in both health promotion and health education, providing education that is necessary to help patients achieve control over the promotion of their own health. Similar to all other nursing functions, health education is provided by using the nursing process. The nurse will assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate to provide the proper health education to the patients. This process can vary from person to person, but the basic foundation stays the same. Some patients have to have revisions so it can get out of order. An acronym we learned in nursing school for the nursing process is ADPIE. It’s really stuck with me over the years, making it easy to remember. A Contemporary issue that many faces globally includes hurricane’s, and forest fires. Even though these can’t be prevented, there are plans that can be devised, resources that can be offered, and tools that can be used to assist with preparation and help to work toward achieving wellness goals. Some local issues some patients face can include, environmental issues like illicit drugs or a high crime neighborhood, lack of transportation making it hard to get to their appointments.