The role of community health nurses in healthcare is both dynamic and crucial. In most instances, nurses are the first people that a patient interacts with when conducting activities such as assessing their needs or diagnosing their illnesses. As such, they are an integral part of comprehensive care and health promotion. Traditionally, healthcare promotion through nursing interventions focused exclusively on disease prevention. However, in modern healthcare settings, nurses' role as health promoters is more complex because they have a multi-disciplinary knowledge and experience (Butcher et al., 2018). Accordingly, community health nurses are taking up more responsibilities in health promotion in various community settings. This paper shows how community health nurses educate and train their clients about physical activity as a health promotion nursing intervention in a home setting.
The most frequently used setting for community health nursing practice is homes. The home setting consists of patients suffering from a wide range of conditions who have been discharged from acute care institutions including mental health facilities and hospitals. Community health nurses are usually recommended for the patients to carry out continued care or follow-up on the patients. Therefore, community health nurses in the home setting see the clients in their family and environmental context. As a result, they are able to provide care that is tailored to the clients' unique needs (Kemppainen, Tossavainen, & Turunen, 2013).
The home setting is also an important setting for health care promotion. In such cases where nurses want to promote health practices, many of the visits by the community health nurses focus on helping the families to ensure that they not only understand but also practice healthier living behaviors. In a home setting, health promotion is more workable because in most cases it involves the whole families. For instance, nurses may instruct their clients together with their families on infant care, parenting, diet, managing grief and loss, exercise, child discipline, and coping with stress.
Health Promotion Nursing Intervention
Community health is characterized by its focus on promoting wellness. In this sense, the community health nurse in a home setting provides care while at the same time emphasizing the promotion of health and prevention of illness. One of health promotion nursing intervention in this setting is promoting physical activity as a way of life. It is the responsibility of a community health nurse to encourage their clients to take up healthier habits such as exercising. Health teaching is widely recognized to be part of nursing practice. As a community health nurse, one should not only encourage the clients about healthy habits but also educate them on the benefits of embracing healthy living. For instance, regular physical activity can increase cardiovascular endurance preventing various heart conditions, improve flexibility, and large muscle strength and endurance among other benefits (Edelman, Mandle, & Kudzma, 2017).
However, achieving physical activity as a health promotion nursing intervention can be a difficult task if left to the nurses alone. Furthermore, community health nurses rarely work in isolation (Nies, & McEwen, 2019). To effectively physical activity as a healthy habit, the community nurses would have to collaborate with other players such as health educators, nutritionists, and physical therapists. Health educators are better suited to educate families on the benefits of physical activity. Physical therapists can then propose the best work out plans for the clients depending on their conditions. For instance, physical activities for a client with heart disease would be different from that suffering from obesity. Finally, the nutritionists' role would be to advising the clients and their families on the best diet solution given the physical activities recommended to them by the physical therapists.
Professional Nursing Organization
The National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA) is an organization that advocates for policies and programs to promote healthy diets and physical activity. The main objective of the organization is to reduce illnesses, premature deaths, and disabilities caused by poor diets and inactivity-related conditions such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Because NANA is a national organization, it partners with other national, state, and local organization to create a better understanding of the importance of physical activity and healthy diet in disease prevention.
One of the most remarkable achievements of NANA is the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act which is a landmark law that has improved child nutrition programs throughout the country. Among the key partners of NANA include American Nurses Association which represents nurses across the country as they are involved in the promotion of health.
The home setting is the most frequently used community setting for nursing practice. Nurses working in homes have a unique opportunity as health promoters because they can involve the whole families in their interventions. As seen in the paper, it requires effective collaboration between nurses and other healthcare professionals to promote health in local communities. For instance, for the health promotion nursing intervention discussed above, it would require community nurses working together with physical therapists, nutritionists, and health educators to encourage people to do more physical activities effectively.
Butcher, H. K., Bulechek, G. M., Dochterman, J. M. M., & Wagner, C. (2018). Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC)-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences. Retrieved from https://y1c6wvdx609.storage.googleapis.com/EjOcfNyML8ogunJNRX09.pdfEdelman, C. L., Mandle, C. L., & Kudzma, E. C. (2017). Health promotion throughout the life span. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Kemppainen, V., Tossavainen, K., & Turunen, H. (2013). Nurses' roles in health promotion practice: an integrative review. Health Promotion International, 28(4), 490-501. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/das034
Nies, M. A., & McEwen, M. (2019). Community/Public health nursing: Promoting the health of populations (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier.
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