Better health education, health literacy
I have realised recently as a health care worker, community based DN, when we have been so stretched and short of staff, how our job would be a lot easier if we had time to educate our patients better on the causes of their disease/ processes that have led them to us. This would help them understand and perhaps be able to take more ownership of their own health needs. A lot of pts come in and want to be "fixed" by us and seem upset when we can't instantly heal a wound due to underlying causes. They may come to us with a wound, but when asking about medications, some pts don't know what they are taking or why. One pt today in 50's had newly diagnosed pre diabetes. I was able to tell him how a change in Lifestyle now, may prevent any serious complications in the future, ie start some regular gentle exercise. Had I had more time, I could have gently discussed risks of not changing lifestyle, what happens with diabetes etc and reinforce what hopefully his GP had already started a discussion on. If DNs had more time to assess the whole pt, and work more holistically on "what matters to the pt" but even alongside that, what does the RN see as the 3 biggest health issues for each pt, and work on targeted education, in a way they can understand. We need to try and change the mindset that the health system is there to fix us always and every time, and change the conversation to "what do you need to do for your own health". We need to remove the ambulance at the bottom of the hill mentality (ie going to hospital and GPs when you are sick), to one where you see a GP/ nurse specialist/ DN (change scopes of DN or add a different service working in community closely aligned with a pts GP) to educate pts in their own environment around a range of health issues, smoking cessation, weight loss, BP control, wound care, what health issues matter to the pt.
Along side this, it's probably been said before, but how about health education on our Tv? tV adds like the COVID ones we had, or even free to air TV show NZ made about kiwi health topics. Get some GPs, rural, iwi based, some from big hospitals doing a show on high BP, on weigh loss techniques and what obesity does to your arteries/ risk of diabetes etc in laymen terms. Get social media involved, take a quiz about your health health, with links to Health Navigator etc. That's some ideas from me, thanks.
Why the contribution is important
Because the key to health is education/ knowing what good health is and how to get it. Our population is too big and our health care workforce too small to have everyone's health reliant on us, we need each and every person to be their own health advocate and they need knowledge to do this.
by Manswelly on March 13, 2023 at 08:53PM