Health Promotion: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Health promotion is a very vague term that can mean many things and has many definitions depending on who you ask. According to O’Donnell (1987, p. 4) health promotion is “the science and art of helping people change their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health. ” This definition makes a lot of sense and sounds like he is speaking of the physical aspect of health. There are different kinds of health including physical, mental and physical. I believe this is why there are so many definitions.
The U. S. Public Health Service proposes that health promotion is more of advocating health in hope that it will become a “societal norm” for people individually as well as for the private and public businesses (Kreuter, 1980). The medical field is one “public business” that does a lot of health promotion for everyone, nurses especially. Nurses’ role in health promotion is necessary and critical. Nurses have a multi-disciplinary knowledge including many resources to help people understand their situation and get their health moving in a forward direction.
Traditionally, urses focused on preventing disease and changing the behavior of individuals regarding their health. Due to nurses becoming more diverse in their knowledge, their responsibility of being a “health promoter” is more complex. Currently, nurses are so focused on treating people who have illnesses and teaching them how to become healthy that teaching patients how to stay healthy is quite a challenge. Teaching individuals how to remain healthy is, in my opinion, going to be the future of nursing. Being an advocate, educating people/communities on how to move owards a better quality of life and focusing on all types of prevention.
There are different levels of health promotion including primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary prevention involves health promotion including education, genetic screening, periodic examinations and even marriage counseling and sex education. Primary prevention methods are those that will prevent you from getting infections, diseases or things that might harm you. An example would be monitoring weight status, nutrition, healthy lifestyle promotion, possible treatments and community health ducation in children with obesity (Vine 2013, p. ) Secondary prevention is that of curing a disease or preventing health from getting worse. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment is the goal with secondary prevention. Those who find themselves in this situation may possibly be examined to “cure and prevent disease, prevent spread of communicable disease or complications” (Edelman & Mandle 2010, p. 1 5) there of and to shorten the period of disability. Patients who may experiencing a stroke, secondary prevention is critical, so much, that there are protocols and policies that medical rofessionals need to follow.
As of 2008, the current guidelines for those having an ischemic stroke, was recommended that aspirin and dipyridamole should be the standard secondary prevention. This combination of medications was associated with lower risk and fewer vascular events than aspirin alone (Malewezi 2011, p. 685). Nurses’ role in secondary prevention is to understand procedures and policies in place so we are able to treat patients in these critical situations. Last but definitely not least, Tertiary prevention is all about restoration and rehabilitation.
This includes shelters, work therapies in hospitals and educating the public on how to maximize rehabilitated people to the fullest extent. A lot of tertiary prevention is done in the hospital including physical, occupational and respiratory therapy, nursing and many other medical professionals. All these areas of practice take time and education and require all fields to help a patient recover from his/her illness. One main tertiary prevention example is vaccinations and/or being immunized. In the medical/surgical ICU where nurses work, they consistently dealing with patients who have cancer.