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The contemporary healthcare environment is affected by several new trends. According to Minute Videos (2016), the popularity of international travel for leisure and business contributes to the spreading of infectious diseases to new destinations. Thus, promoting global health and strengthening the country’s health security has become one of the main goals of American care providers (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion [ODPHP], 2014). The present paper will discuss the role and responsibility of nurses working in primary care in recognizing and responding to the threat of the Zika virus. The essay will also reflect on the most important and relevant aspects of the course.
Nurses and Global Health
Zika virus disease has become a popular topic in global health over the past few years. Edelman and Kudzma (2018) note that the disease is often asymptomatic, although it poses a significant threat to pregnant women and infants who live in or travel to countries with a high risk of Zika virus transmission. The virus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse and mosquito bites (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2018). To promote global health, nurses must recognize and understand this threat and take the necessary measures to address it in their practice settings.
Nurses play a critical role in global health promotion due to their unique position in the healthcare sector. Edmonson, McCarthy, Trent-Adams, McCain, and Marshall (2017) state that nurses work at micro-, macro-, and mesosystem levels to provide care to patients, advocate for significant health issues, and enhance the quality of medical care on a global scale. For example, nurses often work in interprofessional teams, which allows them to build alliances with care providers and organizations, thus obtaining more resources for evidence-based care and prevention (Sherwood, n.d.). Based on this information, it can be concluded that nurses in primary care should respond to the emerging threat of the Zika virus by advising traveling patients about disease transmission and prevention, collaborating with other medical professionals to strengthen the U.S. national health security, and spreading awareness about Zika virus and its importance to global health. Nurses can also participate in disease prevention by evaluating evidence-based prevention strategies and advocating for global health.
Community Health Promotion
One particular aspect of the course that was the most relevant and important to my future practice is community health promotion. The Windshield Survey and the resulting Community Education Program have helped me to improve my understanding of health issues affecting the local community and my role as a primary care provider in addressing these problems. Educating communities on disease prevention and health promotion can help to improve population health and reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases, which is among the key global health goals of the 21st century (World Health Organization, 2018). Thus, I will seek to use patient education and advocacy to promote the health literacy of communities, thus improving the delivery of care and patient outcomes.
All in all, the course has offered useful insight into health promotion on global and local levels. On a global scale, health is impacted by globalization and infectious diseases, including Zika virus disease. Nurses could help to address this threat by enhancing prevention efforts, partnering with other care providers, and providing information about transmission and prevention to patients. On the local level, nurses can promote population health by improving patients’ health literacy, thus aiding in reducing the incidence of preventable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. The information obtained from the course will help me to improve the delivery of care in my practice setting, thus contributing to health promotion.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC). (2018). Zika travel information. Web.
Edelman, C. L., & Kudzma, E. C. (2018). Health promotion throughout the lifespan (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Edmonson, C., McCarthy, C., Trent-Adams, S., McCain, C., & Marshall, J. (2017). Emerging global health issues: A nurse’s role. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 22(1). Web.
Minute Videos. (2016). What is global health? [Video file]. Web.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP). (2014). Global health. Web.
Sherwood, G. (n.d.). Global health and nursing: Transformations in nurses’ roles in the 21st century. Web.
World Health Organization. (2018). Progress towards the SDGs: A selection of data from World Health Statistics 2018. Web.