NURS1103 Preparation For Clinical Practice

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NURS1103 Preparation For Clinical Practice

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NURS1103 Preparation For Clinical Practice

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Course Code: NURS1103
University: The University Of Newcastle

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Country: Australia

Discuss about the Healthy Literacy And How It Can Be Improved Through The Various Educative Strategies.

Poor literacy skills among adults in the developing countries are a common problem that has led to the recognition of the relationship between health status and literacy skills hence the emergence of the concept of health literacy. The main aim of the study is to bring out the importance of healthy literacy and how it can be improved through the various educative and health promotion strategies by taking into consideration the fact that the provision of information and education helps patients have control over their health. The study will introduce an intervention, which entails a description of a program to be undertaken, its implementation, and the role of nurses/midwives in the process. Therefore, the essay will discuss on the Ask me 3 programs and its impact on health literacy and the potential barriers to its implementation.
Health Literacy
Health literacy refers to the capability to read, comprehend, obtain, and use healthcare information in following instructions to do with medication & treatment and also in making appropriate health-related decisions. A person’s health literacy levels are influenced by factors such as education levels whereby it can be seen through ability or lack of ability on reading level and numeracy levels. Factors such as language barriers, cultural appropriateness, the state of health, sentence structure, format and style and way of presenting the information are among the reasons that affect how information is comprehended and followed (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2015). There is a need for improving health literacy because it is important for each patient to receive quality health services efficiently and with ease. Therefore the low literacy patients can be helped through providing them with limited information that is clear in each of their visits, avoiding the use of medical jargons in the prescriptions, confirming if they understood the information by asking them and elaborating if they never understood and also using illustrations when laying out important concepts. It is important to improve health literacy because it can help many patients to be able to manage their health problems and in decision-making. Improving healthcare is important because it ensures easy access to health care services and it will also help the patients with chronic diseases to manage themselves through self-care, by providing them with ideas on how to do that and this not only improves their wellness but also their health. It is also important to improve health literacy, as it is fundamental in the health care provision sector since it will help reduce the level of health literacy meaning that provision of health services shall be a success.
Health Education
Health education refers to the process by which individuals or people learn to act in a given manner that helps to promote, restore, and maintain health. It encompasses all the aspects of spiritual health, emotional health, physical health, environmental health, and intellectual health. In the provision of health education which can be done through meetings, the patients can be asked to speak up in ways that they would want the health care services provision to be improved. This not only helps them understand that even the health workers in their field also face challenges but they also need understanding and solutions to help them in decision making.  Since health education helps the patients to meet and interact with the health service providers, it promotes a good communication channel whereby the patients are able to reach out to them hence improving the patient-nurse relationship. It also helps the patients to have a deeper understanding of the health care system, hence accord the service providers respect, support and appreciation in their work
Health education is very important to the patient in terms of helping them modify their own behaviors based on health and risk factors. Giving the patient proper health education will also motivate the patients to take good care of themselves after leaving the medical premise as they will remember to stick to the doctor’s  instructions and also to take their medications as prescribed. This will not only enable the patients to take responsibility for their own health but also to increase chances of treatment acceptance as there may be patients who might be shying away from receiving medical treatment (Aged Care Crisis., 2015). Through the various appointments with the doctors, the patient continue to receive care hence it may help them to avoid behaviors such as drinking that might be affecting their health conditions. Health education also helps an individual to learn various ways of preventing themselves from catching diseases such as cutting long grass around the compound to prevent mosquitoes from living there or sleeping under treated mosquito nets to prevent themselves from catching malaria. Health education also helps patients to come up with the best plan of action.
Health Promotion
In the process of health promotion, there are various challenges that can be encountered and they include lack of proper tools or mode of transmitting information (National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2014). For instance, the use of journals and newspapers may have an impact on few people since not all people can read or write. This will also mean that the audience that will be able to acquire that information is small and better ways of portraying the information to reach a larger population need to be found(Anne, 2014). There are cases whereby the health professionals that are to provide this health education are few hence the goal of having an impact on a larger audience is never achieved. There is also the challenge of people attending the health education forum, receiving information but not adhering to it and still sticking to unhealthy behaviors such as drinking and smoking. There is also the challenge of mobilizing people to get the health education and also the challenge of lack of enough facilities, funds, and support from the management. Besides these challenges, health education has its various strengths whereby it has brought about improved health service provision to patients. It has also played an important role in the development of local teamwork models comprising of health professionals that help promote health education in the communities. It has brought about community participation in the health care system whereby the communities work together with the health facilities to ensure that health services are accessible to all. It has also helped a good geographic spread of health information in both the rural and urban areas and also reaching out to the target population (The Center for Advancement of Health, 2013).
The Intervention
Low literacy, which is a lack of ability to read or write, has been a major hindrance to health education over years (America’s Health Literacy, 2015).This has led to various health outcomes which are mainly caused by the inability to have good knowledge on the disease or lack of following instructions to do with medications and prescriptions. The main intervention to be used is Ask me 3. Ask me 3 is a patient-based education program that seeks to promote communication between patients and the healthcare service providers. It encourages the patients to ask three main questions, which include; what is my main problem, what do I need to do and why is it important for me to do this? These questions help the patient to be aware of their health condition and what needs to be done to stay healthy. It is designed to assist patients to be more active in their health and provide a platform for improved communications between families, patients and healthcare service provider(Pleasant and  McKinney, 2015).In most hospitals Ask me 3 is used to improve patients satisfaction in their medical visits, engagement, and patient-health care provider interactions.
Ask me 3 can be implemented through meetings with the staff/colleagues and discussing on the low health literacy and its diverse implications on its patients and asking them whether Ask me 3 can be fit to be used and if they agree to conduct a training on health literacy where there are to be actively involved. The points of contacts with the patients whether visual, verbal or written can be checked to see whether the language to be used can be appropriate for patients with low literacy. Information about Ask me 3 can be posted in the various premises in the hospital such as waiting rooms and examination rooms, In order to raise awareness and also to encourage patients to ask questions. Materials about Ask me 3 can be shared with the patient through brochures, newsletters, and videos. The health service providers can discuss Ask me 3 with patients and families and be committed to taking additional steps that are aimed at promoting clear communication. The role of nurses in the implementation of the project include promoting professionalism and trust with the patient, for example, if the patients gave the nurses confidential information regarding their health, they should ensure that they information never gets to other parties. The nurses/ midwives should ensure that they are open and candid with the patients and assist the patients if the needed help or asked questions about their health or when they need clarification. The nurses/ midwives should be the key promoters of the Ask me 3 programs by ensuring that they communicate efficiently and in a manner that can easily be understood by the patients and also making them aware of the program besides teaching them on how to use it(Anne, 2013).
The key building blocks to Ask me 3 programs include patient engagement whereby the patient and health providers work together towards the provision of better healthcare services. The contributors to patient engagement include access to data based on health, hence in Ask me 3, the patient is able to acquire the data by the ability of the healthcare providers being able to answer the questions asked. Acquiring the health data helps the patient to be more aware of their health conditions and how best to manage them through self-care. Another aspect is the patient-provider communication whereby Ask me 3 allows discussion between the patient and healthcare provider as they meet face to face hence creating interactions. In this case, health providers such as nurses should be empathic as they listen to the patients, show them compassion and also be mindful about their decisions/preferences. Another important perspective about Ask me 3 is customer satisfaction since patients are able to get answers to their questions, access more information and continuity in healthcare. The healthcare professionals normally give relevant and meaningful information to ensure that the patients get satisfied (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2014).
Ask me 3 is an effective tool created by health professionals as it promotes communication between the patients and health providers hence assisting in solving the problem of health illiteracy as the patients can get answers about their health conditions, clarifications, and advice where needed. The program will also promote health literacy by ensuring that health education is being availed to all and that patients with various conditions can be able to give themselves self-care (Australian Government Department of Health, 2013). The Ask me 3 programs will also promote improvement in the health care provision as the health providers with taking into consideration questions asked by the patients and come up with ways of dealing with their problems. Ask me 3 will also help the patients make informed decisions concerning their health based on the relevant information given from the doctors. Ask me 3 will also increase awareness among patients and lead to them asking (Aged Care Crisis, 2015).
The potential enablers of the program are the fact that Ask me 3 is an efficient tool as it is easy to be used and understood. The program is also cost-effective since things like one poster in the waiting room can help to create awareness on a number of patients. Another enabler of the program is the willingness by the hospital to contribute funds towards creating awareness and the commitment of health providers to fight health illiteracy (Australian Government, 2016). The barriers to implementation of the program are that the information on the posters may not be enough to create awareness on health literacy as some patients may never read them or the information might be too limited. Some patients might also never take the initiative to ask questions hence the problem of health illiteracy may never be solved. Some of the patients may also go to the health providers with too much expectation and may suffer dissatisfaction since they can never get all the information they want. Another barrier is the problem of the health providers not being able to maintain the confidentiality of the information provided by the patient causing mistrust hence the patients not being free to ask questions or boycotting treatment.
Low health literacy is a problem that has been experienced in the medical field over a long period hence various measures should be put across to curb this problem. This particular problem can be solved through the promotion of health education, which involves helping individuals, or people learn to act in a given manner that helps to promote, restore and maintain health. Interventions such as Ask me 3 programs, providing health education through simplified materials can help to fight the problem of low health literacy and promote health education. Health education will lead to health literacy that entails capability to read, comprehend, obtain and use healthcare information in the following instruction to do with medication & treatment and also in making appropriate health-related decisions. Health literacy is fundamental in the health care provision sector since it will help reduce the level of health illiteracy meaning that provision of health services shall be a success.
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A.Pleasant; J. MCkinney (2011). “Coming to consensus on health literacy measurements: An online discussion and consensus-gauging process. Nursing Outlook. 59(2): 95-106.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2010.12.06.Retyrieved 2013-12-26
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