What are some of the biggest challenges you encounter when trying to improve health literacy?

561 4 replies Week 1

· Due date 09/12/2020 10:00 am ET


· References for each reply

Discussion 1


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This discussion prompt refers to the Pathways to Safer Opioid Use simulation. 

After participating in the Pathways to Safer Opioid Use simulation exercise, reflect on the following.

Have you empowered a patient to believe they could make needed lifestyle modifications irrespective of the barriers that exist in their environment? Please provide examples. If so, you were engaged in health promotion activities as part of your nursing role.

Were there any strategies used in this simulation exercise that you use to improve patient health literacy? Are there any that you use that were not mentioned here? In your experience, how effective are these strategies?

What are some of the biggest challenges you encounter when trying to improve health literacy? What solutions can you offer to manage these challenges?

Reply 1 Maria Katrina

As a nurse, it is my responsibility to empower patients and teach patients to take control of their health. It is my duty to ensure that adequate education is provided to those who are under my care. Although patients assume that they already know what is being provided to them, it is our job to reinforce teaching so that there will be no mistakes. I have met many patients who need changes in their lifestyle and I have assisted many of them to participate more in their health promotion activities. I helped those patients create a positive outlook on the goal and believe that they will be able to overcome those changes. I provided education and support on how to improve their health and added additional health-related information that will benefit them. I helped patients set their goals to live a healthier life by providing more information about the consequences of the toxic lifestyle and by preventing those actions. I taught patients about achieving adequate nutrition, smoking cessation, avoiding alcohol consumption, and arranging physician follow ups so that their health will be maintained. In the video simulation, Rhonda did an excellent job. She communicated with her patients and with other health care workers pretty well. She had good communication and management skills as well. She helped the patient understand in simpler terms to ensure that the patient really understands what the doctor said. Avoiding medical jargons can enhance communication and prevent misconceptions about instructions. When speaking with clients, it is our duty not to assume that they understand things to our level and always provide patient teaching in the simplest way. To improve health literacy, I always ensure that instructions and information are provided to the patient using their primary or most comfortable language. It is important to go out of my way to get a certified hospital translator so that proper communication can be provided. 

Reply 2 Chloie

As nurses, we fill many responsibilities that overall can improve the health of our patients. Health promotion is the “science and art of helping people change their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health” (Edelman et al., 2010). As an emergency room nurse, I see many patients all in a short amount of time. One of the many patients I see are patients who get hurt on the job and have to come into the emergency room due to an accident. For example, I had a patient recently come in after getting his toe injured by a machinery at his new job. He got his foot sutured up and bandaged. As well as he had to go home with a boot on that foot. The doctor also said that he would be out for a couple weeks from work. He was not thrilled about being out of work due to being only four weeks into that job and he did not want to miss it for that long. I had to explain to the patient why it is beneficial for him to be out for a couple weeks to help his injured foot healed. We also had to collaborate together and figure out a care plan for everyday living with keeping his injured site clean and dry. As well as functioning with crutches. The main strategies I have used that were in this simulation is the teach back method. This method is very effective in health promotion, because it puts instructions in the patient’s perspective. Which is important in patients especially when it comes to wound care. It simplifies it for them. With that, it also allows and leads for open ended questions that the patient may have. The biggest challenges that I have encountered, is having the patient remember all these instructions all at once. We do not mean it, but we do bombard them with a plethora of information which is good but also overwhelming in a way. Some solutions that can overcome these challenges are pamphlets and detail discharge instructions on paper. Also, taking the time to answer all the questions the patient may have at the time.

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Discussion 2


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Choose two emerging populations, such as Latino/Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, or Black/African Americans. How do health issues differ between the two populations?

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Reply 1 Veronica

Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders and Latino/Hispanic Americans are two populations that have differing health issues. When it comes to Asian Americans/ Pacific Islanders. Asian American women have the highest life expectancy (85.8 years) among all ethnic groups in the United States. Asian Americans also have a high prevalence and risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hepatitis B, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), smoking, tuberculosis, and liver disease (Mandle, C.E.E.K. C., 2013, p. 28)

Now, when taking a look at Latino/ Hispanic Americans, this populations health is often associated with factors such as language/cultural barriers, lack of access to preventive care, and lack of health insurance. The leading causes of illness and death among Hispanics include heart disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, stroke, and diabetes. Hispanic men and women have higher incidence and mortality rates for stomach cancer. Many Hispanic Americans may not readily seek care because they have continued reliance on their folk system of healing (Mandle, C.E.E.K. C., 2013, p. 31)

Reply 2 Elizabeth

According to Edelman, Kudzma, and Mandle (2014), when it comes to health issues, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders are usually healthier than most Americans, although their health problems mirror that of the U.S. population. The top causes of death are cancer, heart disease, stroke, unintentional injuries, and diabetes. They are less likely to be overweight, smoke cigarettes, have hypertension or HIV/AIDS. Mental health concerns mirror the rest of the country but they are less likely to seek help; women over 65 with AAPI heritage have the highest suicide rate amongst that age bracket (p. 28-30).

 Amongst Blacks/African Americans, poverty seems to have the largest effect on health in this group, which detrimentally effects infant and maternal mortality, and life expectancy in general. Other problems with associated with this population include malnutrition, anemia and lead poisoning in children. BAA are also much more likely to get cancer, HIV/AIDS (men are 8 times more likely to get than white males), obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension (p. 32-33).

Both populations use folk remedies and practices such as plants, seeds, oils and powders in addition to traditional medical care. BAA believe that prayer is very healing, and spirituality is very important to them. They view health as being able to fulfill role expectations (p. 33). AAPI cultural beliefs stem from Chinese practices that migrated throughout Asia. They believe in balancing natural forces, the yin and the yang, and include acupuncture, and meditation as part of their health regime.

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