Research the health-illness continuum and its relevance to patient care. In a 750-1,000 word paper, discuss the relevance of the continuum to patient care and present a perspective of your current state of health in relation to the wellness spectrum. Include the following:
Examine the health-illness continuum and discuss why this perspective is important to consider in relation to health and the human experience when caring for patients.
Explain how understanding the health-illness continuum enables you, as a health care provider, to better promote the value and dignity of individuals or groups and to serve others in ways that promote human flourishing.
Reflect on your overall state of health. Discuss what behaviors support or detract from your health and well-being. Explain where you currently fall on the health-illness continuum.
Discuss the options and resources available to you to help you move toward wellness on the health-illness spectrum. Describe how these would assist in moving you toward wellness (managing a chronic disease, recovering from an illness, self-actualization, etc.).
You are required to cite a minimum of three peer-reviewed sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years, appropriate for the assignment criteria, and relevant to nursing practice.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
Why this perspective is important to consider in relation to health and the human experience when caring for patients?
Health-illness continuum is a representation of human health and wellness. According to the model, human health is ever-changing from high levels of health to illness or even death. At one end of the continuum is premature death, and the other is the highest level of health. At the middle is the neutral point, where an individual does not show physiological symptoms of illness. An individual is not just considered healthy due to the absence of disease or physiological symptoms; the individual should also be mentally and emotionally healthy. Failure to achieve this will sooner or later cause the individual to move towards illness and even premature death (Taukeni, 2019). When caring for the patients, care providers need to ensure that they do not focus on just treating and curing the symptoms of the disease, but they also need to address the mental and emotional wellbeing of the patients. Failure to address these two aspects might cause the patients to experience delayed restoration to health, even with the best treatment. As identified by Travis, the care providers need to ensure that patients achieve a higher level of health awareness which is necessary to maintain a positive attitude towards life since it will improve the healing process. In contrast, a negative attitude will only delay the healing process and, in some cases, cause diseases (Gordon, 2019).
Explain how understanding the health-illness continuum enables you, as a health care provider
Understanding the health-illness continuum as a care provider has enabled me to understand that my role when dealing with the patient should not just involve performing a medical procedure and giving medications to the patients; rather, I need to ensure that the patient is emotionally and mentally healthy to quicken the healing process. As a care provider, I am aware now that once a patient is diagnosed with a condition, for example, a chronic condition such as diabetes, they are likely to develop a negative attitude towards life which negatively affects their ability to deal with the conditions. Most patients might see the diagnosis as the end of their lives and that there is nothing, they can do to be healthy again. Travis highlights that a higher level of awareness can help the patient develop a positive attitude towards life, which helps them take the right actions to restore their health. Therefore, it is my role to provide the patients with the relevant information related to their diagnosis through patient education and teach them how to use the information to regain their health status by following the instructions provided. By promoting their awareness concerning the disease and helping them identify the disease as a deviation that can be corrected, I’m able to restore their intrinsic value as human beings and assist in developing a positive attitude that helps them focus on restoring their health (Gordon, 2019).
Discuss what behaviors support or detract from your health and well-being. Explain where you currently fall on the health-illness continuum
Some of the behaviors that are likely to be detracting from my health and wellbeing include lack of enough sleep; sometimes, I have to sleep late and wake up early due to a busy schedule. Lack of adequate exercise is important in keeping a healthy body; therefore, limited exercise can lead to diseases. Due to a busy schedule, limited social interactions are likely to detract my emotions and well-being. Social interactions are important to help cope with stress, which is associated with negative health outcomes, and therefore minimal participation in social activities is likely to cause higher levels of stress, leading to other health issues. Some of the behaviors that are health-promoting eating a healthy meal, which supplies all the nutrients for optimal body functioning, taking an annual physical examination, which provides information concerning my health status and enables me to initiate the required interventions for a healthier body and wellbeing. I also spend a few minutes reading and practicing meditation which has been shown to improve mental wellbeing and is essential in developing a positive attitude towards life. A positive attitude towards life is important in ensuring a healthy lifestyle (Cho & Han, 2018).
On the continuum, I would describe my health status as good health. I do not have any symptoms of illness, and I consider myself to be healthy based on the physical examination result. Although a few behaviors can threaten my health status, I’m aware of the behaviors and try most of the time to compensate. I’m aware of the different health practices that I need to adopt to achieve mental and emotional wellbeing and practice some of them whenever I can. Thus, the good health status is on the continuum (Taukeni, 2019).
Discuss the options and resources available to you to help you move toward wellness on the health-illness spectrum
Some of the resources available include other employees in the facility; some have been in the healthcare industry for a long time and can provide valuable advice on balancing work and life duties for a more productive and fulfilling career (Foster et al., 2018). The facility provides a department where nurses can access mental/counseling support, especially when in need of emotional support. As a nurse, I have access to the latest research materials and disease prevention guidelines, which contain important information on how to prevent physical and mental illnesses. Such resources will be valuable in increasing the level of knowledge and awareness about my health and general wellbeing (Gander et al., 2019).
Cho, H., & Han, K. (2018). Associations among nursing work environment and health‐promoting behaviors of nurses and nursing performance quality: A multilevel modeling approach. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 50(4), 403-410. https://sigmapubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jnu.12390?casa_token
Foster, K., Cuzzillo, C., & Furness, T. (2018). Strengthening mental health nurses’ resilience through a workplace resilience programme: A qualitative inquiry. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, 25(5-6), 338-348. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jpm.12467?casa_token
Gander, P., O’Keeffe, K., Santos-Fernandez, E., Huntington, A., Walker, L., & Willis, J. (2019). Fatigue and nurses’ work patterns: An online questionnaire survey. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 98, 67-74. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0020748919301622
Gordon, J. S. (2019). The paradigm of holistic medicine. In Health for the whole person (pp. 3-35). Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429052088-1/paradigm-holistic-medicine-james-gordon
Taukeni, S. G. (2019). Introductory chapter: Bio-psychosocial model of health. Psychology of Health-Biopsychosocial Approach. https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=hKf8DwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=+health-illness