Re:Topic 2 DQ 1
Social determinants of health are related to the environment in which people live, learn, work, and play that affects a multitude of health risks and outcomes. According to the CDC (2014), these conditions are shaped by the amount of money, power, and resources that are present and determined by policy choices. When these conditions are out of balance, living a healthy lifestyle such as a well-balanced diet, getting physical exercise, obtaining vaccines, and seeking care when ill, are challenging. This is where community nurses knowing their resources is crucial to help support their patients with deficits. This unequal opportunity is influenced by poverty, lack of access to health care, inadequate education, shame, and racism (CDC, 2014). Social determinants play a role in the risk of illness and a wide range of health issues including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. From a global standpoint, there is a vast difference in developing countries who are suffering from poverty. “Poorer countries have higher rates of death, disease, and disability” (Maurer & Smith, 2013). The children endure malnutrition and premature death. Illness not seen in places like the United States are widespread in the poor nations which effects life expectancy.
The communicable disease chain refers to infectious diseases that develop from the interaction of agent, host, and environment. To be precise, “transmission occurs when the agent leaves its reservoir or host through a portal of exit, is conveyed by some mode of transmission, and enters through an appropriate portal of entry to infect a susceptible host” (CDC, 2012). There are many opportunities for nurses to help stop the spread of disease and provide the proper education to patients. The first step nurses can take to stop spreading is by interrupting this chain by properly washing their hands which are a fundamental principle of infection control. This should be performed in all required situations such as before any aseptic procedure, before and after handling any patient, touching soiled items, after using the restroom, and before and after handling food. Other examples include assessing your patient daily for the need to continue use of a Foley catheter which is a source of infection and staying up-to-date on your vaccines. Also, remaining at home when sick and covering a cough to avoid spreading.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012). Introduction to epidemiology. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ophss/csels/dsepd/ss1978/lesson1/section10.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/socialdeterminants/faq.html
Maurer, F.A. & Smith, C.M. (2013). Community/public health nursing practice (5th ed). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders.