Nurse’s Role in Health Promotion in HIV in Injecting Drug Users

Introduction

Health promotion is a process of enabling individuals to increase control of health and the determinants of health. It is the duty of every person to put a hand in health promotion. Health promotion ensures that human suffering is minimized and the spread of diseases is under control. Apart from individuals’ efforts in the process, nurses are key facilitators of the process since they are individuals who would handle most of the health issues in society. There are different models that focus on health promotion. The study will focus on the issue of applying Tannahil’s model. There are different ways through which diseases spread. Some diseases spread through the consumption of micro-organisms in foods, others through the air, water, just to mention but a few.

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In the nursing course, nurses study the diseases and modes of spread. Thus, they have an essential duty in health promotion. HIV refers to the human immune virus. The virus spreads through unprotected sex or direct blood contact. Injection drug abusers are at the risk of acquiring HIV. Since a number of individuals use a single injection to inject drugs into their bodies. As experts in health issues, nurses have a great role to play towards health promotion in relation to HIV. It is evident that, during drug injection, drug users are exposed to the risk of acquiring HIV.

Statistics prove that in injection drug-using community, the rate of HIV spread is very high (DiClemente, Crosby & Kegler 2002). In these areas, the disease spread through direct blood contact caused by injection needles. The role of nurses in health promotion, in relation to HIV in injection drug users, follows under the three categories of health promotion. The three categories of health promotion are primary prevention, secondary prevention, and tertiary prevention. Nurses can make a contribution to the prevention of HIV spread by offering advice and health education.

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Epidemiological Evidence

During injection either for medical drugs or substance abuse, needles come into contact with human flesh and blood. As a result, if a needle is contaminated, it can lead to the spread of a given disease to an individual. Drug users, especially those who use the injection, lack ample knowledge about the spread of different diseases. Others have the knowledge, but ignore either because of drug influence or lack of facilitates. Lack of enough control measures in injection drug users exposes them to higher chances of acquiring HIV.

In fact, HIV spread through direct contact with blood. In this case, when two individuals use the same injection with the first person being positive, the second person is at risk of acquiring the virus. Studies conducted in the field prove that the biggest number of injection drug users, especially in poor areas and slums, are HIV positive. It is contributed by the virus spreading through needles together with unprotected sex through the influence of drugs. Since most of these people lack knowledge while others ignore nurses as professional who has a role to play as medical experts.

Nurses operating in areas where individuals use injection drugs should participate in enlightening people on the risks involved in the practice such as the spread of HIV. As a step towards health promotion, nurses should educate them on how to control the spread of HIV and other diseases. Since some individuals are already HIV positive, nurses should work hard in this field in order to prevent further spread of disease. Ignorance in drug users is common, therefore, as professionals, nurses should also adopt measures through which they can reduce drug effects.

The Tannahill Model

The Tannahill model describes three components of health promotion. These are: health protection, health education, and prevention. The model describes three types of disease prevention, namely tertiary prevention, secondary and primary prevention. However, there is a fourth level of prevention referred to as primordial prevention. A model can be defined as a theoretical way of understanding the concept or an idea. It presents diverse ways of approaching complex issues. Health education is the communication objected to enhancing well- being and preventing ill health through influencing the health knowledge, attitude, and behavior of individuals.

Health protection is defined as the codes and policies of practice meant to prevent ill health or positively enhancing well-being such as no smoking in public places. It is responsible for the development and implementation of registration policies and programs in areas of environmental health protection, emergency preparedness, and community care facilities. Prevention refers to the initial occurrence of disease, progress, and final outcomes. Florence Nightingale came up with the environmental theory that points out to preventive care for the population. In her theory, she claims that, diseases are more prevalent in a poor environment and that health should be promoted by adequate ventilation, clean water, warmth, light, and hygiene.

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In relation to her theory, injection drug users who come from a poor environment are at a higher risk of acquiring HIV compared to individuals who come from a rich environment. It is caused by a lack of resources such as injections leading to the sharing of needles. In these areas, nurses have the responsibility of educating people on the risk involved and assist them on how they can avoid the risk. One of the ways out is through adapting measures of avoiding drug use.

According to Nightingale (1860), poor environmental conditions are not favorable for good health. Good environmental conditions reduce diseases (Nightingale 1860). Her assumption was that in areas resided by rich people, injection drug users are not at a higher risk of acquiring HIV. However, drugs can cause individuals to engage in unprotected sex. Therefore, nurses have a role to play even in these areas towards educating individuals on matters of health promotion.

The Tannahill model uses prevention levels to explain health promotion. The first level of health promotion is primordial prevention. It refers to the prevention of the development or emergency of risk factors in areas or populations that it has not yet occurred. In this case, there are areas where injection drug users are not established. In these areas, nurses should educate residents on the risks associated with the injection of drugs. They should enlighten them on how drug injection adds towards the spreading of HIV and AIDS that increases the rate of death in the area. They should also encourage individuals to ensure that they do not adopt the culture of drug injection in the area.

At the same time, children should be offered psychological counseling and discouraged from adopting the culture of drug abuse that they can learn in schools. Using examples of areas affected by the problem, nurses should demonstrate the dangers of HIV spreading and death with the use of reliable statistics and data. The second level in the model is primary prevention. It refers to the action taken before the onset of the disease. It involves the concept of positive health that encourages the achievement and maintenance of the unacceptable level of health that enables individuals to have a productive life economically and socially. Primary preventive should be practiced by nurses in areas where they identify the use of injection drugs.

On identifying that residents of a given area are practicing the habit, nurses should take control measures that will support health promotion towards controlling the spread of HIV in these areas. Nurses can achieve this through conducting seminars, public meetings, and individual guidance and counseling during free time as well as when offering medical services. To victims who have already started using injection drugs, they should be enlightened on measures that they can take to get out of the trap.

For individuals who have already become addicts, they should be encouraged to use a needle per individual and practice protected sex. In addition, nurses should ensure that they introduce the established injection drug users to rehabilitation programs that can ease their recovery. In such circumstances, nurses should spend their time enlightening locals about risks that can be brought about by drug injection, especially the risk of HIV.

Secondary Prevention

Secondary prevention is another important level of health promotion outlined in Tannahill’s Model. It is an action that halts the progress of the disease at an incipient stage and prevents complications. In this incident, it is a stage that should be taken by nurses in injection drug users to caution them that their practice is increasing the rate of HIV spreading. As a control measure, drug users should be advised to stop drug injection and start a new life. In addition, nurses should offer them advice on how they can reduce the spread of HIV through different measures such as the use of condoms during intercourse even when under influence of drugs and the use of one needle per person.

In this stage, nurses should introduce medicine such as the ARV’s to infected individuals and advise them on how to live healthily through healthy eating, exercise, and protected sex. In addition, individuals should be advised to stop using drugs hence eliminating the risk of unprotected sex through drug influence. The measures ensure that the spread of HIV in areas dominated by injection drug users is minimized.

Tertiary Prevention

The last prevention measure is tertiary prevention. It requires the application of available measures towards the reduction of suffering cost by a health hazard and promotes patients’ adjustments to irremediable conditions. In reference to the topic, nurses use all available resources to reduce the spread of HIV in injection drug users. In this case, they work to reduce the behavior of drug injection and the influences it causes. In addition, victims are supplied with free condoms.

Health promotion entails the development of health public policies that will address prerequisites measures in health such as food security, housing, and good working conditions. These are issues that affect human beings in their daily lives. In injection drug users, the lifestyle is different since they are influenced by drugs to do things in different ways. In this case, nurses need to put an extra effort towards health promotion. Most drug users are not cooperative when nurses are required to use other members of the community to reach drug users. Like other human beings, health promotion is important to drug users for they also require living healthy and get protected from acquiring diseases such as HIV and AIDS.

Nurses should coordinate family members, friends, and neighbors of injection drug users to assist them in promoting healthy behaviors. Most drug users do not care about their future. It gives nurses a hard time in their duty of health promotion (Pender, Murdaugh & Parsons 2006). As a requirement by nurse’s code of ethics, it is a nurse’s responsibility to assist individuals to safeguard their health and their future. With the assistance of nursing theories and models, nurses dedicate themselves to improving the living conditions of the injection drug users and enlighten them on how to avoid HIV and AIDS.

 

Injection drug users offer an important area of health to nursing. HIV is known to spread through ways that are identified. Therefore, it is an important area of health promotion since with proper knowledge on the cause that leads to the spread, HIV can be prevented. In addition, with the assistance of nurses and other knowledgeable individuals, the spread of HIV can be stopped hence promoting an HIV free community. Through these means, nurses can prevent the situation from getting worse. The spread of HIV in victims of injection drugs is higher compared to other individuals in society.

Moreover, when these individuals contact the disease, they manage to spread it to other people who do not use drugs. It is because of the influence of drugs exposes victims to wider exposure to acquiring the disease through unprotected sex and the use of one needle by many people. At the same time, victims of injection drugs are also exposed to risks such as rape that can expose them to the HIV virus. When under the influence of drugs, victims sometimes are influenced to rape innocent members of society. As a result, they spread sexually transmitted diseases to them including HIV. Victims of injection drugs are also proved by statistics to practice same-sex relationships such as homosexuality and lesbianism.

As a factor, it increases the chance of individuals acquiring HIV and spreading it to individuals regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Nurses are trusted by the community to enlighten them about health issues. As a result, the community can listen to them and take their words with seriousness. In this case, nurses should take advantage and enlighten communities about the dangers associated with injection drugs. They should use their knowledge to discourage individuals from adapting the culture of drug injection and other forms of substance abuse. When drug users acquire HIV they spread the virus to other individuals in society.

As a step in health promotion, nurses should ensure that since drug users are an easy target for the virus, they are enlightened on how to prevent themselves from acquiring the virus. Regarding individuals who have already acquired the virus, they should be enlightened on how to live healthily and how to avoid the spread of the virus. Alternatively, people who do not use drugs should be enlightened on how to support injection drug users and encourage them to stop the practice. Since it is easy for the injection drug users to acquire the HIV virus, the community should be enlightened on how to prevent the spread of the disease from them. Nurses should also teach the community how to handle injection drug users while in places of work, home, and public places.

To prevent the situation from getting worse, injection drug users who are tested and proved to have HIV should be referred to rehabilitation centers. In the rehabilitation centers, victims should be taught how they can stop the habit of drug injection to be able to live longer. In the rehabilitation centers, nurses should encourage victims to use ARV’s to be able to live longer. As health trustees, nurses can also use the HIV positive victims of injection drugs who have recovered in rehabilitation centers to educate communities.

Nurses are influential in health issues and hence with the assistance of recovered individuals, they can manage to prevent the spread of HIV in injection drug users. At the same time, they can be able to influence many drug users to stop drug injection and adopt a normal life. To attain this, nurses require dedicating more time to enlightening the public about the harms brought about by drug injection.

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Administration of Injections in Hospital

Injection drug users attend hospitals either at will or after they are poisoned by drugs. During the treatment, they are administered with some injections. It is the duty of nurses to administer the injections to all the patients in hospitals. The nurse should ensure that they use a new needle to the patient. The needles should be disposed of in a good way ensuring that the injection drug users do not get a chance to carry the needles with them. Statistics show that injection drug users from the poor environment carry used needles from hospitals and use them to inject drugs in their bodies. As the sole individuals responsible for administering injections in hospitals, nurses should make sure that injection drug users cannot access drug needles.

It will promote the health of these individuals because they might not be at the danger of acquiring HIV from the needles used in hospitals. It may also ensure that needles used from other patients in the hospital are not used outside the hospital exposing the risk of contamination of other dangerous diseases. Nurses are equipped with ample knowledge on the disposal of the medical waste but just require being cautious (Scriven & Garman 2007). They should also ensure that individuals who visit victims while in the hospital do not use the hospital facilities to inject their drugs.

Nurses should expand their efforts to design and implement interventions that support the promotion of health and prevention of diseases. It is evident that victims of injection drugs work under the influence of drugs and are not capable of taking care of their health to prevent their bodies from getting sick. However, with the nurse’s knowledge of disease handling, they can acquire a solution to this problem. Nurses should come up with strategies and designs of handling injection drug users and enlightening them about diseases that come alongside their practice such as HIV. On enlightening the users about the diseases and the actions that can be taken, victims should be guided on how to apply the measures in their lives. For victims who have already contacted the disease, nurses should come up with strategies of ensuring that they do not infect other victims or other members of society.

Prevention of illness together with preventing the worsening of the situation should not only be targeted on victims of drug injection but also to populations and family members. Prevention measures should be adopted by nurses together with the general public who take part in developing and influencing such policies. Nurses have established health models to comprehend the principles of illness and health so that successful health can be acquired. However, injection drug users should be given special treatment since in most cases; they work under the influence of the substances that they abuse. The nursing models allow nurses to understand and predict the behavior of individuals including the way they respond to recommended therapy.

The role of nurses in health promotion, in relation to HIV in injection drug users, can be addressed in three different perspectives. The first perspective is health education (McKenzie, Neiger & Thackeray 2009). In this perspective, nurses study the conduct of drug injection victims paying into consideration their behavior and alterations. On acquiring ample knowledge on the issue, nurses address their issues through offering guidance and counseling to victims, recommending appropriate therapy, and referring them to rehabilitation centers. In addition, nurses enlighten their neighbors, family members, and society at large on how to handle these individuals and how to assist them recover.

The second perspective is disease prevention. Injection drug users are at higher risk of acquiring the disease since they engage in most of the practices that promote the spread of HIV. Therefore, nurses assist individuals to promote their health by enlightening them on the factors that contribute towards HIV spreading. The third perspective is health protection that entails collective activities direct factors at which are beyond the control of individuals.

Different firms, organizations, states, and establishments have adapted initiative policies of health promotion. The policies cover health issues at large focusing on how to promote health in the country or place of work. On the issue of injection drug users, the policy guarantees them fair treatment in public hospitals and a lack of harassment on the basis of their behavior. Nurses ensure that the set policies of any given state or organization have adhered to the latter. In addition, nurses stick to their code of ethics which guarantees good service to all patients without focusing on personal traits or challenges.

Oman is an Arab state found in Southwest Asia on the Southeast Coast of the Arabian Peninsula. In the place, many individuals are engaging themselves in the use of injection drugs. However, nurses in the region are dedicated to their work and are working towards the elimination of this condition. Nurses have opened rehabilitation centers where injection drug users are referred for treatment and therapy programs to be inspired and motivated to amend their conduct. In the region, the spread of HIV is reported to increase day-by-day, because of the increase in the number of people using injection drugs.

In the region, nurses are emphasizing the use of condoms to all individuals including married couples. In addition, the Oman nursing association conducts door to door campaigns to enlighten citizens on the effects of HIV and the means of spreading the virus. To make their idea clear, they enlighten the general public about the relationship between HIV and the use of injection drugs. The exercise has lowered the percentage at which the spread of HIV is reported in the region.

There are many models that describe nursing practices. However, for the study, Tannahill’s model is the most appropriate. Compared to other models such as Betty models, Tannahill’s model offers basic foundations that can be used to control HIV in injection drug users. Injection drug users are individuals who act under the influence of substances that they abuse. Therefore, the three aspects provided by the model are fundamental to these individuals in the community since the model explains individuals together with the social health promotion can be adhered to. On the other hand, the other models such as Betty models focus on normal human beings who can be addressed through theoretical approaches and instructions.

Health promotion nursing practice can be improved through offering nurses with the ample knowledge that can equip them with competent strategies of addressing the challenges in their profession. Nurses encounter a number of challenges while practicing health promotion. For instance, nurses encounter some individuals who are under the influence of drugs, who bull them and mistreat them. However, if nurses are equipped with prior preparedness during their course, it would be easy to overcome such challenges. To improve health promotion, nurses should be trained on the effects of drugs to enable them to understand how injection drug users feel while under the influence. It will enable nurses to come up with perfect solutions when dealing with victims.

As indicated in the Tannahill’s model, health education, health protection, and prevention are the most important founding stones of health promotion. Therefore, nurses should be trained in different ways through which they can educate drug users and make them understand health education even when they are under the influence of drugs. Health protection as the practice aimed at preventing illness, nurses should be able to assist the society to avoid circumstances that can enhance acquiring of diseases. In this case, injection drug users do some of the things that can cause the acquiring of dangerous diseases such as HIV (Tones & Tilford 2001). Nurses should be equipped with teaching techniques that will enable these individuals to understand and be able to take care of themselves.

Injection drug users acquire diseases even without their knowledge. However, it is the responsibility of nurses to make sure that the illness does not result in more harm or spread to other individuals. From this point of view, nurses should be safeguarded by the law to make some decisions such as isolating victims until they understand their situation and how they are supposed to conduct themselves. As seen in Oman, the efforts of nurses recommending injection drug users who are infected by HIV for isolation has not been successful. As a result, victims continue to spread the virus to other drug users and members of society. It is essential to support nurses in health promotion.

As recommended by the Tanahill’s model, the support will enable nurses to ensure that they offer effective health education, promote health protection, and ensure that there is the prevention of diseases from worsening and spreading. The effort of equipping nurses with competent knowledge on how to handle different issues and individuals has been successful. It is evident that nurses can handle victims of all diseases or influences. For instance, in the US, nurses are seen in assisting injection drug users to adopt a normal life and forgo the practice of using drugs. Nurses understand their duties and have dedicated themselves to health promotion with support from lawmakers, they will enhance health promotion.

Issues That May Influence Success

Health promotion is an important agenda for all people from all parts of the world. Health is a basic requirement for a human being. It is essential to come up with strategies that can support the well-being of health promotion. It can be achieved by setting up policies that uphold health promotion models such as Tanahill’s model. The policies should ensure that there is an adequate nurse to offer health education to the public, facilitate health protection and prevention. The policies should empower nurses through ensuring that they have freedom at their work and they acquire good pay for their duties. The success of health promotion can also be acquired by setting a common universal standard for health procedures globally. It will ensure that there are enough resources and an equitable qualification for all nurses from all parts of the world. It can be done by harmonizing the nursing program to ensure that all nurses use the same program in their studies.

As a result, nurses will be competent and will be able to promote health. Provision of enough resources and support from the government is also essential in health promotion since it requires a lot of resources and thus enough resources must be provided. For instance, the government should hire enough nurses to facilitate health promotion. From this angle, there will be enough nurses to attend people in hospitals and outside hospitals. For instance, injection drug users can be found both in hospitals, homes, and rehabilitation centers. The three places require the presence of a nurse to assist individuals to acquire health education, prevention, and even health protection.

Potential Barriers to Implementation of Health Promotion

Political interference is one of the key barriers that affect health promotion. Politicians concentrate more on political issues leaving behind essential issues such as health. In this case, inadequate resources are set by the government budget for health issues. As a factor, it prevents the delivery of quality services by medical personnel since they lack some of the essential facilitates that they require. In addition, the government does not employ enough nurses to work in public places. As a result, there are not enough nurses to facilitate health promotion in all areas where they are required. As a factor, it has contributed towards the abandonment of some essential places and sectors such as injection drug users in homes and in rehabilitation centers (Tones & Tilford 2001).

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To influence the success of health promotions, world organizations that deal with health such as WHO (world health organization) need to be committed to facilitate ruling governments to concentrate on health issues. The body should also set a common curriculum for all nurses worldwide to ensure competency in nursing. In addition, the government should set enough resources that will cater for health issues in the country. Moreover, it is essential to balance the ratio of nurses to the population to make sure that there are adequate nurses to attend to all individuals in the country. Health promotion is the responsibility of all individuals under the assistance of nurses through instruction towards prevention, health education, and health protection.

Conclusion

In conclusion, nurses play a great role in health promotion. They facilitate through offering health education, participating in health protection, and in the prevention of disease occurrence and spreading. It is essential to put into consideration models of prevention that are acquired through studies, research, and statistics to offer reliable guidelines to the nursing practice. It is also significant to choose the best model for every practice to ensure that there are effective results.

In the issue of HIV, in injection drug users, nurses offer assistance through enlightening drug users on the risks involved in the practice of drug injection. In addition, they teach the injection drug users details about HIV protection and spreading to assist them to engage in preventive measures. Nurses are important pillars of health promotion. Statistics prove that nurses have assisted a big percentage of injection drug users from acquiring HIV virus and others from recovering from the ill practice. Nurses require support from family members and the community at large to be able to keep safe injection drug users from HIV.

At the same time, they require support to ensure that infected victims do not spread the virus to other members of society. The health promotion nursing practice should be taken forward through support by the government and every member of society. It can be done through both ideological and material support since health promotion is vital for all human beings.

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