Community Health Nurses and Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases may occur at different stages of life: from childhood to old age. Some of them have quite obvious manifestations, while others are not easy to recognize because of their latent symptoms. Nevertheless, chronic illnesses need professional treatment to help patients overcome difficult challenges. This paper aims to discuss the reasons for the increase in chronic illness in the United States, the role of the community health nurses for persons with chronic illness, different types of disasters community health nurses might deal with, and the different levels of disaster response.

 

The Reasons for the Increase in Chronic Illness in the United States

There are multiple reasons for the increase in chronic illness in the United States. Existing studies suggest that chronic diseases occur due to changes in the body that take place because of stressful situations, contamination of the internal and external environment, violation of micronutrient formula or a nerve impulse, and so on (Bodenheimer, Chen, E., & Bennett, 2009). According to Remington and Brownson (2011), any chronic disease is accompanied by micronutrient deficiencies. Replying to Anabel Rivero, I agree that chronic illnesses often occur because of smoking and a lack of physical exercise.

Indeed, smoking is known to result in rheumatoid arthritis and heart diseases. Moreover, every person may experience body failures because of poor diet since many people ignore vegetables and fruits in their daily ration. Community health nurses educate the public on healthy lifestyle, including frequent exercising, healthy nutrition habits, and moderate alcohol intake and smoking.

The other reasons for the emergence of chronic illness are stresses, nerve strain, nutritional stress, the violation of the functions of the cerebral cortex, dysfunction of major organs, and physical and emotional overload among others (Bodenheimer et al., 2009). Furthermore, Anabel is right to believe that in the near future, nurses will help the U.S. society to become healthier, providing early detection of chronic diseases with the aim to avoid them. Thus, their ability to monitor persons with chronic conditions will contribute to the quality of health care in the United States. Besides, people may fall ill because of a turning point in their life, and mental difficulties may transfer into a physical illness.

For example, some people obtain chronic diseases due to their aggressiveness and negative energy. Indeed, the growing disharmony of biochemical relationships between the cells and the internal environment of the body leads to chronic illnesses and even premature death. Furthermore, the modern rhythm of life and pollution are among the main reasons for chronic diseases in the United States.

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The Current and Future Roles of the Community Health Nurse in Caring for Persons with Chronic Illness

The success of the community health nurse depends on their attitude to patients who are more important than their diseases. Thus, nurses try to implement programs that are based on a collaborative approach to chronically ill patients. Various researches show that team-based collaborative care results in satisfaction, improved functioning and better quality of life of patients, as well as reduced healthcare costs (Bodenheimer et al., 2009). However, to achieve high standards in primary care for persons with chronic illness, community health nurses implement various pilot programs that encourage them to maintain high-quality care for such patients. As a rule, community health nurses work in cooperation with primary care physicians, who provide coordinated and patient-centered chronic illness care.

I believe that the work with an individual patient care plan should be based on the physician’s recommendations and patient’s needs. Using evidence-based treatment, community health nurses must act in accordance with the recommendations of physicians. Consequently, they can provide and analyze tests that are used to check and evaluate health service outcomes. Based on their results, nurses can update patients’ progress and recommend further healthcare interventions.

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The Categories and Types of Disasters Community Health Nurses Might Deal With

Replying to Mirelys Jimenez, I should note that various disasters and emergencies occur in everyday life, and community health nurses play an important role in dealing with the results of different types of disasters. They provide healthcare services to the people involved in the disaster in the areas where equipment, professional supplies, physical utilities, and facilities are not available or limited. Community health nurses can be divided in accordance with fundamental aspects of disaster management, such as response, preparedness, and mitigation. According to researches, medical care is needed most in the first few hours after a disaster (Remington & Brownson, 2011).

After that, nurses can be involved in the following events: rescue and search, stabilization and triage of victims, first aid, and redistribution of patients to hospital treatment. Community health nurses organize a rapid assessment of nursing care needs in the surrounding situation, determine life-saving measures, selecting their activities and interventions, remove health hazards, prevent further injury and so on.

Community health nurses act as educators during disasters, explaining to people what to do in emergency situations and acting as supervisors who support people not only physically but also emotionally. Furthermore, they coordinate a disaster-stricken population. In the event of a disaster, community nurses collaborate with other professionals, including governmental and non-governmental agencies, in order to help the affected groups (Remington & Brownson, 2011). Finally, community health nurses identify public health problems and provide immediate healthcare to the affected populations.

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What Is Disaster Response? What Are the Different Levels of Response?

As my peer has mentioned, disaster response is a reaction of personnel to the disaster, which requires a plan. In most cases, disasters are accompanied by a loss of wealth and life. Therefore, the main task in the aftermath of disasters is to rescue people’s lives and material values (Bodenheimer et al., 2009). The success depends on the timely organization and conduct of the exploration and the specific circumstances of the situation. Disaster response involves the provision of urgent assistance, evacuation, assessment of damage, the restoration of infrastructure, and so on.

At the sites of a disaster, special events are designed to prevent or reduce their effects and reduce the potential losses of people and property. Among these activities are strict adherence to specific safety measures, the organization of the administrative board alert, units and population, medical assistance, material assistance to the victims, and others (Remington & Brownson, 2011).

Many studies suggest that different levels of response depend on the nature of disasters, accidents or catastrophes, the prevailing situation, the quantity and preparedness of civil defense forces, the time of year and day, weather conditions, and other factors (Bodenheimer et al., 2009). In addition, success is largely dependent on the timely organization and conduct of the exploration and the specific circumstances of the situation.

In the disaster areas, intelligence determines disaster borders and direction of propagation, sites, and settlements, which are in immediate danger, the cluster space of people, the state of damaged buildings and structures, as well as the presence of the affected people, and the amount of the rescue and emergency restoration work. My peer has identified four levels of disaster response, such as for small disasters, bigger ones, mass causality disasters, and those that need the involvement of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The last one requires orders from the U.S. President.

Conclusion

Community health nurses play an extremely important role in the healthcare system. They provide multiple services for people with chronic diseases, improving their well-being, participate in disasters, saving people’s lives, and collaborate with the community and the family during disaster response. Therefore, well-prepared community nurses may be very helpful in different situations.

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