The Dog Ate My Care Plan…

Just a mom/wife/nursing student extraordinaire trying to make it in the big bad city…

Posts Tagged ‘health care’

Do As I Say Not As I Do?

Posted by isntshelovlei on January 6, 2011

According to the CDC, almost thirty-four percent of adults in the U.S. are obese. Surely that figure includes some of our doctors and nurses. In the shift from “sick care” to “health care,” or a more preventative health care model, we should be seeing a lot more patient education. But as a patient, how do you think I am going to look at you when you sit me down for the weight loss speech: chastising my diet/eating habits, telling me I need to increase my physical activity…if your BMI is just as high if not higher than my own? Isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black?

Then at higher risk for heart attack and stroke we have our smokers, and more than twenty percent of adults in America smoke. If I’m a cardiac patient and you’re doing my discharge teaching and telling me how much I really need to kick the stick yet anyone standing within three feet of you knows that’s not perfume you’re wearing but more like eau de cigarette…I mean really…no wonder so much patient education just goes in one ear and out the other.

I’m not saying that health care professionals need to be perfect—totally abstaining from all smoking, drinking, and drugs (I mean what would I do without my caffeine?), and only eating tree bark and berries, after all, we’re human too, but shouldn’t we be a little healthier—or at least striving to be? What exactly is our responsibility (if any) to our patients here? Are we obligated to set any kind of example? Most of us are willing to inject foreign substances into ourselves all in the name of our “duty” to our patients. It seems to me that losing a few pounds or quitting smoking is a lot less invasive…

When faced with health care decisions patients will oftentimes turn to the health care provider and ask “if it were you, what would YOU do?” That’s because we’re the “professionals,” we’re more familiar with the most up-to-date research, we’re supposed to know what’s best (or at least be able to make an evidenced-based recommendation). Patients tend to look at their HCP as sort of a health role model. But when we don’t seem to be making healthy lifestyle choices ourselves, do we lose our credibility as patient educators?

Maybe a little practicing what we preach is in order…

Posted in Health Care, Nursing | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

An Ounce of Prevention…

Posted by isntshelovlei on April 7, 2010

Things are pretty much status quo around these parts…Temple nurses are still on strike…I’m still like six chapters behind in my reading (and yet I have time to blog)…still cranky and sleep-deprived…and still downing venti lattes from Starbucks (aka “iced caramel jet fuel”) like there’s no tomorrow.

In other more exciting nursing news, HR 4601 The National Nurse Act of 2010 has arrived. One of the functions of this Congress-appointed nurse (hey, the Office of the Surgeon General already has their MD…), will be to help promote a national culture shift towards disease prevention—in other words, “Health Care NOT Sick Care.” If you take a look around you’ll see that many of the diseases we are now seeing in almost epidemic proportions are actually preventable ones—obesity, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and so on. Part of the reason we are experiencing this health care crisis is because we are spending billions of dollars treating the consequences of our country’s no-exercising, cigarette-smoking, fast-food-eating lifestyles. And according to this report, if the rate of obesity continues to rise as it has been it will add almost $344 billion in health care costs by the year 2018. Well no wonder there’s no financial aid money to be had…  And this is just obesity alone! This doesn’t take into account all of our other vices such as heart disease, hypertension, even some cancers …hell tooth decay is preventable if people would brush and floss and step away from the Sugar Daddys…

Of course some people don’t think HR 4601 is such a great idea (and I mean what would the world be like without our beloved naysayers?). They want to know why the government should have to fund such a position. And why can’t nurses just band together and form this initiative themselves (with their own funding) if it is so necessary? If we can bail out the automotive industry and the banks and so on, then I don’t see why we can’t invest in something that can potentially improve the health and wellness of our nation—with the added “side effect” of actually saving some money.  A mere eight days after the earthquake in Haiti hit, over $300 million dollars had already been raised. Don’t get me wrong—to see everyone pull together to help Haiti in their time of need was and continues to be a beautiful thing. But I don’t understand why we often hesitate to lend “our own” that same helping hand. When the rate of childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years, when a 9-year-old has to learn how to self-administer insulin… personally I think that warrants some type of action—just a little food for thought…

The bottom line is that we are spending entirely too much money on treating preventable illnesses and diseases instead of trying to head them off at the pass. I thought everyone knew that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…

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