- The epidemic triad model is often used to describe how the agents, host and environment interact in the process of disease. Nurses and other healthcare professionals are often exposed to a variety of infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi, in the hospital. Acute care settings are characterized by pneumonia, sepsis (severe infection), urinary track infections and surgical site injuries. Community health problems are affected by factors like pollution, lifestyle and infectious diseases. Some examples of health concerns in the community include obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
The epidemiologic triad may be different when a nurse provides care in the home or community. The environment can play a greater role when it comes to health problems in the community. People living in polluted areas, for example, are at a higher risk of developing respiratory disorders. If a nurse cares for someone at their house, it is possible that the patient’s host has a greater influence on the development of health concerns. Patients with weak immune systems, for example, are more susceptible than others to infection.
In the hospital, the nurse has more control than the one in the community because it is under more control and the nurses have more knowledge about infectious disease prevention and control.
- In the Ethical Connect feature, on page 118, we present data regarding obesity in America. This shows obesity as a public health issue. In community nutrition, the role of health care nurses is vital. The nurses can help educate the public about good eating habits and encourage them to be physically active. They also advocate policies which support healthy lifestyles. Community health nurses, by promoting healthy living and working with families and communities to promote healthy habits, can prevent and manage issues such as obesity.
- Increases in healthcare cost in the last few years are attributed to an ageing population, chronic disease prevalence, high-priced medical technology, and a rise in the demand for services. Some factors in the clinical setting that can contribute to higher healthcare costs are excessive diagnostic testing, unnecessarily hospitalized patients, and improper medication use. By advocating evidence-based practices, encouraging patient education, self-care and coordination of care between different healthcare environments, nurses can reduce costs associated with these factors.
- In other countries, the causes of mortality and morbidity are not as prevalent or severe. This is due to differences in health infrastructures, social determinants, and infectious disease prevalence. Health issues in less developed countries may be linked to the lack of basic amenities, such as sanitation and clean water. Health issues in developed nations may be linked to chronic illnesses and lifestyles. In less developed countries, basic healthcare, education on public health, and clean water and sanitation are all needed to address health concerns.
Peters, D. H., Garg, A., Bloom, G., Walker, D. G., Brieger, W. R., & Rahman, M. H. (2008). Poverty in developing nations and health care access. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1136(1): 161-171.
Williams, D. R., & Jackson, P. B. (2005). Social factors underlying racial health disparities. Health Affairs, 24(2), 325-334.
- Hello, I completely agree with you regarding the importance of community nurses to prevent and manage obesity. You mentioned that community health nurses are able to educate the public about good eating habits, promote physical activity and support policies that encourage healthy living. These nurses can work individually with people.