Discussion #1: Population Health Concerns
. Name and explain 3 things that you learned from the videos and modules about social determinants of health that you were otherwise not aware of.
Social determinants of health are of great implications when addressing population health concerns. Through evaluating the two videos and modules, three things become clear. Firstly, there is great public awareness about the social determinants of health. In fact, preventive health interventions and policies typically targeted access to health care, social support networks, employment, physical environment, neighborhoods, education and socioeconomic status. It is anticipated that addressing these social determinants of health are important for reducing the longstanding disparities in health care and health, and improving health within a population. It is surprising that this is common knowledge, although not specifically identified by the term ‘social determinants of health’. Secondly, there is a growing number of initiatives to address the social determinants of health. These initiatives are applied within and outside health care systems. Within health care systems, the initiatives are applied through government initiatives and policies that are focused on social needs, such as public health insurance. Outside health care systems, the initiatives are applied through shaping practices and policies that promote health equity and health, such as improving minimum wages. Thirdly, despite the awareness of the social determinants of health and efforts to address them, there are many challenges particularly from the government. Each government has policy initiatives that determine the resource availability, funding and focus on the different determinants (Community Tool Box, 2015; US Department of Health and Human Services, 2010). Discussion #1: Population Health Concerns
The social determinants of health have a significant impact on public health for my local area. The first determinant is public safety. The high crime rate and presence of illegal drugs has resulted in many young people turning to crime and abusing illegal drugs so that they do not complete their education. This reduces their knowledge levels about health, earnings and increases opportunities for infection. In fact, there is a high incident rate of viral infections among the drug users. Secondly, there is low access to job, economic and educational opportunities so that the local population earns less on average and is unable to pay for the much needed health care. Thirdly, there is availability of resources to meet daily needs. These resources include local food markets and housing, which allow the local population to avoid common opportunistic infections. Fourthly, there is social support that enables the local community members to support each other when they face problems. Discussion #1: Population Health Concerns This allows community members to have fundraising when facing medical emergencies. Finally, there is access to mass media and emerging communication technologies that allow the community members to access health information that is applied in daily activities for targeted health outcomes. For instance, community members now have access to information on nutrition and diets which helps with planning healthier meals (Lewenson & Truglio-Londrigan, 2017).
Public health nurses and public health departments can address social determinants of health in four ways. Firstly, creating public awareness about the determinants with a focus on identifying the social risks and assets specific to the local population. This helps with increasing public attention on the determinants. Secondly, adjusting their care approaches to address the determinants. This could include delivery of literary and language concordant medical services, and scheduling services around availability of local population members such as evening clinics for those working during daytime. Thirdly, connecting the members of the local population to the available social resources, such as government services. Finally, forming alliances to advocate for the local population with a focus on policies that create and distribute resources across the determinants (Lewenson & Truglio-Londrigan, 2017).
The knowledge learned about social determinants of health will be incorporated into everyday practice by designing and implementing activities in the clinical setting with a focus on engaging local resources to plan and evaluate the local population needs and incorporate their preferences. In addition, the knowledge will be used to establish communication pathways and linkages between stakeholders to ensure that intervention efforts have realistic objectives and targeted outcomes. For instance, creating social media pages that offer health warnings in case of emergencies. Discussion #1: Population Health Concerns
Community Tool Box (2015, October 2). World Health Organization video: Social Determinants of Health [Video file]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES1IX3Mam20
Lewenson, S., & Truglio-Londrigan, M. (Eds.) (2017). Practicing Primary Health Care in Nursing: Caring for Populations. Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.
US Department of Health and Human Services (2010, November 23). Determinants of Health: A Framework for Reaching Healthy People 2020 Goals [Video file]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Lul6KNIw_8
Discussion #1: Population Health Concerns