Human Experience Across Health-Illness Continuum
Research the health-illness continuum and its relevance to patient care. In a 750-1,000 word paper, discuss the relevance of the continuum to patient care and present a perspective of your current state of health in relation to the wellness spectrum. Include the following: 1. Examine the health-illness continuum and discuss why this perspective is important to consider in relation to health and the human experience when caring for patients. 2. Explain how understanding the health-illness continuum enables you, as a health care provider, to better promote the value and dignity of individuals or groups and to serve others in ways that promote human flourishing. 3. Reflect on your overall state of health. Discuss what behaviors support or detract from your health and well-being. Explain where you currently fall on the health-illness continuum. 4. Discuss the options and resources available to you to help you move toward wellness on the health-illness spectrum. Describe how these would assist in moving you toward wellness (managing a chronic disease, recovering from an illness, self-actualization, etc.). 5. Please provide an Introduction and Conclusion 6. No abstract is needed 7. References need to be peer-reviewed sources Human Experience Across Health-Illness Continuum
Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum
The health status of an individual is not static, and is always in a status of continual change. Individuals move back and forth from health to illness and back to health against. The health-illness continuum moves through five stages: high-level wellness, good health, normal health, illness, and death. The continuum conceptualizes that the health status of an individual will always vary over time. Just as life itself, health similarly goes through a process of continual change as individuals continually adapt to these changes in their lives in order to maintain wellbeing and good health. It is the response and adaptation to these changes, rather than the change itself, that affects an individual’s health. Through an awareness of the health-illness continuum, medical personnel can place the illness and health status of a patient into context thus presenting unique definitions of appropriate care. The continuum heaps in tracking health condition and determining the care intensity required to achieve care objectives (Rodriguez, 2014). The present paper discusses human experience across the health-illness continuum.
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Wellness and illness are dynamic processes. As the primary objective of medical personnel is to adjust wellness and illness for the individual patients, then it is not hard to accept that they (medical personnel) would closely monitor health status. This is important for helping to understand the unique aspects of each patient and ensuring that changes with implications for health care are well controlled. In fact, the objective of health care is to achieve high level wellness, and this objective is identified as being at the extreme end of the continuum, with illness and death being at the opposite end of the continuum. At the midline of the continuum is normal health, perceived as a neutral point with no discernible wellness or illness (Lubkin & Larsen, 2014). The health-illness continuum has implications for the treatment paradigm with the understanding that high level wellness and good health are preferable, normal health is not acceptable while illness and death are concerning. The level of treatment urgency increases as the individual patient shifts from normal health to illness and finally death. Successful medical intervention allows an individual to achieve normal health. However, achieving good health and high level wellness requires the active participation of each individual patient through adopting healthy behaviors such as eating healthy and exercising regularly (Wilson & Giddens, 2014).
Health care providers, such as nurses, work in medical services delivery and this offers them a unique vantage point to objectively appreciate the health-illness continuum. They see patients at various stages of illness thus exposing them to an invariable pattern of health. Through using their knowledge that integrates biophysical and physiological sciences, health care providers are able to use a caring, dignified and holistic approach across the continuum to assist the society, communities, families and individual in promoting, maintaining and restoring optimal health and wellness. Knowledge of the continuum allows health care providers to embrace their unique role and wide range of functions that include interdisciplinary collaboration, leadership, communication, ethical decision-making, advocacy and teaching (Hansen-Turton, Sherman & King, 2015). In addition, it helps them to promote a safe environment in all practice settings as they employ professional principles such as concept of change theory, principles of justice and equality, care judgment, and care processes. The health-illness continuum specifically helps health care providers to promote the value and dignity of individuals by perceiving each person as multidimensional and unique while possessing universal needs. Besides that, the continuum helps health care providers to perceive ach individual as comprised of a unique combination of spiritual, cultural and biopsychosocial attributes. With this knowledge, each patient is encouraged to master developmental tasks that help them strive towards self-actualization with the health care provider helping the patient to reclaim and develop new pathways towards human flourishing (Finkelman & Kenner, 2014). Overall, health-illness continuum is helps with attaining optimal wellness and health by the individual with health care providers assisting individuals with health promotion and attaining optimal health and wellness across the lifespan.Human Experience Across Health-Illness Continuum
In reflecting on my health, specifically wellness and illness, I am continually pursuing good health. As a fully aware and educated health care provider, I continually seek to improve my health and wellness with a focus on avoiding the different health conditions and disease. Currently, I assess myself as being in good health based on the health-illness continuum. I have used my professional knowledge of health and disease to develop factors and behaviors that help me shift towards high level wellness in the continuum. The healthy factors and behaviors that I have developed include having a positive attitude toward health, adopting healthy eating habits, eating low carbohydrate meals that reduce opportunities for developing heart disease and diabetes, and engaging in regular moderate exercise. In addition, I am open to exploring evidence-based options and resources for improving health. These include public information forums and education materials on common ailments since they offer information on how to improve health, address health concerns, and avoid ill health. I am continuously striving to improve my health and believe that my efforts are not in vain.
There are six options and resources that are available to help me move towards wellness on the health-illness spectrum. The first resource is medical facilities and personnel that help with identifying ill-health and their sources as well as offering advice on strategies for improving health. They have diagnostic equipment that are useful for identifying the specific causes of illness and development effective treatment strategies such as the right drug regiments. The second resource is public information systems, such as health websites managed by government organizations and other establishments that offer useful information on common ailments. The third resource is the internet that acts as a useful search tool for collecting information on health concerns and how to improve wellness. The fourth resource is social media that acts as a public forum for exchanging information on strategies for improving health and wellness. The fifth resource is the local gym that present tools for engaging in physical exercises and improving physical health. The final resource is social support systems that as the family who help with achieving good health through offering advice and presenting an enabling environment. Human Experience Across Health-Illness Continuum
One must accept that the health-illness continuum is a good tool for understanding the transient health status of an individual. In addition, one must acknowledge that a good understanding of the continuum is important for health care providers as it enables them to care for patients, and not just treat them. It helps with making the patients feel connected, safe and loved even as it allows providers to offer individualized care that incorporates the unique experiences of each patient. Besides that, it helps with establishing a relationship between provider and patients thus acting as the essence of health promotion. As a result, considering the dimensions of health and wellness as envisioned by the health-illness continuum helps in directing patients to participate in their health care so that they shift from normal health achieving through interventions by providers to good health and high-level wellness achieved through personal participation.
Finkelman, A., & Kenner, C. (2014). Professional Nursing Concepts: Competencies for Quality Leadership (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.
Hansen-Turton, T., Sherman, S., & King, E. (Eds.) (2015). Nurse-Led Health Clinics: Operations, Policy, and Opportunities. Springer Publishing Company, LLC.
Lubkin, I. M., & Larsen, P. D. (Eds.) (2014). Chronic Illness: Impact and Intervention (8th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.
Rodriguez, D. M. (2014). The Balance Concept in Health and Nursing: A Universal Approach to Care and Survival. iUniverse LLC.
Wilson, S. F., & Giddens, J. F. (2014). Health Assessment for Nursing Practice (5th ed.). Elsevier Mosby. Human Experience Across Health-Illness Continuum