The Truth You've Always Wanted: Healthcare from a Nurse's Perspective
I work in an acute care setting at a local hospital. Although my work on a day-to-day basis deals with reactive healthcare, or healthcare that is trying to "fix" the diseases or illnesses that are already occurring, I wanted to take the opportunity to emphasize the importance of proactive healthcare. What if we emphasized proactive healthcare in today's society, put billboards up notifying people about opportunities to avoid life threatening situations regarding their health, or even taught children at a young age the "dos" and "don'ts" of staying healthy?
There are certain medical fields that have emphasized this proactive thinking: preventing breast cancer with annual mammograms, preventing colon cancer by getting a colonoscopy before the age of 50, and preventing birth defects by taking appropriate folic acid and multivitamins. With this said, I believe we still have a lot of opportunity to incorporate proactive healthcare into society.
Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, morbid obesity, pneumonia, cancers, and other diseases in most instances can be limited in exacerbation and/or prevented with proactive teaching and screening. The primary reason that we have a system that emphasizes reactive healthcare is because that is what the majority of society has grown-up accustomed to, but what if we turned the tables? The only way to gear healthcare to a more proactive approach is through education.
Nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals provide reactive care because that is what society demands. If society demanded proactive healthcare instead, that is what medical professionals would provide instead...makes sense right?
My desire to help educate people in my community about being proactive with their health has started in local schools. One of the main reasons that I decided to take this teaching to local schools is because I don't remember ever learning about healthy lifestyles in relationship to preventing diseases and disparities until I started college. By that time, I already had set lifestyle behaviors, whether they were reactive or proactive.
The thing about launching this educational program in local schools is that the only way to create the biggest change initially is via word-of-mouth and an immeasurable amount of support.
My organization is called Prevention is Contagious. You can find information about my cause at https://www.facebook.com/PIChealth. Together, we can make a difference for our future. Please “like” and spread the word.