Assignment: Graduates Population Health
In populationfocused nursing, the aggregate, community, or population is the unit of care. Emphasis is placed on health promotion and disease prevention. Because populationfocused care is fundamental to nursing practice, and because a baccalaureate degree in nursing is the recommended minimal educational credential for population focused care, baccalaureate programs prepare graduates for population health as well as clinical prevention (AACN, 1998; American Public Health Association, 1996; Quad Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations, 2004). Populationfocused nursing involves identifying determinants of health, prioritizing primary prevention when possible, actively identifying and reaching out to those who might benefit from a service, and using available resources to assure best overall improvement in the health of the population (American Nurses Association, 2007). For instance, populationfocused interventions involve reaching an appropriate level of herd immunity in the community and ensuring that information about appropriate screenings reach the entire population, not just those who choose to come to healthcare facilities. Collaboration with other healthcare professionals and populations is necessary to promote conditions and healthy behaviors that improve population health.
The baccalaureate program prepares the graduate to:
1. Assess protective and predictive factors, including genetics, which influence the health of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.
2. Conduct a health history, including environmental exposure and a family history that recognizes genetic risks, to identify current and future health problems.
3. Assess health/illness beliefs, values, attitudes, and practices of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.
4. Use behavioral change techniques to promote health and manage illness.
5. Use evidencebased practices to guide health teaching, health counseling, screening, outreach, disease and outbreak investigation, referral, and followup throughout the lifespan.
6. Use information and communication technologies in preventive care.
7. Collaborate with other healthcare professionals and patients to provide spiritually and culturally appropriate health promotion and disease and injury prevention interventions.
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