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Health Three Levels Of Promotion Health And Social Care Essay

Info: 2044 words (8 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 14th Dec 2020

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Primary, secondary and tertiary levels of health promotion

The three levels of health promotion include primary, secondary, and tertiary. All levels are equally important and key in preventing disease and providing starting points for health care providers to offer patients positive, effective change. All levels are important in nursing because nurses are able to take part in almost every step of the promotion. Within the three levels of promotion, there are five steps. These steps include “health promotion and specific protection (primary prevention); early diagnosis, prompt treatment, and disability limitation (secondary prevention); and restoration and rehabilitation (tertiary prevention)” (Edelman & Mandel, pg. 18).

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Primary prevention includes “health promotion and specific protection” (Edelman et al, pg. 18). In primary prevention, the main focus is to avoid the development of the disease and to focus on interventions to maintain a healthy life. “Its purpose is to [also] decrease the vulnerability of the individual or population to disease or dysfunction” (Edelman et al, p. 14). Nurses must do their part in encouraging preventative and appropriate interventions to improve patient health. Primary prevention also involves two further subdivisions that include health promotion and health protection. An example of health promotion would be educating a patient on their health or on nutrition. This type of promotion includes any type of education that would promote a healthy lifestyle. Health protection would be anything that would protect the patient from a disease. For example, health protection can include administering immunizations to reduce exposure the influenza virus this winter.

Secondary prevention refers to activities like screening and early diagnosis that aid in treatment of the existing health problem, disease, or harmful situation. “Secondary prevention ranges from providing screening activities and treating early stages of disease to limiting disability by averting or delaying the consequences of advanced disease” (Edelman et al, p. 18). It is during secondary prevention when “early detection occurs in the window of time just before symptoms are apparent, which fosters early treatment and delays onset of more serious symptoms” (Murray, R., Zentner, J., Yakimo, p. 42). The difference between primary prevention and secondary prevention is simple. In primary prevention, the focus is more on how to prevent or decrease the probability of the disease or problem before it precedes and allots different suggestions to promote a healthy lifestyle. In secondary prevention however, the preventative methods are more focused on the actually screening and encourages early detection and treatment before a serious disease occurs.


Tertiary prevention is the last level of promotion that promotes health. “Tertiary prevention refers the person to optimum function or maintenance of life skills through long-term treatment and rehabilitation” (Murray et al, p. 42). This form of prevention involves treatment, rehabilitation, prompt treatment, and patient education. Usually, tertiary prevention is used when the disability or disease cannot be reversed or is permanent. This level of prevention is easier to look at more as treatment rather than prevention. At this point, the disease has already been established, and the main focus is to minimize the detrimental effects of the disease process and maintain optimal health. It is important that the nurse “ensure[s] that persons with disabilities receive services that enable them to live and work according to the resources that are still available to them” (Edelman et al, p 19). In primary and secondary prevention, the treatment is geared more towards preventing the actual disease and early diagnosis and detection. In tertiary treatment, the focus turns toward the reduction of any further complications once the disease process has already progressed. All three levels are equally important to prevent disease, but also have a key impact in health promotion in nursing.

Health promotion and purpose for nursing

Health promotion is “behavior motivated by the person’s desire to increase well-being and health potential” (Murray et al pg. 42). Individually, patients must find that motivation to ensure and attain optimal health. Nurses, as well as many other health care providers play an important role in motivating and encouraging patients to maintain and strive towards better health. Here is where nurses can use all skills learned to use primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention to encourage healthy lifestyles.

Nursing roles and responsibilities

The role of the nurse in health care promotion can be demanding, and tiresome, but in the end is simply gratifying. Nurses must take on many different roles to ensure that the patients are promoting and maximizing they health. These roles may include: educator, advocate, provider of care, researcher, care manager, and consultant. By incorporating all these different roles, nurses teach people how to remain healthy. “Nurses must have an evidence-based understanding of the significant effect that can be made through health promotion interventions and communicate this understanding to the public at large” (Murray et al, pg.42). The goal is for people to become more aware of lifestyle changes that can consequently worsen their health status and make the lifestyle changes to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Nurses can assist in promoting health in many different ways. Nurses are the educators in providing patients and their families with the proper resources to maintain a healthy life. Whether it means teaching on nutrition, immunizations, or diseases, nurses provide most of the teaching. Nurses can also be advocators by making sure the patient is receiving what they are entitled to in the health care system and from their provider. The nurse is to “go to” person when the provider is not available. Nurses also aid in providing the delivery of care, consulting the patient when any problem exists, and researching and relaying message to the provider when a problem or question exists. For example, in Healthy People 2010, nurses must take on the role in all of these situations to promote a healthier, better lifestyle.

Implementation methods for health promotion

In order to implement health promotion, nurses are taught to properly find alternative methods that personalize every patient in contact with their delivery of care. Not all forms of health promotion are done by the bedside nurse, but can also be encompassed by the clinic nurse and the community nurses. These levels of promotion can be brought on by the clinic and community nurse by offering different presentations regarding what is directly affecting the specific community. By involving the community in different methods of health care promotion and prevention, the nurse is doing his/her part to assist in primary and secondary promotion. Then, if the assistance is needed, tertiary prevention can be used. The nurse must learn to encompass and become familiar with every aspect of prevention and promotion in order to do his/her part in preventing and promoting healthier lifestyles. In order to facilitate and accommodate to patients needs, evidence based practice is key. There are many articles that can justify and help solidify the need for prevention and promoting in patient lifestyles.

Compares the three levels of health promotion prevention

First article

The article that I found from the Grand Canyon University Library discussing primary prevention is called Opportunities for the Primary Prevention of Obesity during Infancy. This article discusses the opportunities that physicians have to decrease and prevent obesity during infancy. The article proved that through “early intervention and prevention, great promise [holds] for interrupting the vicious cycle of obese children becoming obese adults who subsequently have obese offspring themselves” (Paul, Bartok, Downs, Stifter, Ventura, and Birch). Evidenced proved that if providers instructed parents on different strategies to promote healthy behaviors, that the infants will have long lasting obesity preventive effects. By using primary prevention, obesity during infancy and possibly throughout the lifetime may be decreased by primary intervention. This article would be beneficial to nursing practice because throughout pregnancy, nurses would be able to show how vital it is to continue to maintain and continue to show healthy eating habits to pregnant mothers and their children to potentially avoid obesity and other health problems for the child.

Second article

The second article that I found from the Grand Canyon University Library discussing secondary prevention was called Running nurse-led secondary prevention clinics for coronary heart disease in primary care: qualitative study of health professionals’ perspective. This article was based on a nurse led trial that used secondary prevention to improve coronary heart disease and lower all-cause mortality during a four year follow up. This article emphasized on how this clinic was run by nurses and whether or not it was effective. Studies showed how it was viewed “positively by most healthcare professionals that had been involved in running them, but barriers to their implementation had led most to stop running them at some point” (Campbell & Murcia). It also proved that although it might have been effective, many of variables interrupted in proving the study effective. Issues like lack of space and staff shortages, funding training, and communication arose within the practice and eventually ended the study. The study still showed how effective the nurses ran the clinic and seemed to be able to do their part in preventing and lowering the occurrence of coronary heart diseases.

Third article

The third article I found in the Grand Canyon University Library on tertiary prevention is called Applying epidemiologic concepts of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention to the elimination of racial disparities in asthma. This article emphasized the importance in prevention in asthma. It stated that the “primary prevention targets reductions in asthma incidence; secondary prevention is the mitigation of established disease and involves disease detection, management, and control; and tertiary prevention is the reduction of complications caused by severe disease,” (Joseph, Williams, Own by, Saltzgaber, and Johnson). This article is good because it is able to illustrate all of the effects of proper primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. The article showed how by managing, and understanding the disease, “changes that could reduce asthma morbidity in US minorities and ultimately mitigate disparities” (Joseph, et al).

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This purpose of this paper was to inform the reader of the different levels of health promotion and the role that nurses must play in encouraging this care. Nurses can do their part in promoting a healthier lifestyle for their patients by using alternative methods of prevention. Primary prevention involves health promotion and protection, secondary prevention involves screening and early diagnosis, and tertiary prevention focuses on treating the actual disease and preventing any further complications. It is important for nurses to understand that the role they play on patient health care is vital. Patients rely on nurses to help alleviate and advocate for them when any sort of ailment or sickness occurs. In order for nurses to promote health they must become familiar with the different ways of helping to prevent and promote healthier lifestyles. The articles that were chosen in this article illustrated the different positive effects of prevention and the different ways nurses and health care providers can promote a healthier lifestyle.


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