NRS 434 Benchmark – Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum

Sample Answer for NRS 434 Benchmark – Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum Included After Question

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.).

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Benchmark Information

This benchmark assesses the following competency:

RN-BSN

5.1. Understand the human experience across the health-illness continuum.

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NRS 434 Benchmark – Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum

Title: NRS 434 Benchmark – Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum

Introduction

The health-illness continuum is a diagrammatic illustration of a well-being concept that was proposed by John Travis in 1972. It explains the process of change whereby an individual undergoes different states of health and illness, which range from good health and fluctuate across the lifespan to death (Stará, 2017). Health is a process of recurrent change, and individuals must continuously adapt to the changes in their lives to uphold good health and well-being. It is the response and adaptation to health changes and not the change itself that affects one’s health (Dahlberg, 2019). A state of wellness can exist in the presence of chronic diseases when there is an adaptation and effective functioning. This essay will examine the health-illness continuum and discuss why it is essential to consider the continuum’s perspective when caring for patients. I will also reflect on my overall state of health and explore the resources available that can help me move towards wellness on the health-illness spectrum.

Importance of the Health-Illness Continuum When Caring For Patients

The health-illness continuum explains how well-being is more than just the absence of illness as it incorporates a person’s emotional and mental health (Hastings, 2019). The continuum consists of two directions, one that leads to a high level of wellness and another that leads to premature death (Stará, 2017). A high-level of wellness is attained in three steps, namely, awareness, education, and growth, while premature death occurs when there are signs, symptoms, and disability (Khorashadizadeh, 2016). The continuum also has a neutral point that is characterized by a state of no discernable wellness or illness. The continuum further explains that individuals in the direction of high-level wellness are genuinely optimistic and often have a positive outlook regardless of their health status (Khorashadizadeh, 2016). On the other hand, individuals heading towards premature death are genuinely pessimistic and have a negative outlook on their health status.

It is essential to consider the health-illness continuum perspective when caring for patients to help them move past the neutral point to the direction of high-level wellness. Health providers must understand that health is not merely the absence of disease; hence they should assess the state of psychological and mental well-being of patients (Hastings, 2019). Patients may be in the direction of premature death as a result of having psychological distress, which makes them have a negative perception of their health (Dahlberg, 2019). Consequently, health providers should promote the emotional and mental well-being of patients to improve the physical health and overall well-being.

Reflection on My Overall State of Health

I am 25-years old with a good general condition. My BMI is 23.5, and I have no history of chronic illnesses. Nonetheless, there is a positive family history of diabetes and hypertension in my close family members, which keeps me at risk of developing the same conditions if I do not practice a healthy lifestyle. I have an ineffective exercise program that involves walking for about 20 minutes a day, but I hardly engage in moderate-intensity exercises or attend gym sessions. I have a mobile application that counts my daily steps, but I have not been keen on achieving my daily steps target of 10000 steps. I try to take a balanced diet and take about six glasses of water daily, but I hardly eat fruits. Besides, I frequently take junk foods in the form of snacks, which may have contributed to the recent weight gain. Since I joined nursing school, I rarely seek consultation form healthcare providers, but I tend to diagnose and treat myself based on my symptoms. Poor lifestyle choices and self-prescription detract me from good health and well-being.

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After learning the effects of diabetes and hypertension on morbidity and quality of life, I have resulted in taking a balanced diet, increasing the intensity of physical activities, and having regular blood pressure and blood glucose monitoring. I have information on what I should do to prevent chronic diseases, and I have taken responsibility for my health to avoid premature death. On the health-illness continuum, I fall under the direction toward greater health and well-being on the step of education. I am aware of the health conditions that I am at risk of, and I am learning on how to prevent the diseases through modification of lifestyle. Besides, I am optimistic about my health status and have a positive perception of my health and overall well-being. 

Options and Resources Available To Help Move toward Wellness

Resources that are available include a nutrition clinic in the University’s hospital where I can be counseled and guided on the appropriate diet to prevent lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiac diseases. There is also a Diabetic clinic where I can get regular blood glucose monitoring and health education on the prevention of diabetes. Besides, the University has a gymnasium with professional trainers who can help me in developing an exercise routine and help me in keeping fit to avoid being overweight, which increases the risk of chronic diseases. Other resources include books and online information on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent common chronic conditions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a person’s state of health undergoes repeated change as one moves from good health to illness and back to health, and the condition is hardly constant. The illness-wellness continuum is a graphic illustration with two directions, one that directs to a high-level of wellness and another that leads to premature death. The continuum proposes that an individual’s well-being also entails emotional and mental health, and it is not just the absence of disease. The steps to achieving wellness include awareness, education, and growth, while the steps to premature death include signs, symptoms, and disability.

References

Dahlberg, H. (2019). Beyond the absent body—A phenomenological contribution to the understanding of body awareness in health and illness. Nursing Philosophy20(2), e12235.

Hastings, A. C. (2019). Health for the whole person: The complete guide to holistic medicine. Routledge.

Khorashadizadeh, F. (2016). Creation of illness meaning: A central concept of spiritual health. Evidence Based Care6(2), 75-76.

Stará, J. (2017). Health and wellness–conceptual grounding. Acta Salus Vitae5(2), 4-25.

A Sample Answer 2 For the Assignment: NRS 434 Benchmark – Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum

Title: NRS 434 Benchmark – Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum

Beyond basic disease prevention, obtaining balanced wellbeing is a continuous process. The word wellness is often misunderstood by many people. Many people think of wellness in terms of physical health, nutrition, body weight, and others, however, it is much more than that. According to Paladino and Fromme (2019), well-being should be perceived as a holistic integration of physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing engaging the mind, fueling the body, and nurturing the spirit. Historically, wellness has been defined within a disease framework, which means reducing risks associated with health and preventing illnesses. Understanding of health Illness continuum is a way of promoting patient wellness. With this in mind, the paper discusses the health-illness continuum and its relevance to patient care.

Health-Illness Continuum and its Relation to Healthcare

The health-illness continuum reflects a process of change in which people experience different states of health and illnesses, ranging from extremely good health to death, which fluctuate throughout their lives. According to Paladino and Fromme (2019), the state of wellness is a dynamic goal and a continuous process, therefore, a decision making process is necessary daily in areas related to health. The wellness paradigm spans the whole length of the continuum. This is the direction all patients must experience or face to achieve high-level pf wellness. Owen and Çelik (2018) assert that the health-illness continuum describes the health and illness along a continuum with a high level of wellness at one end and a high level of illness and poor health at the other end.

NRS 434 Benchmark - Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum
NRS 434 Benchmark – Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum

The middle of the continuum is a neutral point where there is no discernible wellness or illness. People more either side (to and forth) of the continuum daily from the neutral point. A high level of wellness is on the right end of the continuum while illness or death is on the left end. On the left side of the neutral point is the treatment paradigm and this is where the relevance of the health-illness continuum to healthcare becomes more visible (Corrigan et al., 2017). For instance, as one moves to the left end of the continuum, healthcare and medical interventions take over until the person returns to the neutral point. Once the individual returns to the neutral point, it is his responsibility to take measures that can enable him to attain a high level of health (wellbeing).

Importance of Understanding the Health-Illness Continuum to a Health Care Provider

Understanding the health-illness continuum is very important for a nurse to provide quality and optimum care to their patients. It enables health providers to ensure that patients continue to move towards the right direction along the continuum. A better understanding of the health-illness continuum, health care providers can visualize, plan, and accomplish goals for a healthier lifestyle (Corrigan et al., 2017). For instance, once the treatment paradigm is achieved and the patient has returned to the neutral point, a healthcare provider who understands the health-illness continuum does not stop at that point. He/she may educate the patient regarding strategies to achieve a higher level of wellbeing.  For instance, home health nurses extend this continuum by visiting patients at home to carry out follow-ups as well as provide essential services (Corrigan et al., 2017). They perform this because they have a good understanding of the health-illness continuum.

Reflection on My Overall State of Health

I am well educated and fully aware of the health-illness continuum. Therefore, I understand what should be done and avoided to achieve high levels of wellness. Some of the behaviors that contribute to my wellness include healthy eating habits, regular daily moderate exercise, positive attitude towards achieving wellness, and regular screening of diabetes, high blood pressure, and diabetes which have records in my family (Perugini, Iglesia, Solano, & Keyes, 2017). Other qualities I poses include commitment and perseverance to achieve a high level of webbing.  I tend to ignore things that could lead to mental distress and I attend church for spiritual nourishment. Based on these behaviors, I believe that I have achieved a high level of wellness on the continuum.

Options and Resources Available To Help Me Achieve Wellness

Physical options include maintaining healthy nutrition, engaging regular physical exercise, and avoiding risky or abusive places to stay safe and others. Social options include having a positive relationship with good people while trying to manage stress and emotions. Intellectual options include reading consciously regarding good ways of achieving wellness (Payton, 2017). The spiritual option includes attending church to receive spiritual nourishment which is part of wellness.  Resources available include counseling programs, healthcare facilities, friends, family, books, church, and community resources such as free fields for physical exercise.

Conclusion

Beyond basic disease prevention, obtaining balanced wellbeing is a continuous process. The health-illness continuum describes the health and illness along a continuum with a high level of wellness at one end and a high level of illness and poor health at one end. On the left side of the neutral point is the treatment paradigm and this is where the relevance of the health-illness continuum to healthcare becomes more visible. Some of the behaviors that help achieve wellness include physical exercise, and regular disease screening. 

References

Corrigan, P. W., Schmidt, A., Bink, A. B., Nieweglowski, K., Al-Khouja, M. A., Qin, S., & Discont, S. (2017). Changing public stigma with continuum beliefs. Journal of Mental Health26(5), 411-418. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2016.1207224

Owen, F. K., & Çelik, N. D. (2018). Lifelong Healthy Lifestyle and Wellness. Current Approaches in Psychiatry/Psikiyatride Guncel Yaklasimlar10(4). http://www.cappsy.org/archives/vol10/no4/cap_10_04_03_en.pdf

Paladino, J., & Fromme, E. K. (2019). Preparing for Serious Illness: A Model for Better Conversations over the Continuum of Care. American family physician99(5), 281-284. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2019/0301/p281.html

Perugini, M. L. L., de la Iglesia, G., Solano, A. C., & Keyes, C. L. M. (2017). The mental health continuum–short form (MHC–SF) in the Argentinean context: Confirmatory factor analysis and measurement invariance. Europe’s journal of psychology13(1), 93. doi: 10.5964/ejop.v13i1.1163

Payton, A. R. (2017). Mental health, mental illness, and psychological distress: the same continuum or distinct phenomena?. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 50(2), 213-227. doi: 10.1177/002214650905000207.