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5 Roles and Responsibilities of Nurses in Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Choices
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5 Roles and Responsibilities of Nurses in Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Choices

Oct 11, 2022

Nurses play an important role in promoting a healthy lifestyle among the general public. Encouraging people to take control over and improve their health is the primary goal of health care professionals, such as doctors and nurses. 

A nurse’s duties do not end with just caring for the sick and elderly. They have various other complex roles and responsibilities, which include educating patients and providing guidance about nutrition, medication, dietary restrictions, and overall well-being and safety. They are constantly working to prevent illnesses such as strokes, diabetes, and heart and lung diseases; by administering various strategies, including education, risk-factor prevention, and observing safety hazards in the workplace, community, or home. 

Now, let’s understand how nurses promote healthy lifestyle choices. 

1. Increase knowledge:

The main goal for nurses is to increase the life expectancy of their patients by educating them about the differences between healthy and unhealthy eating. They recommend exercising and inform them of its physical, mental, and emotional benefits. They also advise how to take care of oneself properly to reduce the chances of contracting diseases.

A nurse’s job is to be well informed about all the latest medical advancements throughout the years. As nurses are involved in the decision-making process of treating patients, they need to possess essential critical thinking and leadership skills when assessing patients so they can identify latent problems and give appropriate recommendations. Thus, nurses should take the Doctor of Public Health Online (DrPH) course to add to their existing skill sets and gain new knowledge to use in the workplace and community they serve. This course provides students with the appropriate skills to advance in medicine.

2. Incorporate daily exercise:

As we all know, exercising is imperative to maintaining a healthy heart, mind, and body. Being physically active can help with weight management, disease prevention, brain health improvement, and the ability to perform everyday activities effortlessly. 

Nurses play a huge role in helping patients understand the need for daily exercise. Even just a 30-minute walk every day can prove life-changing for most individuals. Nurses can help patients by simply talking to them and motivating them to adopt positive attitudes towards exercising. Nurses can even help recommend patients to a diet specialist or offer handouts and digital resources that provide more information on advocating healthy lifestyle choices. 

3. Stop the use of cigarettes:

One of the leading causes of lung disease is smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. In The United States, cigarette smoking links to about 80% to 90% of lung cancer deaths. Nurses help their patients gradually reduce the frequency of smoke by suggesting they use nicotine patches, nicotine gum or nicotine nasal sprays, etc. These are good alternatives to use for heavy smokers. The withdrawal symptoms that will inevitably follow can make a person feel irritated, upset, restless, anxious, depressed, have trouble concentrating, and have intense cravings to smoke. 

Most smokers will not be ready to quit at first and will not be able to do it alone. They need someone to help them to stop smoking, and that’s where nurses come in. Nurses help such individuals by talking to them about quitting, documenting their smoking history, their desire to quit, and their quit date. They also warn them about the health risks that come with smoking, such as cancer, heart diseases, lung diseases, tuberculosis, and problems with the immune system. A health professional’s advice will encourage smokers to seriously think about quitting more than a regular person’s advice. 

4. Reduce stress:

Stress is a normal human reaction to unwanted and high-pressure situations. It is a feeling of physical and emotional tension that can occur when you don’t have much control over the outcomes of an event. You can reduce stress by taking care of yourself, socializing with others, engaging in physical activities, getting relaxation therapy, and seeking support from professionals.

Nurses are trained in the art of deep breathing techniques and massages. These can help reduce stress in anxious patients. They help recommend calming exercises that patients can use to relax their nerves. The roles of nurses have evolved to include health coaching advice. They can now specialize in it to give wellness advice beyond injuries and diseases.

5. Direct people to available resources:

Many resources and websites are available on the internet that can guide you on how to live a better lifestyle. But, the internet is riddled with so much contradictory and outdated information that it becomes hard to find a credible source. 

It is where nurses come to the rescue. They are trained medical professionals and keep up to date with the latest medical trends and practices so they can provide accurate information and guide you towards authentic resources that will help you improve your health without compromising your safety. 

Fortunately, nurses are available at any time of the day to help out with your queries. They can help patients find resources inside or outside the hospital to support their well-being. 

Conclusion:

Everyone has interacted with nurses at some point in their lives. Nurses help guide and assist doctors and patients in day-to-day activities. They are the backbone of the medical profession. Imagine a world without nurses; hospitals would not be able to function as there would be chaos. Doctors would not have a helping hand in the operation theatre, there would not be any organization, and patients would not have anyone to take care of them while they are sick or injured.

Nurses work with a wide variety of people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. One of the nurse’s jobs is to assist and professionally handle all of these engagements without disrespecting any religion.

Nurses possess exceptional communication and interpersonal skills that help them communicate well with doctors and patients regarding their needs and worries. Nurses are kind, caring, and empathetic individuals who are constantly aware of their surroundings and pay great attention to detail, as their patients’ lives depend on it. They ensure the safety of their patients by communicating with case managers or social workers regarding the patient’s need for home assistance or support after discharge so necessary arrangements can be made before the patient goes home. 

In recent years nurses are finally being given the recognition they deserve. Their contribution to the field of medicine and the whole community has helped improve the health and lifestyle of millions of people everywhere.

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