Nurse’s Role in Improving the Health Literacy

Half of page per response to my peers, with references, use first person, thank you. Discussion attached.
Respond in one or more of the following ways:
1)Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence, or research using an in-text citation in APA format.
2)Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
3)Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
4)Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.
(Beverly)

Health Literacy
Education is essential to the workplace not only for the patient but for the nurse who is providing care to the patient. Many healthcare workers such as nurses do not realize how important it is to educate patients on managing their own care to prevent or reduce health issues. Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the culprit (American Psychological Association, 2010). Stress is a leading cause of staff turnover even for nurses. Given the growing importance of the issues of recruitment and retention to nursing in general, and some specialty areas in particular, there is a need to understand the career pathways of nurses and the factors that impact upon these (Kovner & Knickman, 2011, p.361).

Nurse’s Role in Improving the Health Literacy
In an article by Dorothy Dunn, she discusses the role of nurses in health literacy particularly in screening and assessing for health literacy levels among patients and their families at each health care encounter (Dunn, 2010). Health literacy can have a positive outcome for patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan. The assessment and the use of plain language among healthcare professionals when communicating with patients increase health literacy. This is a vital role of the nurse to improve health literacy.
Resource for Evaluating Online Health Information
One resource I would recommend to patients for evaluating online health information is MedlinePlus because it is resourceful and the information is reliable and the National Institutes of Health’s Web site is for patients and their caregivers, family members and friends. MedlinePlus is produced by the National Library of Medicine which is the world’s largest medical library. A patient is able to get information about diseases, treatments and wellness issues in the language that they speak whether it is English or Spanish. MedlinePlus is reliable, up-to-date health information that can be assessed from anywhere free of charge and no password needed.
MedlinePlus Beneficial
MedlinePlus is beneficial and can be used to educate on the latest treatments for conditions, information on a drug or supplement and medical terminology. There are medical videos and illustrations available. Another benefit in using MedlinePlus is links are available to the latest medical research on topics clinical trials on a disease or condition. Health professionals and consumers alike can depend on it for information that is authoritative and up-to-date. MedlinePlus has extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources on over 950 diseases and conditions. There are directories, a medical encyclopedia and a medical dictionary, health information in Spanish, extensive information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, health information from the media, and links to thousands of clinical trials. MedlinePlus is updated daily and can be bookmarked at the URL:

https://medlineplus.gov/.There is no advertising on this site, nor does MedlinePlus endorse any company

or product (MedlinePlus, 2015).
Assisting Patients in Online Health Information
Patient access to health information and their personal health records is important in today’s healthcare. Additional strategies for assisting patients in becoming informed consumers of online health information are educating patients on the different resources that are available to them online and possible demonstrating how to access this information. The National Library of Medicine supports several sites such as MedlinePlus, NIH Senior Health, and ClinicalTrials.gov. All of these sites are designed to get medical information directly to the patients. These sites increase patient access to information.

Patient should be educated on how to access information such as electronic health records for facilitating increased patient-provider communication and information sharing.

Resources
Dunn, D. (2010). The Nurse Role in Health Literacy. Retrieved

fromebscohost.com/c/articles/49050602/nurse-role-health-literacy on August 9, 2015.
MedlinePlus. (2015). About MedlinePlus. Retrieved

fromhttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/aboutmedlineplus.html August 9, 2015
Stress in America report. (2010). American Psychological Association. Retrieved from

https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/national-report.pdf. on August 9, 2015.
Kovner, A.R. & Knickman, J.R. (Eds.). (2011). Health Care Delivery in the United States 10th Edition

(Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.) New York, NY: Springer
(Bhavik)

Nursing and Patient Health Literacy
Nurses are an important part of the healthcare team that is often times designated with the duty of education. Patients often time look to nurses for information regarding their health condition or for information about where to locate more knowledge about the condition. I believe that this is due to the relationship of trust between the nurse and the patient. Patients may often times feel intimidated to ask doctors questions, which means nurses are the best option to answer there question.

Nurses promote healthcare through promotion of health literacy and education. The era of healthcare we are currently experiencing is known as the knowledge age era where patients want to be kept in the loop and there are many different tools and tactics to promote patient education (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2012, p.356).
Patients with a new diagnosis who wish to learn more about what is going on with them may ask many question but they may not be answered to the needs of the patient. I would recommend to my patients to use the using the website health.gov as a source to find further information regarding a specific issue. I attempt to ensure that I answer every question the patient may have to the fullest ability of my knowledge or I will find the answer for them. I have also in the past located information about diet for a newly diagnosed diabetic and printed it just in case the patient forgets our discussion when they got home. Technology has made it much easier to promote health literacy and education because patients are able to located specific information easily at their convenience. One of the things that could possibly happen when educating the patient about a disease process is they may forget or misplace the handout that is given to them. Technology makes it impossible to misplace the information it is always readily available and easily accessible.
There are many strategies available to promote literacy and education. One of the first things that nurse to do is assess the patient that will be receiving the information (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d., p.4.1). This is important because each patient learns differently and what may work for educating one patient may not work for another. Once the patient has been assessed, the nurse can continue education and at the end of education the nurses provides an online link where the patient is able to locate further information if the patient pleases. If it is a patient that does not know how to use a computer where I work at we have a education computer where we can teach the patient some of the basics of a computer and how to access their personal health portal. This is a good thing to have because even though patients are given the link or a paper with a how-to guide they may become confused once getting to the website. Using a educational computer to demonstrate how to access information for those patients deemed necessary for this strategy is beneficial to the promotion of health literacy and education.

References
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2012). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (Laureate

Education, Inc., custom ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (n.d.). Health literacy online. Retrieved August 11,

2015, fromhttp://www.health.gov/
The Harvard School of Public Health. (2010). Health literacy studies. Retrieved

fromhttp://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.a). Quick guide to health literacy. Retrieved June

19, 2012, from https://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/Quickguide.pdf


 

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