There are many issues that plague the health of residents of the United State, but, fortunately, with one of the best healthcare systems in the world there are always the resources and desire to mitigate the issues that arise. To help minimize the bad consequences of health problems nurses need to be able to train people regarding proper healthcare. Every healthcare provider needs to be able to express why a particular intervention is being used and what the desired outcome is.
Among the many groups which need training regarding poor healthcare practices are middle aged men who, in large part, do not see a physician on a regular basis. As a matter of fact men are 40% less likely to use healthcare than women (East Valley Tribune, 2010). This means that while their healthcare needs are increasing dramatically as they age, men are not seeking the care of a physician on a regular basis. Of particular concern is the seeming epidemic of diabetes cases that is currently occurring, but there are other health concerns also which can lead to an increased risk of diabetes and other chronic issues.
Therefore, the basic problem to be explored is how middle-aged men can be made to understand the importance of seeking regular healthcare appointments. This problem is one which affects not only the life span of the individuals involved, but also the financial stability of the healthcare industry. One of the major problems with the U.S. healthcare industry is that it is hemorrhaging money. This, in large part, is because the medical model most have followed is reactive rather than proactive. Men who go to regular medical appointments are much more likely to catch an ailment when it is still very treatable. However, when people wait to seek medical help until they have an issue, they are much more likely to require extensive healthcare measures. Curing cancer when it has developed into stage four is much less likely than when it is in the first or second stage.
Of course this is a need for men of every ethnicity, but there is a particular issue with African-American males. Men in this racial group are much less likely to seek the care of a doctor, while they are much more likely to die from a preventable medical issue (Ravenal, Whitaker, & Johnson, 2000). The authors of one study found that "African-American men have the highest age adjusted, all-cause mortality rate in the United States and the highest age-adjusted death rates for several preventable causes, including cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, HIV and cancer" (Ravenal, Whitaker, & Johnson, 2000). It is important to note the use of the term "preventable" in this case. These are not genetic predispositions, such as sickle cell anemia, which inordinately attack African-Americans, these are diseases which are common to all Americans, but especially to African-American men.
Health Education Outcomes
The primary change needed for this healthcare education initiative is that African-American men attend regular, yearly checkups with a healthcare professional. However, this is not specific enough. Since African-American men are more than twice as likely to contract type 2 diabetes than white males (Berry, 2004), it would seem that a health educational program involving diabetes would be very beneficial. Since diabetes can lead to such issues as blindness, amputation of limbs, neuropathy in the limbs, heart problems and, eventually death if untreated, focusing on this problem, and seeking the added benefit of increasing the occurrence of yearly health examinations, seems to be a needed intervention. Two goals for this program would be to see men seek yearly healthcare checkups and to adjust the way that they both exercise and eat to mitigate the occurrence of diabetes.
Goal number one is to see a 25% increase in the number of men that make an appointment to see a doctor for a yearly checkup. This would be accomplished through the use of brochures and teaching the importance of regular healthcare appointments at community venues.
Goal number two is to see these men develop an exercise program which they will participate in at least three times per week. The exercise program will be accompanied by a healthy nutrition program at a local community center.
The first prong of the health education plan is to get the middle-aged men of the community to take seriously the need to see a doctor at least once a year. The specific thrust may be that they need to be checked for diabetes, but this part of the plan is for overall health as well as for the suppression of diabetes. The first part of the plan will occur at an annual health fair which occurs in the neighborhood. The group will have a booth which will detail the need for men of a certain age (40-75 specifically) to seek yearly checkups. There will be healthcare professionals there who can check a person's blood sugar, blood pressure, and other easy to read indicators of immediate health (Healthy People 2020, 2011). Pamphlets regarding diabetes prevention will be handed out from the booth, and appointments to local clinics will be established. Also, times will be labeled in the brochure for classes on nutrition and exercise at the community center. The classes at the community center will be the primary component of the plan. The meetings will be designed to help individuals learn how they can positively impact their own health through proper nutrition and exercise.
The people who sign up for the classes at the community center will be going to an initial session which details the dangers of diabetes to their community specifically, and discuss ways that it can be prevented. There will be an option for people to go to a single session during which they are given the rudiments of a healthy eating plan and an exercise plan, or they can go to an extended class. The extended class will be two sessions for nutrition and two for diet. There will also be an introductory session during which a doctor will come an speak about the specific vulnerability that this community has to diabetes (Berry, 2004). After this introductory session, the first dietary session will be an introduction in which healthy foods and portions will be discussed, and the participants will be able to sign up for a time to see a registered dietician (this is the second diet section). After the group has finished the first three sessions, they will be given instruction on proper exercise, and methods that they can include it into their everyday lives. During this session the participants will be signed up for consultation with a fitness expert (the fifth session). There will actually need to be a sixth session of the program which will be used to wrap up the instruction and allow the participants to give feedback.
Implementing the plan will require the assistance of different community entities which will have to partner with the initiative. The community center has a registered dietician on staff, and it also has a workout area with fitness experts available. For this initial program there will be no cost to the participant, but there may be some cost if the participant wishes to continue to use the facility. One of the issues here is that many of the members of the community would be unable to afford a membership. Thus, a partnership will also have to be developed with area businesses to either help mitigate the cost or cover the whole thing. Since the center is within walking distance of all concerned, there will be no additional transportation needs.
This is a group which is largely unfamiliar with many of the new technologies. Therefore, the lecture will be conducted using traditional lecture…