Concept Of Health In Relation To The Nursing Discipline Essay

Length: 5 pages Sources: 7 Subject: Healthcare Type: Essay Paper: #96019323 Related Topics: World Health Organization, Health Promotion, Health And Wellness, Philosophy Of Nursing
Excerpt from Essay :

Health Concept

The Concept HEALTH Summarizing knowledge concept health identifying gaps knowledge. Based readings, literature find helpful, prepare a paper describes evaluates current level knowledge, approaches concept health significant discipline nursing

The Concept of Health

Many efforts have been put across towards achieving a common understanding on the concept of health (Roden & Jarvis, 2012). Despite these efforts, more profound controversies loom over achieving a desirable universal understanding on the concept of health (Nordenfelt, 1984). In the field of medicine, society's ethical concern and the public policy matters, the concept of health in indispensable (Jeffrey & Jennifer, 2000).

In the contemporary philosophical world, the concept of health focuses on the challenges of establishing the nature of an individual's condition from a scientific perspective (Irvine, 2007). The perspective omits the much desirable assessment of the basic state of affairs being desirable or undesirable. Other philosophical assessments dig dipper to describe not only the scientific facts but also the positive aspects such as the person's mental and body health perspectives (Roden & Jarvis, 2012).

It is apparent that the effort to come up with a definitive description of health is a challenge with World Health Organization (WHO) giving a rather broad definition. World Health Organization (1947), defines health a situation where there is physical, social and mental well-being and not necessary the disease and infirmity being absent. The definition above presents a rather desirable query as to the extent the terms used can be expanded or narrowed down to come up with concise and definitive understanding of the term health. Some scholars chose to redefine the term health completely ignoring the definition WHO gives while others choose to adopt the definition with some supplementation or without any alterations.


The idea that the different parts of the body have different function in the human's body presents a powerful notion that health comprises of a balance in bodily organs and functions. Therefore a healthy person is one who is in balance and therefore, the bodily organs are interlocking to undertake the different functions in a harmonious manner. This idea was first developed in 460 -- 380 BD schools of thought. The idea was popularized in the medieval period considering four bodily fluids (humors) blood, yellow bile, phlegm and black bile (Jeffrey & Jennifer, 2000).

The idea of body balance was also strong among a number of non-western societies. Example, the Yahurveda tradition -an Indian community-, declares an unhealthy situation as one where the humors acting in the body are in disequilibrium. The Yahurveda medical practices there are three humors acting in the human body. These humors include the breath, the phlegm (kapha) and the bile (pitta) (Singhal & Patterson, 1993). The proportions of the humors are dependent on an individual's lifestyle, their respective environment and their diet (Singhal & Patterson, 1993).

This paper discusses the ideas presented on the concept of health relating to the nursing practice identifying to interlocking and diverging views. It is the purpose of the paper to highlight the challenges in achieving a universally accepted description on the concept of health. With this assertion, the paper will highlight sufficient measures in understanding health and articulate means of incorporating a purposive way to achieve a healthy state.

Health Approaches Relevant to the Nursing Discipline

The concept of health is a well-known term in nursing, with authors arguing that health is pivotal to the philosophy of nursing (Irvine, 2007). It is apparent that the role of nursing in the concept of health is to deliver a holistic and life refreshing the measure to a person's health (Irvine, 2007). Traditional concept of health entails; promoting, preventing, restoring and containing diseases. In today's world, the concept focuses on behavioral, lifestyle and health education (Irvine, 2007). The new concept of health incorporates the traditional understanding of health attaching to the new paradigm encompassing of the social, political and economic perspectives (Irvine, 2007).

Health in relation to nursing practices, consider all stages in human life span incorporating individual perspectives, religious ties, modern world is to support the growth of the society through, supportive healthy environments, stronger community affiliations, finance-oriented public health policies and reoriented health service centers (Roden & Jarvis, 2012). Nurses undertake community empowerment to develop community-oriented social-political action in the modern world health concept (Roden & Jarvis, 2012).

The nursing discipline participates in health practices by applying the well learned knowledge of health and disease to determine an individual's wellness or illness (Irvine, 2007). In order to determine the differences in health and social clusters, nurses explore investigations on the individuals. Information ranging from background information and assessments on the present and past body condition on an individual provide the necessary information to determine the health scientifically. Nurse use a combination of the information and environmental factors to draw conclusions as to the individual health outcome.

Under the concept of health, nurses undertake the practice of identifying possible gaps in the society as far as health attainment is concerned. With these identifications, they give recommendations to policy as well as undertake health promoting activities. The concept of health highlights those aspects that are necessary towards attaining the desirable condition and capacitate those in the nursing profession ability to relate to the community around as well as educate them on health promotion measures. Nurses' awareness to the concept of health influences the early detection of potential outbreaks and calamities in human life (Irvine, 2007). This places measures to counteract potential generation wipe out by treating diseases early on detection and controlling their spread.

Critique of the Nursing and Related Literature on Health Concept

It is not an easy task to characterize the condition comprising health or well-being. Inclusion of too much variables in the concept of health encroaches on the risk of confusing one's happiness as a healthy situation. Exclusion of some variable on the other hand, presents a likely hood of obscuring potential determination of illness. The definition by WHO given earlier in this paper has been criticized for being too bold to articulate accurately sufficiently what health comprises. From the definition provided by WHO is possible to conclude that all individual languishing in poverty are unhealthy. The focus of modern measures of health has incorporated many other traits to lead to the conclusion that a majority of the world population are unhealthy (Whitehead, 2011).

For a body to be considered to be in a healthy state the body and mind need to be well in both function and order. The question that arises is the criteria for determining whether the mind or body is functioning well or the ideal measure for the proper functioning. Traditionally an individual's subjective assessment is the ultimate criterion. When a person feels great, then their body and mind is well Thus, they are health. Modern practices of medicine combine the traditional means with technologically advanced measures that accurately depict a person's health status. The determination of the individual wellness lies squarely on; the nurses' articulate undertaking of tests and inquisitions to provide links and conclusion as to probably wellness or illness of the individual.

The modern measures of health outcomes at times seem to disregard an individual's experience, and the nurses attending to patients run the risk of wrong diagnosis. An understanding of the health concept requires a mix balance of the medical and personal aspects in order to come up with an all inclusive determination of disease and illness (Roden & Jarvis, 2012). This will afford the nursing profession an ability to consider not only the negative aspect of health but also the positive aspects. The term health considers the whole implying the disease or ailment and the recipient. In this case, it is understood that focus on attaining a healthy condition should not focus on the disease alone rather, incorporate other factors relating to the patient and their environment. Critics of the medical notion on the concept of the health note that the patient and their prevailing environment are disregarded (Roden & Jarvis, 2012).

Lower class patients have less capable health facilities compared to upper-class patients (Whitehead, 2011). The argument presented by whitehead show the environment and social classes have a role to play in the influencing health. Additional to this disparity whitehead show that the old in the society are highly vulnerable to disease and illness owing to lack of proper care measures. These disparities play a critical aspect in determining health in the society and need to be incorporated into the health concept and determination of measures of achieving a healthy state.


There is the need for a holistic understanding of the concept of health not necessary as a universal terminology, but rather as a term that factors in various aspects relating to different social faculties. The nursing profession and the medical practitioners…

Sources Used in Documents:


Irvine, F. (2007). Examining the correspondence of theoretical and real interpretations of health promotion. Journal Of Clinical Nursing, 16(3), 593-602.

Jeffrey, D.M., & Jennifer, M.M. (2000). "Is Inequality Bad for Our Health?." Critical Review, 13(4), 359-372.

Nordenfelt, L. (1984). "Introduction," in Lennart Nordenfelt and B. Ingemar B. Lindahl (eds), Health, Disease, and Causal Explanations in Medicine (Dordrecht, 1984), p. xii.

Roden, J., & Jarvis, L. (2012). Evaluation of the health promotion activities of paediatric nurses: Is the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion a useful framework?. Contemporary Nurse:. A Journal For The Australian Nursing Profession, 41(2), 271-284.

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