The purpose of this paper is to answer key questions about the development of a health literacy program for children in a low-income urban area. The program is administered by the Yvonne Learning Center and will address the health needs of three groups of children aged between 3-7 years old, 8-14 years old, and 14-18 years old. Some of the primary goals include increasing knowledge of the children about their bodies, promoting higher hygienic standards and good health habits, and improving self-sufficiency and self-learning among the target populations.
Why is Information on Health Literacy Essential for this Group?
Childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood are the most important periods of a person’s life. Health decisions made by individuals during the process of growing up may affect them for the rest of their lives (Edelman, 2014). For example, childhood obesity influenced by poor eating habits and a lack of exercise will have consequences and cause early heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, and many other associated illnesses that would significantly increase risks of early death or disability (Edelman, 2014).
A lack of basic hygiene habits taught in the first seven years of life will result in greater exposure to various diseases associated with poor sanitary conditions. All of these threats are especially dangerous to low-income families, who do not have access to appropriate healthcare coverage (Edelman, 2014). Increasing health literacy would help reduce the incidence and morbidity of many diseases found in low-income children, adolescents, and young adults.
What is the Initial Step You Would Take Before Designing the Program?
The initial step to take before designing the health literacy program is to pick the appropriate nursing theory to use as a framework. The chosen nursing theory is supposed to address the goals of the program and provide important practical and ethical considerations on to base the work. Since the goals of this task, as mentioned in the scenario summary, are the promotion of self-learning and self-sufficiency through the adoption of healthy habits and improved knowledge and understanding of the body, the appropriate framework for this program would be Orem’s self-care theory (Queiros, Vidihna, & Filho, 2014).
What Role/Function Would You Play at the beginning of the Assessment Phase?
The assessment phase is very important, as it is necessary to determine the sizes of groups, their socioeconomic status, their family status, health practices, and the level of knowledge they already possess. During this stage, I will take the role of a surveyor. I will perform community work, meet up with representatives of various groups and their families, and conduct interviews to assess the scope of the intervention. Identifying various challenges and gaps in knowledge would be my primary function.
What Role/Function Would You Play at the End of the Program?
After all the necessary information is gathered and assessed, my role would involve developing a health literacy program and introducing it to the population. Depending on the age of the group, it will involve physical demonstrations, verbal explanations, and the distribution of pamphlets containing information about health habits, eating habits, and bodily habits (Edelman, 2014). Programs would differ for each group. The program for young children would revolve around basic hygiene and health habits, whereas adolescents and young adults would benefit more from information about healthy eating, safe sex, sexually transmitted diseases, addictions, and ways of coping with stress and psychological trauma.
What Additional Resources Would be Needed to Implement this Program?
The project would require extra resources aside from the ones currently available. Cooperation with the local social services and Yvonne Learning Center is necessary to ensure all of the children are accounted for and educated appropriately. One person is not enough to provide coverage. In addition, printing the pamphlets and distributing them to families and children would solicit extra financial resources.
Edelman, C. (2014). Health promotion throughout the life span (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Queiros, P. J. P., Vidihna, T. S. S., & Filho, A. J. A. (2014). Self-care: Orem’s theoretical contribution to the nursing discipline and profession. Revista de Enfermagem Referencia, 4(3), 157-163.