In caring for patients, the health-illness continuum helps healthcare professionals assess the level of wellness and associated risks of patients. The model is such that the illnesses and health elements are represented on different sides of the system enabling easier identification of healthcare needs. Such an arrangement allows assessing individual risk factors for certain diseases based on elements such as age, location, socioeconomic condition, and cultural affiliations.
Considering the health-illness continuum in patient care, especially in risk assessment, also allows categorization of high and low risks leading to better treatment outcomes. Nurses using the health-illness continuum can easily identify the wellness states of patients based on their position within the paradigm. Subsequently, nurses can easily determine patient awareness and growth on the side, which informs wellness. On the opposite, nurses can assess signs, symptoms, and disability and determine appropriate treatment options (Kaushik, 2018).
As a healthcare provider, understanding the health-illness continuum assists in association with the patients of diverse settings. For instance, based on age, I can determine the feelings and conditions of a patient at any time of the day using the health-illness continuum model. Older patients may easily develop sickness to deteriorating states even after sessions of extreme wellness. Understanding the paradigm shift, therefore, assists in meeting the aging patients’ healthcare needs.
It is also dignifying if patients feel that their healthcare providers understand their needs. The health-illness continuum offers an excellent opportunity to discern patient needs before engaging them in a diagnosing process. Subsequently, the patients feel valued by their healthcare provider, making it easier to administer treatment options. Therefore, patients’ dignity and value or persons presenting for treatment are enhanced in terms of understanding if the healthcare providers adopt the health-illness continuum model.
The model makes it easier to assess patients’ needs and advance appropriate treatment needs, whether physical or mental, helping promote their confidence in their healthcare providers. Furthermore, it encourages a nurse to study the key patterns in the disease development in a specific patient, thus gaining insight into the nature of the health issue and the unique, patient-specific strategies that can be used to address it. Namely, therapy approaches geared toward motivating the patient to learn more about eh disorder and seek ways of managing it and preventing it from developing in the future can be embraced with the help of the illness continuum model.
I currently fall in the treatment paradigm on the left side of the health-illness continuum (Koutoukidis et al., 2011). Some of the behaviors contributing to such a paradigm shift include long sitting hours while working, boredom, financial distress, and other social factors. I do not also get enough sleep, which ultimately drains my understanding in class and amongst my peers. These behaviors have subsequently detracted from my wellness leading to a need for treatment.
Namely, the failure to get enough sleep has prompted the development of fatigue and the failure to perform complex tasks requiring a mental effort, such as memorizing a specific piece of information or calculating to solve a problem. The described symptoms have affected not only my workplace performance but also my relationships with the people around me, particularly, my family members. I currently find it challenging to concentrate in class and am comfortable in accomplishing my previously favorite chores.
My condition manifests exhaustion and depression, which requires urgent treatment. As indicated by the health-illness, depression and burnout are serious symptoms that may ultimately cause premature death and need handling carefully. Indeed, the existing studies point out that the presence of burnout is most likely to cause depression, which, in turn, will affect one’s mental health drastically.
Defined as the presence of a “depressed mood (DM) or anhedonia (loss of interest or pleasure- LI).” “appetite or weight changes (AW), sleep difficulties (insomnia or hypersomnia), psychomotor agitation or retardation (PAR), fatigue or loss of energy (FE),” depression is typically seen as a serious condition that may lead to suicidal ideations (Tolentino & Schmidt, 2018, p. 1). Therefore, searching for healthcare assistance and locating treatment options must be considered vital steps presently.
In shifting to the wellness paradigm from my depression and burnout condition, I would need to seek a healthcare providers’ assistance. Specifically, it will be crucial to search for the support of a nurse educator to increase my health literacy rates and learn more about my condition, including the factors that cause and aggravate it, as well as those that allow for recovery. Apart from detailed guidelines and clarifications, a nurse educator will also point me toward useful resources, such as the literature on depression and burnout. Most importantly, I will immediately need to begin physical activity, including running or a subscription to a gym.
Exercise is important in managing body distress, including metal drain and other underlying physical complications. Besides exercising, I will need to reduce my workload, allowing growth and awareness of the current state. Long hours of work increase the chances of burnout, and it is essential to operate within recommended timelines. I will also need to sleep adequately, which I lacked previously and could have contributed to my deteriorating health.
Kaushik, A. (2018). Quick Review Series For B. Sc. Nursing: 1st Year – E-Book.
Koutoukidis, G., Hughson, J., Funnell, R., & Lawrence, K. (2011). Tabbner’s Nursing Care-E-Book: Theory and Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Tolentino, J. C., & Schmidt, S. L. (2018). DSM-5 criteria and depression severity: implications for clinical practice. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9(450), pp. 1-9. Web.