The problem of hypertension, which affects the elderly, is relevant in my community. Age-related changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure cause an increase in pulse pressure and lead to hypertension in older people (Musso, Jauregui, Macías-Núñez, & Covic, 2019). Patients over the age of 65 suffering from hypertension might be divided into three categories based on their function and different targets of blood pressure control. Independent patients with lower blood pressure and good tolerance of antihypertensive medication are able to live individually in a community. Partially-dependent patients with moderate cases of hypertension and increased side effects of medication require assisted living in a community. The most complicated category includes dependent care home residents with limited life expectancy and severe risks of pharmacologic side effects and complications.
In both independent and partially-dependent patient groups, the focus of public healthcare systems should be on the reduction of cardiovascular risk factors, while in the dependent group, the maintenance of the quality of life should be the priority of treatment (Musso et al., 2019). Therefore, the combination of pharmacologic blood pressure reduction therapy and appropriate medical assistance in communities might be effective for mitigating the scope of the problem by achieving the positive outcomes of cardiovascular disease prevention in independent and partially-dependent patients and improved quality of life in dependent patients.
It is the obligation of public healthcare professionals to improve the health of individual patients and public health through the implementation of standard procedures (Curley, 2020). However, in order to make meaningful decisions at the community level, healthcare specialists, including population-based nurses, should be allowed to contribute to the development of a comprehensive healthcare plan to tackle the problem of hypertension in older patients. Public health would serve as an instrument for combining the efforts of community members to spread the awareness about hypertension and the output of medical personnel working with different groups of patients affected by the condition.
Truglio-Londrigan & Lewenson (2018) give an instance of a nurse practitioner who enlisted an interprofessional approach to provide care for an 87-year-old man with hypertension (p. 286). The nurse practitioner presented the man with the options and resources available at the long-term care facility and the local community and also requested the help of a gastrointestinal specialist to stabilize the patient’s weight. With the focus on the quality of care, the nurse practitioner was able to achieve a positive outcome and set an example of a proper medical practice while also contributed to overall public health. It might be seen from the example above that public health is essential to the well-being of the community. There are many elderly people in my community, including my grandparents, who are at risk of cardiovascular disease caused by hypertension. Thus, it is the duty of public health systems to ensure the well-being of the community through cooperative action between healthcare specialists and community members because public health is the foundation of a healthy community.
Public health, according to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, “protects and improves the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (Truglio-Londrigan & Lewenson, 2018, p. 5). The definition determines the role of public health not only in the well-being of individuals but also for communities and populations, members of which have similar health conditions. For example, after Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast, healthcare professionals cared for survivors who suffered from physical and emotional traumas while surveying patients’ experiences during the disaster (Truglio-Londrigan & Lewenson, 2018). The outcomes of the research provided public healthcare officials with important guidelines for future action in case of a disaster demonstrating how individuals, communities, and populations have common health concerns under certain circumstances. Public health nursing can be defined as a practice concerned with “population health through continuous surveillance and assessment of the multiple determinants of health with the intent to promote health and wellness; prevent disease, disability, and premature death; and improve neighborhood quality of life” (Truglio-Londrigan & Lewenson, 2018, p. 10). Therefore, public health nursing is closely related to public health and is responsible for its maintenance.
Curley, A. L. (2020). Population-based nursing: Concepts and competencies for advanced practice (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
Musso, C. G., Jauregui, J. R., Macías-Núñez, J. F., & Covic, A. (Eds.). (2019). Clinical nephrogeriatrics: An evidence-based guide. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Truglio-Londrigan, M. & Lewenson, S. B. (Eds.). (2018). Public health nursing: Practicing population-based care (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.