Disease prevention is closely associated with health promotion. To prevent various ailments, healthcare workers must promote healthy activities among the public. But what do “disease prevention” and “health promotion” actually entail, and how have they changed since the COVID-19 pandemic?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “disease prevention, understood as specific, population-based and individual-based interventions for primary and secondary (early detection) prevention,” aims “to minimize the burden of diseases and associated risk factors.”
The WHO also defines health promotion as “the process of empowering people to increase control over their health and its determinants through health literacy efforts and multisectoral action to increase healthy behaviors.”
In a sense, health promotion is the awareness or word-of-mouth approach to prevention, and disease prevention is when actions start being implemented within communities. Healthcare requires both tactics to promote a better image of wellness locally, regionally, nationally and globally.
Health promotion and disease prevention have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic. The severity of the virus and the threat it posed became of utmost concern, particularly among immunocompromised individuals.
A main priority for healthcare professionals is ensuring people are safe from possible threats or transmission of diseases. However, before the pandemic, many healthcare professionals only focused on “sick care” rather than health promotion and prevention. “COVID-19 has changed the narrative of wellness within diverse facilities,” explains Oliver Wyman.
The pandemic altered how individuals think about their health and the possible decline in wellness brought on by non-communicable diseases (NCDs). People now realize they can change the projection of their health and have since taken measures to screen for NCDs, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Another consideration is the health and safety of workers. To ensure the protection of all employees during the pandemic, many companies switched to work-from-home formats that relied heavily on technology to communicate with their employees. These companies still have these or similar arrangements in place to help those more vulnerable to diseases.
Additionally, remote work formats made it easier for individuals to exercise and eat healthier. They do not have to leave commute to and from work, so they have more time to participate in healthy behaviors. Now that communities have become aware of health promotion and disease prevention, they will continue to follow guidelines implemented for their protection.
Today’s World: A Focus on Wellness
More facilities are switching to a holistic approach to create a better state of healthcare based on overall wellness. As a result, patients can heal themselves through mental, physical, spiritual and emotional methods before utilizing interventions like prescription medications.
Oliver Wyman expands this approach, saying, “The way forward for health promotion involves a whole-person approach that is targeted, personalized and tailored to interventions for individuals and communities. This seamless approach integrates a wide range of physical and digital platforms for all.”
With individualized care that focuses on all aspects of the individual-yet-whole person, patients can regain the wellness they deserve. As technology advances in the healthcare world, patients will also find it easier to connect with healthcare professionals to better prioritize their health and well-being.
Create a Successful Nursing Practice With a Master’s Degree
One way to foster a successful career as a nurse professional is to further your education and earn your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Graduates of the online MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner program at St. Thomas University will be prepared to be successful primary care providers knowledgeable in health promotion, illness prevention, diagnosis management and community health.
Students will focus on various skills in health promotion and disease prevention, which have always affected communities but are especially pertinent after the pandemic. This intensive program allows participating students to integrate clinical prevention and health promotion strategies to maintain optimal health and improve patient outcomes.
For example, the Health Promotion & Disease Prevention course covers the basics of prevention assessments and strategies to promote overall wellness in patients. In the Diversity in Advanced Health Practice course, students investigate the complexities of health service delivery to diverse populations using models to provide a deeper understanding.
Each future graduate will obtain the knowledge and skills required to enter influential roles, such as nurse practitioner, nurse practitioner supervisor, occupational medicine nurse practitioner, associate professor or family nurse practitioner. Students can complete this program in as few as 18 months, making the path to career success a viable option.
Learn more about St. Thomas University’s online MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner program.