Health Care Practitioners and Their Role in Improving Overall Health of People in Poor Countries Essay Sample
The underlying essay aims at presenting a detailed discussion on the health care practitioners and their role in improving the overall health of people in poor countries and poor people in rich countries. The health care practitioner is a wide term and includes various health care professionals like doctors, nurses, paramedics, and midwives. The area and dimension of health care practitioners are not only limited to health care professionals. It has been expanded and widened in the present years and also includes health care institutions and health care facilities like hospitals, clinics, primary care centers, etc.
The health care practitioners are regulated by national or state-regulated authorities in every country in order to govern and regulate the functions, responsibilities, and duties of health care practitioners (Australian Catholic University. 2012). The health care practitioners assume a legal and ethical duty to promote the health and well-being of individuals. In this context, various codes of ethics, professional code of conduct, etc are formulated and health care professionals are expected to adhere and follow such code of conduct in order to make them committed and dedicated towards health and well-being of people.
How can individual health care practitioners such as paramedics, nurses and midwives, and various professional organizations, work to improve the overall health of people in poor countries and poor people in rich countries?
Under this part, the writing factors from Willis have been used and discussed under the heading ‘sociological imagination template’. The two factors used selected and used for discussion purposes are structural factors and critical factors. The concerned topic has been discussed in light of four factors-historical factors, critical factors, cultural factors, and structural factors. In simple terms, the role of health care practitioners is classified under the two headings:
1) Historical factors
The roles played by health care practitioners under structural factors are described below:
Performing health assessment
This is the first and foremost role performed by health care practitioners. It is worth mentioning that improved health can be enjoyed by people by having detailed knowledge and awareness regarding their health. In other words, it is extremely significant for people to know and understand their medical history before paving the path of enjoying improved health. This task is being facilitated by health care practitioners to a considerable extent. This role of the health care practitioners stems from the fact that doctors and nurses are not only responsible for treating and handling medicinal problems of people. Rather, health care practitioners are also entrusted with the responsibility of assessing and performing health assessments of the people in order to guide them with the manner of living a healthy and improved lifestyle (Eckermann, Dowd, Chong, Nixon, Gray & Johnson 2010).
2) Culture factors
This is the second role that assumes significant importance in the present world on account of the increase in health awareness and consciousness among people across the world. In simple terms, people across the world are becoming highly aware of health concerns and issues in order to live a healthy lifestyle and improved living. Such consciousness and awareness among people also necessitated health care practitioners to help people in living a healthy and improved lifestyle. However, there are certain poor countries where people hold less awareness regarding health consciousness and the significance of improving overall health. The same situation also prevails in the case of poor people in rich countries (Berzoff & Silverman 2004).
It has been identified that poor people in rich countries and poor people in poor countries hold very minimal knowledge regarding manners and ways through which their health can be improved. In light of this, it has been outlined that health care professionals are required to educate and advocate poor people in rich countries and poor people in poor countries regarding the manner and ways of improving health. The role of education and advocacy of health care professionals deals with providing counseling, guidance, and direction to the people (Berzoff & Silverman 2004).
3) Critical factors
Safeguarding poor people
This role of health care practitioners throws light on the safeguarding and preventing poor people from any kind of health harm and abuse. This role has received a dramatic shift in recent years and ascertained that health care practitioners are not only supposed to prevent people from harm and abuse rather also empowering them to respond to such harm and abuse. In other words, the role of health care practitioners is concerned with preventing, responding, and empowering poor people from harm and abuse (Berzoff & Silverman 2004).
4) Structural factors
Treatment & other management
This is the most evident and obvious role of health care practitioners in treating people illness, diseases, and ensuring that people living in good health conditions. As the name indicates, treatment refers to providing medical treatment to the poor people for allowing them to recover from medical problems and severe diseases. This role of health care practitioners is quite wide and includes a wide range of services like performing medical treatment of the people, providing them with the necessary medicines, assisting and helping them in various manners to enable them to have improved health (Roberts & Priest 2010).
Referrals and collaborations
This is another role of health care practitioners discovered and ascertained in the process of improving the health of poor people in rich and poor countries. The referrals and collaboration in the context of the health care field deal with providing supporting services necessary for people to live and enjoy a healthy life. It has been identified that rich people can easily manage and experience less need for referrals and collaboration services. As compared to it, poor people search and look for referrals and collaboration services as such services are cost-effective and help them to improve their health easily and accessibly (Berzoff & Silverman 2004).
The reading named “Living with Dying: A Handbook for End-of-life Healthcare Practitioners’ by Berzoff & Silverman (2004) played a significant role in expanding my knowledge on the concerned topic. The manner how the reading has helped me in expanding my knowledge is provided below in relation to the factors of the sociological imagination template (Berzoff & Silverman 2004).
1) Historical factors
Performing health assessment
Under this role, I have identified that health care practitioners are required to perform a complete health assessment of the individual. The complete health assessment here refers to provide a complete medical history of the individual regarding his past illnesses, social history, family history, medical issues, etc. I came to know that all such detailed assessment is necessary in order to examine the physical condition of the individual adequately and deeply. This role of health care practitioners enables people to determine health disorders at the initial stage (Fraser & Matthews 2007).
2) Culture factors
I have learned from the reading that that poor people in poor countries and rich countries pose very limited knowledge regarding health care issues due to lack of resources and accessibility over health care knowledge. As a result, such people are more prone to health diseases and disorders as compared to other people having resources and accessibility over information regarding health care aspects. In this context, it is pertinent for health care practitioners to provide counseling and direction to the vulnerable people regarding health care aspects (Fraser & Matthews 2007). It is worth mentioning that health care practitioners should provide counseling on health care issues normally faced by poor people in rich and poor countries like birth control, heredity diseases, and other health care issues (Fraser & Matthews 2007).
3) Critical factors
Safeguarding poor people
The reading provided me insight that this role of health care practitioners stems from the fact that it is necessary to live a life free from any kind of harm and abuse. This is the fundamental right of every category of people to live a life free from harm and abuse (Penzer & Ersser 2010). Apart from it, life from harm and abuse is also considered an essential requirement of living a healthy and well-being life. This perception holds true for every category of people whether rich or poor people in rich or poor countries. However, the significance of this role increases in the case of poor people due to a lack of adequate resources, facilities, and approaches(Penzer & Ersser 2010).
4) Structural factors
Treatment & other management
I have researched that the overall health of people is improved in many manners as treatment entails a wide range of activities and functions performed by health care practitioners. In detailed terms, health care practitioners provide screening, primary health care, early intervention, counseling, appropriate immunizations, monitoring and caring of chronic illness, provision of diagnosis, medical treatment, advice and suggestion on self-care and prevention, maintaining and providing medical record as and when necessary, etc (Penzer & Ersser 2010).
Referrals and collaboration
I have noticed that referrals and collaboration services in the context of poor people include assisting them in discharge planning, follow-up services, home care services, etc. It has been identified that poor people usually face difficulty in discharging and follow up activities due to lack of adequate knowledge and understanding. It is worth mentioning that proper discharging; home care services and follow up activities need to be accomplished properly in order to deliver the best possible health-related outcomes and results to people. In this context, it is said that the duly accomplishment of referrals and collaboration paves the path of improving the health of poor people as it allows such people to avail a comprehensive set of health care services (Penzer & Ersser 2010).
Step 4: Answering the question
Health assessments done by health care practitioners prove beneficial in avoiding complications and recovering severe health problems at the initial possible stage (Germov 2014). This is evident as knowledge of health disorders at the initial possible stage improves the chance that health disorders are corrected as early as possible before it turns into further complications. The early detection and assessment of health disorders provide people with the chance and opportunity to improve their future life by correcting and treating identified disorders. The research studies in the medical world reveal that people are prone to vulnerable and poor health due to their unawareness regarding health disorders and disease symptoms. It is said that the earliest possible knowledge regarding health disorders improves the possibility that people live a healthy and improved lifestyle.
In the present time, it is also believed that health care practitioners are not only expected to counsel and direct poor people regarding health care issues in poor and rich countries but are also expected to assist and help people in availing health care systems. In detailed terms, the health care system is appearing and proving quite complex for poor people therefore deter them from availing services of the health care system. It is considered as a moral and ethical obligation on the part of health care practitioners to assist and facilitate poor people in understanding complex health care systems and availing desirable health care services. The complexities in the health care system often lead poor people to prevent obtaining the best possible health care in a cost-effective manner (Penzer & Ersser 2010).
The health care system also proves costly and expeditious mechanisms for poor people and deters them from improving their health aspects. The health care practitioners assist, help, and facilitate poor people in understanding and navigating through the complex health care system. Besides, health care practitioners also ensure that poor people avail health care services in a cost-effective manner creating less cost burden on them (Brown, Esdaile & Ryan 2003). In other words, providing poor people with the best possible health care services at the least possible cost is the major role of health care practitioners.
In this context, health care practitioners work on a multi-agency partnership framework for safeguarding poor people and facilitate them in improving their health. This framework works on the assumption that life free from health harms and abuses paves the path of living and improving the health of poor people. In this regard, a diagrammatic presentation of the multi-agency partnership framework has also been formulated and presented below:
(Source: O’Reilly 2010)
The analysis of the framework showed that health care practitioners provide high-quality care to poor people in order to prevent them from health abuse and harm. In other words, the saying ‘Prevention is better than cure’ is adopted and followed to the maximum possible extent (O’Reilly 2010). For this purpose, high-quality health care is provided to poor people in order to make their lives free from health harms and abuse. However, it is not always possible to prevent poor people from health harm and abuse. Sometimes, people lead and forced to face health harms and abuse on account of several factors that are beyond control.
In that situation, health care practitioners are required to deal with health harms and abuse by providing the best possible health care treatments to poor people. In other words, health care practitioners also assist poor people in responding and dealing with health harms and abuse. The role of health care practitioners does not end with preventing poor people and allowing them to respond to health harms and abuse. Rather, health care practitioners also provide necessary learning and teachings to poor people for protecting their lives from health harms and abuse (Timmins 2012).It is believed that learning and teachings act as a preparatory tool for poor people in dealing with cases of health harms and abuse. In simple terms, proper learning and teachings among poor people facilitate and serve poor people in dealing future cases of health harms and abuse more effectively and attentively (Penzer & Ersser 2010).
Furthermore, the dimension of treatment by health care practitioners is not only limited and provided with the purpose of recovering health of people. It is believed that health care practitioners should strive towards improving health of people specifically those of poor people residing in rich and poor countries. Although health care practitioners provide best possible treatment to poor people, yet there is need of going beyond merely providing treatment. In simple terms, treatment is provided for curing and recovering people from existing state of illness and disease. Besides helping people in recovering from existing illness and disease, it is also desirable on the part of health care practitioners to consistently demonstrate caring perspective to people.
The term caring perspective here refers to leading people towards improving their existing health and living conditions. It can be understood in the manner that health care practitioners need to provide necessary guidance and suggestion to the people for improving their health (Zarconi, Pethtel & Missimi 2008). For this purpose, health care practitioners can also employ various strategies and tools for managing health aspects of people. Such management include interacting with people, identifying health disorders, rendering effective counselling interventions, etc. All such activities will lead people to develop the perception that health care practitioners are really caring and concerned for their health. As a result, health care practitioners will also succeed in improving health of people as above mentioned activities will surely enlighten knowledge and awareness of people regarding health issues and aspects.
The Graduate attribute appeared most relevant to me is to think critically and reflectively. The answering this module question has provided adequate opportunity to develop this graduate attributes. I have improved my knowledge on the basis of above discussion that health care practitioners such as paramedics, nurses, doctors and midwives are expected to play significant role in fostering and improving health of people. The role of health care practitioners has widened and expanded in various terms in present years (Penzer & Ersser 2010).
It can be concluded that key role of health care practitioners is to foster continuous care to the individuals and their family members throughout their lifetime. The knowledge and ability of health care practitioners enable them to provide best possible treatment to the patients. However, this role of rendering best possible treatment and health care services to the people has undergone significance changes in present time. In present years, health care practitioners are expected to perform role of counselling, referral, educating, advocating, safeguarding, etc. All such roles are outlined and developed in light of the fact that health care practitioners should go a long way in fostering improved health to the people (Penzer & Ersser 2010).
Australian Catholic University. 2012. ACU study guide: Skills for success. North Sydney, NSW. Pearson Australia.
Berzoff, J., & Silverman, P.R. 2004. Living with Dying: A Handbook for End-of-life Healthcare Practitioners. Columbia University Press.
Brown, G., Esdaile, S.A. & Ryan, S.E. 2003. Becoming an Advanced Healthcare Practitioner. Butterworth-Heinemann.
Eckermann, A-K., Dowd, T., Chong, E., Nixon, L., Gray, R., & Johnson, S. 2010. Binan goonj: Bridging cultures in Aboriginal health (3rd ed.). Sydney: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier Australia. (Available as an eBook).
Fraser, S. & Matthews, S. 2007. The Critical Practitioner in Social Work and Health Care. SAGE.
Germov, J. (Ed.). 2014. Second opinion: An introduction to health sociology (5th ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University.
O’Reilly, P. 2010. Health Care Practitioners: An Ontario Case Study in Policy Making. University of Toronto Press.
Penzer, R. & Ersser, S. 2010. Principles of Skin Care: A Guide for Nurses and Health Care Practitioners. John Wiley & Sons.
Roberts, P. & Priest, H. 2010. Healthcare Research: A Handbook for Students and Practitioners. John Wiley & Sons.
Timmins, S. 2012. My Health, My Faith, My Culture: A Guide for Healthcare Practitioners. M&K Update Ltd.
Zarconi, J., Pethtel, L.L. & Missimi, S.A. 2008. Narrative in Health Care: Healing Patients, Practitioners, Profession, and Community. Radcliffe Publishing.