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What Health Literacy Means to Patients and NursesArticle Critique

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¶ … Health Literacy)

Nursing is one field that borrows many structures and understanding of literacy levels in any society. The basis and the level of health literacy among nurses are essential towards delivering the best service to the people. From an individual perspective, literacy in health is crucial in prescription, diagnosis, monitoring, evaluation, and assessment of the status of health at any level. Therefore, health literacy plays a critical role in shaping my present and future levels of performance as a nurse. In essence, a literate patient plays a role in this case by creating an ample environment for interaction with the nurse because they have some knowledge about their health. It makes it easy for a nurse to administer his duty and service. It makes it easy for a nurse to embrace the processes and crucial procedures that go towards providing a healthy, effective and sustainable health service. In essence, the status of health can be succinctly predicted with the use of health literacy more than it can be predicted by use of other variables like age, economy, and ethnic foundations of an individual. This suggests that health literacy plays a crucial role in assisting me as a nurse to have a better view of the status of health irrespective of the age and economic status of the people. Concisely, health literacy is crucial in the formulation, implementation, assessment, improvement, and sustenance of the status of health by nurses and all other health stakeholders in the world.

a) Significance of Concept to Presenter

As a nurse, I consider it imperative for nurses to have an effective response to the urge to create a healthy society by taking an active role in promoting health literacy. With knowledge and base of health literacy, I can understand the basis of research, promotion, and education of the patients' literacy. As obligated by the nursing ethics and professionalism, I am supposed to communicate with clarity and purpose to the patients while addressing their needs. When they are acquainted with some knowledge about their health, this process will be the easiest for me. In fact, the delivery of the best service will not be an option but a reality. Health literacy enables all nurses to adhere to the evidence-based structures of promoting good health in patients. The power of health literacy among patients will enable nurses to acquire, understand, and embrace the information needed in providing quality health services as expected of them. Moreover, health literacy plays a crucial role in outlining the basis from which nurses can serve the patients with in-depth understanding. With health literacy, nurses can embrace their numeracy, comprehension, and cognitive skills in the delivery of their mandate.

b) Significance of Concept to profession

The concept of heath literacy is fundamental to the profession of health. The profession is built by the structures involving information and research, which all require the paradigms of health literacy among all the participants. The concept of health literacy plays the key role in promoting the delivery of health services at any point in the field of nursing. It promotes effectiveness and reliability of the services offered, which go directly to promoting the standards of good health in the society. When the patients and the nurses have high standards of health literacy, cases of misunderstanding or experiencing the challenge of being a victim to shallow expression and ineffective diagnosis will be eradicated. The field of research benefits regarding quality research, education, and embraces of the right procedures for training, examination and practice. The field will promote the development of definitions that engender all aspects of health delivery. This delivery process will ensure that new measures are developed for a better service delivery. In the end, the status of health outcome will rise. With satisfactory health literacy levels, nurses will be effectively compliant to the course of health provision and development. They will not experience any hindrance regarding lower levels of literacy. Client compliance comes with readiness, effectiveness, and competence to fall within the right paradigms of course that leads to a derived better and prospectus health standard.

c) Purpose of Analysis

Health literacy is an imperative feature in the provision of health. The heart of health provision is directed to good human health. Health literacy is aimed at providing better health services that will promote the general health status of the people and the society as a whole. In essence, health literacy gives people the power to act with appropriateness towards the new and challenging issues related to health using the best and advanced social and cognitive skills. In doing this, the status of health maintenance will be tackled by both the health institutions and the patients. In fact, literacy offers ways through which patients can assess the numeracy skills, comprehension skills, and their general competency. The knowledge also extends to include accessing and using information when making decisions relating to their health as successful health consumers. With high standards of health literacy, the segment of health provision and sustenance benefits from lowered costs of health provision, increased self-reported status of health, increased knowledge on health, minimized hospitalizations, and minimized usage of the healthcare services, most of which are also effective to the general human health. When the people access such knowledge, they will be able to promote individual and social health. Patient responses are critical in that they enable the nurses to deliver the best and appropriate health services.

II. History

a. History of concept in nursing.

The history of literacy can be traced back to the time of shift from the oral culture to the written culture practiced by the early Egyptians and Greeks. Health literacy emerged in the 20th century's last ten years. In the 1980s and 1990s, many efforts were put into trying to establish literacy skills in the health sector, encompassing both the patients and the participants of the health facilities. The basis for these strategies was to develop a skill of comprehension by the patients and promote research in the health facilities. Various studies conducted proved that there was a difficulty among the patients to comprehend the health education materials. In most cases, patients had to be taken through the skills of comprehension and understanding to cope with the materials availed to them as part of the programs of health provision. Because of the illiteracy that was viewed by the patients, further literature emanated trying to establish this concept and link strategic measures to the future solutions that could be offered by the current education systems and the health facility personnel.

These research studies made use of traditional measures of education of literacy like word recognition and comprehension. No research took up health literacy as a unique matter that deserved more in-depth research and analysis. Moreover, no single study was done with intent to bring a practical solution by deriving the cause for the inability to read and hence developing a basic computable health-related procedure to be used for offering medical services. The term 'health literacy' was only used in 1974 in a study that was calling for a threshold education standards for every grade school in the United States of America. A research was conducted to determine the ability of the participants to work effectively on basic reading and numeracy activities that were of subtle importance on offering medical services. Further researchers had begun at this time, tackling issues to do with literacy skills among adults and all people purported to be probable participants in the offering of medical services (Speros, 2005).

b. Presenter's beliefs about the concept

Before reading this literature, the concepts of health literacy were shallow in understanding and comprehension. I believed that just like illiteracy that has rocked the world; health literacy could be managed through normal programs of education. I believed that provision of health services could not be hindered by the prospect of participants being short of the comprehension and numeracy skills. Nonetheless, this is what the literature has explored and brought out in detail. I was not conversant with the necessity of health literacy in health provision. Before reading the article, I had assumed that the challenge of literacy education can be managed as long as the health providers are literate themselves.

c. Thoughts about author's definitions.

The definitions of literacy in both the patients and the nurses have fostered my understanding and application of the literacy of health. I agree with the definitions because they are in line with my understanding of the same. The diverse use of sources related to the definition shows the commitment to ensuring the audience could appreciate the broad nature of health literacy from both the patients and the nurses' perspectives. I am impressed by the explorative tactics used especially on the practicality of the concept in the society today and build a definition that captures all the practical aspects of the concept. However, I am a little bit skeptical about the author's knowledge in this concept because he has not provided succinct explanations beyond… [END OF PREVIEW]

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