Public Health Assessment Essay

1173 words - 5 pages

The purpose of this essay is to define public health and compare it to personal health, also a discussion of benefits and disadvantages of public health. The following questions will also be answered: What are the benefits of public health assessments? What are the disadvantages, if any? Give an example of a potential conflict within the community that could arise as a result of public health assessments. How can public health advocates and policy makers prevent and/or manage such a conflict? How can public health assessments be used to form public policy? Additionally, this paper will debate the how the community has or will be affected by the smoking in public places laws.

Definition and comparison
According to Schneider (2006) public health is defined as the focus on maintaining the health of a community. Personal health is individualized for each person. Every individual has a free will to make their own choices when it comes to diet, exercise, sexual preferences, smoking, and family and health matters. All of these choices affect the outcome of personal health, whereas the study of a combined group or community on any one subset or commonality within this group can become a public health education or crisis.
“Promoting public health requires activating health-enhancing communicative behaviors (such as interpersonal advocacy and mutual responsibility taking) in addition to individual behavioral change. To facilitate such communicative behaviors, it is imperative to first construct a new discursive environment in which to think and talk about health in a language of interdependence and collective efforts” (Ye, 2014). The use and importance of health assessments are deemed necessary in identifying and formulating a plan for change of deficiencies in health and for evaluation, modification and follow-up. Every ten years the government conducts a census to gather data concerning all citizens of the United States. When recalling completing the census for 2010; there were many questions on health and smoking. It left a question as to how this data would be used. In more recent times there has appeared to be an increase in surveys from medical, corporations, and sales. All of the data gathered is used to assess how they are doing and are needs being met, the same is true for health assessments.

Disadvantages and Benefits
One of the big disadvantages is the potential for misuse of the information. An example of misuse is the Breach of HIPAA policies. While working in the military health environment in Spain, there were many times that someone I knew socially was a patient in the clinic. One such encounter netted a good friend’s whose husband was treated for an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) and was prompted to notify all his sexual partners. His wife did not come in for a visit; which caused a moral dilemma, questioning what to do; I spoke with the treating physician and voiced my concerns. The...

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