There are many factors in society that have both a direct and indirect influence on the competencies that our student nurses and colleagues need to attain to provide competent evidenced based care. Nursing has a social duty to ensure positive patient care outcomes and contribute to society through knowledge based care. The first step that this author think that we must do as nurse educators in order to have a role in this duty is assess the society for changes that are occurring that we must prepare our students to effectively deal with from a knowledge based standpoint with fellow humans as the main focus (McCurry, Revell & Roy 2010). We as nurse educators and nurses must question existing care practices, try out innovative measures and participate in research for the common good of our society and patients (McCurry et al. 2010) After analyzing society for changes that have occurred in the last five years the following are the two changes that this author thinks should affect our profession’s educational experiences of nursing students as well as practicing registered nurses including: obesity and smoking cessation.
If anyone in society was to read a newspaper, article or watch the television then they would be likely to hear or see someone talking about the epidemic of obesity whether directly or indirectly. There is a lot of focus on reducing obesity or preventing obesity through keeping weight under control to avoid chronic preventable diseases (Poon & Tarrant). Obesity is a medical condition where there is excess accumulation of body fat that has the potential to cause adverse health effects and diseases including: diabetes, renal insufficiency, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and certain cancers (Poon & Tarrant 2009). Obesity is classified as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of greater than 30.0 (Poon & Tarrant 2009).
Obesity is one of the leading preventable causes of death worldwide and its related cost “reached 147 billion dollars or 10 % of the total medical spending according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)” (Case Management Advisor 2010 p.13). According to the CDC the number of adults that are obese had more than doubled in the last quarter century to 35% of adults. Without effective preventative and reduction measures and emphasis by providers of healthcare theses numbers will continue to rise (Case Management Advisor 2010). Obese patients also face psychological problems which is a result of the prejudice and discrimination they face from other individuals including health care providers not excluding nurses (Poon & Tarrant 2009). In this author’s opinion this obesity epidemic should affect and be included in the content matter and learning experiences of student nurses and practicing nurses to ensure that nurses are a support not a detriment to the patients’ reduction of obesity.
Another change and refocus that has occurred in society that should affect what we teach and emphasis in...