Health Promotion Plan
In the case study presented, the school nurse practitioner is having difficulty reaching her adolescent patients due to the high controversy associated with the subjects such as sexual education, substance use prevention, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and pregnancy prevention. The nurse must first communicate with the parents about the benefits of early education and prevention regarding these subjects. The nurse can provide the parents with the information that she will be reinforcing in her teaching sessions with the students. Showing the parents her credentials and experience working with adolescents will establish trust and confidence with them by letting them know she is prepared to provide their children with the information they need. For those parents who wish not to pursue the teaching sessions offered by the nurse, she should recommend those parents to attend a teaching session with her, for just the parents. In these sessions, she can demonstrate and provide parents with important information about they can adequately answer all the concerns and questions their adolescent child might have. The nurse should respect the family member and adolescents’ wishes and adapt to their beliefs and opinions while providing both members with valuable information.
Eating Disorders Interventions
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Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorders are common in adolescents. Many risk factors can trigger eating disorders in adolescents, such as low self-esteem, trouble expressing emotions like anger and anxiety, being bullied or teased, significant family changes causing stress, peer pressure to behave a certain way, and medial advertising pressure showing images of the “ideal” unrealistic body size and shape (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2017). Recognizing the factors associated with adolescents developing eating disorders is the first step of intervention. Fostering a healthy relationship with food from an early age, such as avoiding food as a reward and not labeling “good” and “bad” foods, can prevent future eating disorders because the child does not feel guilty about eating (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2017). Promote self-esteem and body image by not criticizing or teasing them about their body or appearance and encouraging them to accept different body shapes and sizes, including theirs. Teaching healthy and effective coping strategies such as communicating their feelings and emotions can help prevent anxiety and depression, leading to eating disorders.
The body goes through many changes during adolescence, such as puberty and growth spurts. Physical changes associated with youth include sexual and physical maturation (enlargement of testicles, appearance of pubic hair, nocturnal emission, breast development, menstrual periods) (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2017). With all these changes happening to their bodies, adolescents might feel uncomfortable with their bodies and might have questions and concerns about these new changes. Parents must be available for their children during these times and provide a consistent and loving environment where they can feel comfortable asking questions. Adolescents’ curiosity and peer pressure might engage them in risky behaviors such as alcohol or drug use or unsafe sexual intercourse. Parents should teach their children about the consequences of their actions and provide consistent discipline.
Violence in Adolescents
Violence can severely impact teens’ development and place their future at risk. About 44% of teens experience some type of violence, and about 16 health conditions and risky behaviors are related to experiencing violence (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2021). There are several ways schools can adopt policies and practices that can promote safety in their teen students. Such methods include developing a solid bond between stand and students, educating adolescents on how to respond to emotional challenges that they might face, and providing them with resources (CDC, 2021).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, May 10). Violence impacts teen’s lives. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/teen-violence-impact/index.html (Links to an external site.)
Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2017). Foundations for population health in community/public health nursing (5th ed.). Mosby.