Health & Wellbeing?

Professional Nurse Coaching is often the culmination of a RN’s career, after we’ve experienced working in hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, and other places where clinical knowledge is valued, sharpened, and refined. We were taught in university and measured in hospital work about the golden standard of a time when “patient education” was deemed to necessary.
At this point in time, we know that the United States has a fairly dismal health status compared to the rest of the world.
We don’t value health as a human right, but sell it as a commodity.
We don’t value time away from work, and wear the 1950s value of overwork like a badge.
We don’t seek mental health when we need it.
We don’t even have legislated national paid sick leave standards except certain states have created this.
It all seems so money-driven.
And we’re all paying the price.

Coming around to personal health support and responsibility, we realize that we’re pretty much on our own to not only navigate a very expensive and convoluted health care system (remember nurses in doctor’s offices who could help make appointments and establish care coordination? Medical assistants (MAs) are trying to pick up the slack, but they are not nurses, and most states have care coordination listed as the purview of RNs.) All this sounds great, but what is it that a person is supposed to do? Most people, truthfully, shrug it off and do the best they can or the best they know how to do. But without radical change, we don’t have a bright future. Consider this short statement from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

“Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes (type2)  are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. They are also leading drivers of the nation’s $3.8 trillion in annual health care costs.

Many chronic diseases are caused by a short list of risk behaviors that can be controlled:

  • Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. 
  • Poor nutrition, including diets low in fruits and vegetables and high in sodium and saturated fats.
  • Lack of physical activity.
  • Excessive alcohol use.”

Clearly, there is a lack of behavior change. Why is that?
MY OWN OPINION is that change is difficult, and without the support of a professional coach or other professional, we’re unable to make changes that are personally valued and will have permanence to them.
That’s it.

So what is personal health and well-being?
Health promotion is a section of nursing practice where supporting people in health behavior change will give them a better chance at improving current health status, and avoid worsened conditions. We RNs have the clinical knowledge and the expertise in the disease processes – and Professional Nurse Coaches have learned the communcations tools and change support skills that can help you individualize your health planning, reach goals and maintain change.
Well-being is the way you think about your life, feel about your situation, know that you are living a meaningful, reflective, and important life that you are satisfied with. This can include all the domains of living – relationships, spiritual development, social and psychological health, and of course, medical status. Your entire domain of existence, really.
And Professional Nurse Coaches are keenly aware of our nursing history wherein respecting and optimizing our environments (and all they contain) are the biggest keys to health.

What is health? Health is not only to be well, but to use well every power we have.

Florence Nightingale, 1896

© Three Moons Medicine®
Elizabeth Bennett

citation: https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/index.htm

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