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Social Determinants of Health

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Submitted By moxiehimes
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As a FNP practicing in Kentucky, which ranks near the bottom of all states in areas such as education, income, and health, I will use, The Social Determinants of Health Model, to guide my future practice. According to, The WHO, “The social determinants of health are the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age, and the systems put in place to deal with illness. These circumstances are in turn shaped by a wider set of forces: economics, social policies, and politics” ("Social determinants of," 2013). In other words, in order to promote, maintain, or return a person to health, it is imperative to understand the circumstances of that person’s social and physical environment currently and historically. In addition, it is important to consider barriers to health imposed by community economics, worldview, and social policies in place. With these concepts in mind, I can individualize a care plan in partnership with the patient. By understanding the prevailing attitudes, social policies, and economics specific to the location of my future practice, I can also address conditions that create health disparities. For example, I might observe that I am seeing a large percentage of patients that smoke, or are obese, or have diabetes. To address these unhealthy habits on an individual basis, I will understand that people cannot be treated without understanding their personal and community environment. My goal in practice will be promoting optimum health in the individual, while understanding that eliminating barriers to health in the community is the key to improving the long term health of it’s population. I will treat, educate, advocate, and lobby community members and leaders as part of my practice and responsibility as an APRN.

References:

Social determinants of health. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/topics/social_determinants/en/

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