C.C is a nurse practitioner working in a small private high school. She provides comprehensive care to the students and staff at the school. She coordinates the health education program of the school and consults with the administration to identify the educational and health promotion needs of the population.
She works in a Catholic high school. She meets resistance about providing health education about some of the topics typically taught to the adolescent age group. Substance abuse prevention; HIV, AIDS, and sexually transmitted disease prevention; and pregnancy prevention are topics that are highly controversial at her school. However, C.C. realizes that it is imperative that she reach the teens about these difficult topics.
Case Study 1 – Health Promotion in Adolescent
C.C is a nurse practitioner working in a catholic high school providing comprehensive care to both the students and faculty. She also coordinates the school’s health education program and consults the faculty to identify specific health promotion and educational needs of this population. However, she is met with resistance when it comes to teaching certain controversial topics. These topics include sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse prevention, and pregnancy prevention. C.C understands that she must educate these students because the decisions that they make now may have lifelong consequences.
Due to their rapidly evolving physical, emotional, and intellectual development, adolescents care can be more challenging than adult or children (Salam, Das, Lassi, & Bhutta, 2016). In order to promote heath for this age group one must educate them on a variety of different topics. The important topics for this age group include sexual and reproductive health, nutrition promotion, immunizations, substance abuse prevention, violence prevention, mental health, and prevention of unintentional injuries and accidents (Salam et al., 2016). A nurse practitioners’ objective for this group will be to provide holistic care and education.
The first recommended health visit is for adolescents between ages 11-14 (” Adolescence,” 2020). The second recommended health visit is for those within the ages of 15-17 (” Adolescence,” 2020). The final recommended health visit is for those within the ages 18-21 (” Adolescence,” 2020). All three age groups require the same topics to be addressed during their health visits, however they may be prioritized by the individual need of each patient. Those topics include their emotional wellbeing, physical growth and development, risk reduction, safety, and their social determinants of health (” Adolescence,” 2020).
Adolescence spend a lot of time away from home and often eat foods that are convenient typically consisting foods high in calories and sugar (” Adolescence,” 2020). Therefore, it is not unusual for them to skip meals and only snack. Adolescence also care a great deal about their body image. To initiate this conversation, I would ask the patient the following questions. How do you feel about the way you look? Do you feel like you weigh too little or too much? Are you teased about your weight? Are you doing anything to change your weight? Treatment for someone with an eating disorder warrants a multidisciplinary approach involving a primary provider, a nutritionist, and mental health professional (Walsh, Wheat, & Freund, 2000). Psychotherapy for the patient and for their family is an important intervention (Walsh et al., 2000). Depending on the severity of the patients eating disorder medical intervention may also be necessary.
Adolescence experience a lot of new biological and physical changes during this time. Boys begin to go through puberty and girls start menstruation. During this time, they also see a growth spurt, some not as much as others due to biological factors. Both sexes begin to notice hair growth on different parts of their bodies. Violence among this age group is also very prevalent. Studies show homicides to be the number four cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 29 (Golshiri, Farajzadegan, Tavakoli, & Heidari, 2018). Additionally, they may experience violence at school or at home from fighting or being bullied (Golshiri et al., 2018). As healthcare providers we must ensure that these adolescences are growing up in a safe environment. As a means of prevention, we can teach them to resolve conflict without violence, avoid risky situations, healthy dating behaviors, and to confide in their parents, teachers, and healthcare providers.
Adolescence Visits 11 Through 21 Years. (2020). Retrieved from https://brightfutures.aap.org/Bright%20Futures%20Documents/BF4_AdolescenceVisits.pdf (Links to an external site.)
Golshiri, P., Farajzadegan, Z., Tavakoli, A., & Heidari, K. (2018). Youth Violence and Related Risk Factors: A Cross-sectional Study in 2800 Adolescents. Advanced biomedical research, 7, 138. https://doi.org/10.4103/abr.abr_137_18
Salam, R. A., Das, J. K., Lassi, Z. S., & Bhutta, Z. A. (2016). Adolescent Health Interventions: Conclusions, Evidence Gaps, and Research Priorities. The Journal of adolescent health: official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 59(4S), S88–S92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.05.006
Walsh, J. M., Wheat, M. E., & Freund, K. (2000). Detection, evaluation, and treatment of eating disorders the role of the primary care physician. Journal of general internal medicine, 15(8), 577–590. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1525-1497.2000.02439.x