The correct identification and evaluation of a person’s learning needs are one of the integral objectives of professional nursing. However, these needs are often affected by such an important factors as social determinants of health.
The range of social determinants comprises a patient’s socioeconomic status, education, and living environment (Tallon et al., 2017). At the same time, nurses and other professionals seeking to guide their communities should consider these factors when devising an action plan. Depending on the social determinants, each person will have a different perception of their health and the system, in general. Some of them may be unfamiliar with basic procedures and recommendations due to a lack of experience or even trust.
Therefore, social determinants can potentially pose serious impediments in the line of public health work. Therefore, medical professionals should find an effective to address the situation and create a viable solution. According to Tallon et al. (2017), the lack of communication usually becomes the primary factor, aggravating the impact of social determinants of health. Medical services tend to focus on the physical aspect of one’s condition, often ignoring the underlying psychological processes behind them.
If healthcare professionals increase the emphasis on effective communication to understand the situation of each patient fully, community learning will become more effective in the long term. At the same time, the image of the public health system will improve among those who previously lacked trust in it.
The objective discussed above can be attained by a comprehensive, multilevel approach. First of all, policy changes are required at the level of professional education. Future nurses should have access to quality courses, promoting the psychological competencies needed to address the problem. While the importance of patient-centered care is growing in nursing education, the process can benefit from being accelerated and implemented universally. Second, the clinical setting should be altered to meet the requirements of the situation. People affected by social determinant-conditioned barriers often feel misunderstood and even mistreated. Therefore, introducing a professional medical counseling system at each clinical location will be a major step toward alleviating the effect of these disparities.
Tallon, M. M., Kendall, G. E., Pryddis, L., Newall, F., & Young, J. (2017). Barriers to addressing social determinants of health in pediatric nursing practice: An integrative review. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 37, 51–56. Web.