Prevention Complications in Hypertensive Patients in Home Health

Introduction

Research conducted by Solberg et al (2000) has shown that cases of hypertension are very common among home health patients. For this reason, numerous patients suffering from hypertension are at risk of developing other related complications. Bearing this idea in mind, there is a need to develop a thorough and well-implemented education plan to prevent the occurrence and spread of hypertensive complications.

The proposed educational plan aims to enhance the relationship between patients and nurses. Moreover, this plan aims to encourage nurses to use proper assessment methods while monitoring the condition and progress of hypertensive patients. Consequently, perceived complications will be reduced and the life expectancy of hypertensive patients will be prolonged. This paper seeks to outline key aspects of the education plan that will be considered in preventing and curing hypertensive-related complications among patients in a home health setting.

Hypertension

“Hypertension is a condition that is characterized by an anomalous rise of blood pressure” (Eskridge, 2010, 57). This condition is fatal and in most cases, it can lead to sudden death (Solberg et al, 2000). Research evidence has shown that this condition affects blood vessels, especially the arteries. In this case, an educational plan is an essential tool that will help both nurses and patients to understand some of the facts about hypertension. In other words, the program will enable nurses to acquire some basic information and skills in dealing with hypertensive patients at home.

Risk Factors

Numerous factors increase the susceptibility of hypertension among home health patients. Some of them are environmental while others are genetic. Nevertheless, it is also important to note that they vary from patient to patient. These factors include the patient’s age, sex, race/ethnicity, weight, and lifestyle. Some of the identified predisposing factors have been reported to accelerate hypertension and cause further complications in the patients’ bodies. It is worth noting that the nature of the environment affects the quality of a patient’s lifestyle either negatively or positively (Huber, 2009). For instance, if an environment lacks ample space for physical exercises, there is a possibility that patients will become overweight. Consequently, an excess increase of body mass index leads to hypertension.

To elaborate further on environmental factors, Eskridge (2010) highlights that most patients suffer from hypertension due to poor lifestyles practices. This has much to do with the intake of food or beverages and drugs that accelerates hypertension (Eskridge, 2010). To prevent hypertensive complications among home health patients, patients must take a healthy diet that excludes too much sodium salt. Needless to say, the education plan aims to encourage patients to take salt that is rich in potassium supplements. Patients should also refrain from taking alcoholic beverages and smoking cigarettes.

The education plan is important since it will ensure that patients are assisted by nurses on how to engage in active exercise or physical activity to maintain a healthy living. (Solberg et al, 2000) recommend that every patient should spare at least 2 hours of continuous physical activities such as walking or jogging. This cannot be achieved without developing an appropriate educational plan. Nurses will have a vital role to play in guiding patients on how to make positive lifestyle changes and modifications to minimize the risks of suffering from high blood pressure (Eskridge, 2010). Having this idea in mind, I intend to ensure that the education plan will address and implement essential changes in the environment to reduce hypertension.

One of the possible ways through which the educational program can be implemented effectively is through public campaigns. As a leader, I need to emphasize and make patients aware that there are hypertension-related complications that tend to increase as they advance in age. Statistically, it has been revealed that 65% of adults at the of age 60 years and above are more susceptible to hypertension-related complications as compared to their younger counterparts (Solberg et al, 2000).

The reason why this has to be taken seriously is that; age has been a major causal factor for hypertension-related complications among the target patients. Therefore, understanding how age increases the risks of hypertensive complications will help to improve nursing care delivered to aged patients. This will help both the nurses and patients to take precautions on measures outlined to prevent and manage complications among aged patients (Huber, 2009).

It is important to note that hypertension-related complications can affect individuals of any race. However, recent research has established that the cases are higher among African-American adults than other races such as Caucasians and Hispanic Americans. Eskridge (2010) elucidates that people from the African-American race are more vulnerable to hypertension-related complications. Further research has shown that African-Americans have high chances of suffering from high blood pressure at their tender age in life. As a leader, I intend to create awareness for such families and educate them on how to seek earlier medical care.

This will help nurses in the institution to control and reduce cases of high blood pressure. It is also worth realizing that an appropriate educational plan will reduce treatment costs and have the rates of hypertension-related deaths reduced (Eskridge, 2010).

It is relevant to bear in mind that other factors such as family history on hypertension, long-lasting stress, pre-hypertension in children and teenagers slowly lead to the development of hypertensive complications (Solberg et al, 2000). Therefore, the education plan will consider such factors to be vital in determining preventive and curative approaches to hypertension among home health patients.

The healthcare team will also identify the risk factors through examining and interacting with the patients. This will give the team a better and more personalized understanding of the specific risk factors that lead to hypertensive complications (Bennett, 2013). The educational plan will incorporate some of the procedures to be used during the evaluation and assessment processes. This will enable us to monitor the progress of home-based patients.

Educational Intervention and Follow Up

Intervention and follow-up tasks are the most important activities in the treatments and care of home health patients (Eskridge, 2010). They include measures that should be taken to prevent and cure hypertensive home health patients. The organizational education plan has identified three activities. These include ensuring that patients lead a healthy lifestyle, take a balanced diet and receive medical care.

Through education, I anticipate that nurses will guide patients on how to choose and lead healthy lifestyles. They will also train them on how to manage their diet. In this case, we will produce pamphlets that will educate and recommend patients to take food with low fats, eat plenty of fruits and fresh vegetables. These pamphlets will also recommend patients avoid alcohol consumption, smoking, and spare time for physical exercises.

Finally, patients will be advised on how to maintain average body weight (Eskridge, 2010). Through the education plan, we will ensure that patients learn the essence of adhering to regular check-ups and tests. This plan will also make the nurses embrace the need of keeping track records of patients’ blood pressure daily (Eskridge, 2010). The education plan will contain an outline for guiding patients on how to take the prescribed medicine (Bennett, 2013).

Leadership and evidence-based-practices

Leadership is an important aspect of the plan (Rush university medical center, 2013). This is because implementing the educational program will require a combined effort from nurses and patients. In this case, there is an urgent need to have an appropriate leadership strategy that will ensure that vital activities are coordinated as required to achieve set goals.

A good leadership scheme will ensure that nurses and patients get equipped with emerging evidence-based practices to reduce risks and cure hypertension. Dissemination of information on evidence-based practices to the team will be one of the vital roles of a leader (Bennett, 2013).

To implement the education plan effectively, I intend to make changes to my previous leadership style. In this case, I will use transformational leadership that will give every individual including the nurses and patients a role to play (Huber, 2009). Research has shown that transformational leadership fosters shared governance in nursing. This will make every participant in the team take an initiative toward the implementation of actions as stipulated in the education plan (Rush university medical center, 2013). This style of leadership will also foster individual responsibility and accountability.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, developing an education plan will help in preventing hypertensive complications among patients in a home health setting. This is because the plan will make both the nurses and patients aware of key facts related to hypertension. For example, the proposed education plan will educate the nursing team and patients on risk factors. Through education, nurses and patients will understand and embrace some of the perceived curative and preventive measures of hypertension. Other important aspects to include in the education plan include intervention and follow-up activities.

Moreover, transformational leadership will be embraced in the plan to ensure that both patients and nurses have a role to play in reducing hypertensive complications.

References

Bennett, C. (2013.). Evidence-Based Practice on ADVANCE for Nurses. ADVANCE for Nurses. Web.

Eskridge, M. (2010). Hypertension and chronic kidney disease: The role of lifestyle modification and medication management. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 37(1), 55-60.

Huber, D. (2009). Leadership and Nursing Care Management. New York: Mosby Elsevier Saunders, Inc.

Rush University Medical Center. (2013). Shared Governance in Nursing, Rush University Medical Center: Top US & Chicago Hospital. Web.

Solberg, L., et al. (2000). Lessons from experienced guidelines implementers: Attend to many factors and use multiple strategies. Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement, 26(4), 171-188.

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