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Mar 26, 2021 in Healthcare

Free Essay: Infectious Diseases from a Global Perspective

The world has turned into a global village, and this resulted in the close interaction between people from different parts of the world become a norm. Therefore, with nursing being centered on the safeguarding of the public health, the strategic realignment is needed to ensure that the field of nursing availed care that would be protected from both national and international health challenges (Holtz, 2017). It is from this perspective that the nursing field started to make intentional changes in their operations. This is aimed to ensure that nurses have more powers allowing them to protect the health of the public by being proactive in regard to health issues (Harrison, 2015). Besides, nurses are currently more sensitive to global health issues and challenges. According to Health People 2020 Objective; "Global Health", the purpose of the US health sector is to improve the citizens' health by ensuring that there is an improvement in the response to the issues associated with global disease prevention. This demand is highly relevant when it comes to the matters of infectious diseases that can be transferred from one region to another. This becomes clear judging from the case of Ebola Virus (2014) and H1N1 influenza (2009) (ODPHP, 2017). Therefore, nurses need to ensure that they improve their knowledge on the matters of global health as this is the best realignment directed at improving the quality of caregiving in an environment characterized by globalization.

Historical Perspectives on Infectious Diseases from a Global Perspective Learning in Nursing

Historical perspectives on any issue of major concern in any discipline not only provide the best solution to the existing problems but also act as a reminder of the potential repercussions that can occur if appropriate precautions are enacted. Similar sentiments are availed by Gorge Santayana, according to whom anyone who cannot remember the past is doomed to repeating it (Holtz, 2017). This assertion is based on the fact that when nomadic trade became common in Asia and Europe, it was followed by a plague that killed approximately 20-25 million people, which accounts for almost half of the European population (Holtz, 2017). This is a bright example of how inter-trade can be a source of health risks in many countries where no deliberate actions are taken by nurses, while other caregivers are proactively undermined. In the 11-12 centuries, the crusaders were responsible for smallpox in Europe that saw its spread to America and had a devastating effect on Native Americans.

As a result of these events, matters of the global perspective on infectious diseases became of interest not only to nurses but also to other caregivers. In 1950, a nursing theorist Abdellah formulated the Abdellah's theory according to which the demand for the realignment of nursing practice implies it being similar to a patient-centered discipline instead of being disease-centered. It was suggested that many mistakes could be avoided such as plagues that had killed numerous people since for a long time nursing had been concentrated on tackling complex medical issues without placing enough emphasis on the development of person-oriented approaches (Smith & Parker, 2015). As a result, nursing failed to enact critical changes that reflected the changing ways of human life such as the increased interaction with people from different regions that brought about the spread of devastating diseases to the local people. The awareness of the need to deal with the transmission of infectious diseases from a global perspective was raised by WHO in 1967 resulting in the global immunization against smallpox.

Demands to continue enhancing the nursing discipline fit the peculiarities of people's way of life and were followed by the awareness of the existing challenges that nursing used to face due to the changes in people's way of life and the environment. As a result, in 1970 Sister Callista Roy promoted the view that nursing ought to become a more adaptive discipline. This was reflected in the Adaptation Model of Nursing where Roy demanded that the nursing discipline ought to change with changes in people's environment since these changes have a direct impact on their health (Smith & Parker, 2015). This demand was oriented on nurses in the view of the fact that the nursing field was lagging behind in terms of living up to the reality while new demands were being imposed on the discipline as a result of the ever-changing environment of people. It was this increased realization of changes in the environment that Roy in her Adaptation Model of Nursing emphasized.

Therefore, to ensure better care of people with infectious diseases from a global perspective, nurses are required to expand their capacities to meet the demands of the patients more efficiently in a manner that reflects their way of life. This is the main reason why Leininger's transcultural nursing theory was introduced in 1995. This was done in an attempt to ensure that the art of nursing appreciates not only the patients' environment but also their culture and the effect that their culture has on their way of life (Smith & Parker, 2015). These are the demands that in one way or another, brought about the increased realignment of nursing to ensure that care offered to patients was a product of a wide scope of interest peculiar to the nursing discipline where people's way of life raises a need for the empowerment of nurses. Therefore, with nurses being urged to forge a more patient-centered way of helping patients, they need to handle the matters of infectious disease transmission in a manner that refers to globalization as a part of the public environment (Holtz, 2017). Therefore, if there is a need to be patient-centered, adaptive, and respectful to the cultural regime at play, then matters related to infectious diseases need to be always handled from a global perspective. This will greatly help in protecting the health of those people who are in constant contact with people from different other regions of the world.

Importance of Documented cases of Health Care Disparities

Health care disparities can be classified or quantified as the differences in the access to health services by the public that make it harder for them to receive the needed medical help. Health care disparities are one of the challenges that the American health sector is trying to eliminate (Hillard, 2014). However, documented cases of healthcare disparities are extremely beneficial for the management and policymakers in the health care sector. It is based on these documented health care disparity cases that the policymakers become aware of the needed strategies that can improve the accessibility to the health care services by different groups of people (Hillard, 2014). Besides, some other documented cases of healthcare disparities made the federal and state governments more aware of the underserved areas thus allocating the necessary resources towards making sure the health services are more accessible to the affected groups of population. Moreover, it is these documented cases through which the inaccessible services are identified thus providing relevant reference points that serve to ensure that the right medical personnel is allocated to the affected areas (Hillard, 2014). Furthermore, when the inaccessible services are documented, it becomes easier for both federal and state governments to identify areas where subsidies are needed in the view of making the concerned services more affordable thus promoting greater accessibility. Therefore, documented cases of healthcare disparities form a crucial reference point that can help ensure that the healthcare services are accessible to all people, which is a crucial demand when it comes to dealing with infectious diseases where lack of the appropriate health care services at the right time can lead to unnecessary deaths.

Healthy People 2020 and other Regulatory Guidelines

In the USA, one of the crucial regulatory guidelines that refer to the infectious disease management from a global perspective is the Healthy People 2020. There is a need for the caregivers to be more appreciative of the fact that the US citizens are more than ever vulnerable to diseases spread outside the country. Therefore, it is their goal to ensure that the health sector can detect these cases outside the country earlier and respond to them in a timely manner at the same time improving the means of disease detection inside the country of residence (ODPHP, 2017). Moreover, there is is an assertion that the best way to protect the US citizens from infectious diseases that are emanating from abroad is to encourage the promotion of health abroad when these cases arise. Another strategy applied is aimed at the prevention of the spread of the diseases from the affected areas to other regions. It is thus clear that Healthy People 2020 is keen to ensure that the best way to protect the American citizens from infectious diseases such as Zika virus, Ebola, and H1N1 influenza is to be more engaged globally in how these cases are best to be handled rather than just concentrating on internal strategies (ODPHP, 2017). Another regulation takes the form of CDC global health security agenda whose goal is to ensure that the elimination of the infectious diseases globally is accelerated by working in collaboration with other jurisdictions. The most efficient way to eliminate these diseases is by cultivating the culture of collaboration regionally and globally. This strategy was utilized to assist in the realization of WHO's goals in terms of the international health regulations established in the year 2005 (CDC, 2017). However, similarly to the goals of Healthy People 2020, the key strategies in this case include finding more effective means of prevention, detection and responding to the cases of infectious diseases globally.

Moral issues on Infectious Diseases in Global Healthcare

One of the ways to deal with infectious diseases is through research. This is because the US along with other developed countries offers critical support to less developed countries. Therefore, the US and other developed countries need to balance between being proactive abroad in terms of research on infectious diseases as a means of protecting their homeland and acting respectively in regard to the demands of other people whenever human life is concerned. That is why there is a need to ensure that the moral issue of informed consent is taken into account to make sure that the affected jurisdictions and the concerned citizens are informed of the on-going research, its purposes and potential impact on their wellbeing (Stapleton et al., 2014). Another moral issue is related to the conflict of interests where the US has to balance between being a global leader and at the same time serving as a good example in responding to the cases of infectious diseases. In this way, the US is expected to help even those countries that might not necessarily ascribe to the US aspirations both politically and economically such as countries with poorly developed human rights such as West Africa during the Ebola crisis. Another critical moral issue is related to balancing the interests of many against the rights of an individual. This is highly applicable when it comes to dealing with the infectious diseases that are deadly such as Ebola where in the view of protecting the interests of the majority, serious decisions are to be made in regard to placing people in quarantine, and this may sometimes lead to deciding who should live and who should die for the sake of the majority. Moreover, another moral dilemma is related to sharing information with the public where one has to know exactly when to share it and when not in line with protecting the public from unnecessary tension. One needs to be aware when the public's right to information should be protected.

Healthcare Productivity and Economic Costs

A high level of healthcare productivity is needed to counter infectious diseases since caregivers need to be highly motivated and provided with the right tools. Therefore, a balance needs to be established between healthcare productivity and the need to keep the running costs as low as possible (Ginsburg, 2016). Moreover, infectious disease treatment demands a lot of funds especially when it comes to research. According to Research America (2017), in 2014 infectious diseases required costs equal to approximately $120 billion in the US health sector only. This is a massive cost in the sector that needs quick solutions. This is why, it became evident that further research was critical in bringing down the cost when dealing with infectious diseases whereby it was found out that with appropriate research that could have led to Americans receiving the right vaccination, in 2014, 14 million cases of infection could have been avoided saving the US health sector from $43.3 billion expenditure. Therefore, research needs to be prioritized while dealing with infectious diseases to bring down the costs since this will lead to the prevention of many cases of infection transmission. In the context of dealing with productivity of caregivers, necessary protective tools need to be availed at the right time thus safeguarding the health of the caregivers. Moreover, efficient communication with the caregivers on the relevant reward system is needed to keep them motivated thus offering better care.

Availability of Healthcare Providers

Statistics on ARNPs, RNs (nurses), and physicians dealing specifically with infectious diseases are not available, which can be explained by the fact that there is no standard number of personnel required by a health system since this number is a relative phenomenon that is influenced by the magnitude of the infection at hand. However, it is evident that there is a huge shortage of nurses in the US and this is a problem that also affects their availability when it comes to responding to the cases of infectious diseases. According to American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) (2017), there is an acute shortage of registered nurses, and the worsening of the projection is expected in the upcoming years. This is the case since demands to recruitment have not been fully met. In 2010, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recommended that the problem of nurse shortage could have been solved if there was an increment of the workforce by 80%, but this requirement has not been met, with only a 50% increment being reached so far (AACN, 2017). On the other hand, in relation to physicians, the shortage is a result of the impact of retirement procedures. It is projected that in the coming 2030, the USA will be experiencing a shortage of 40,800-104,900 physicians (AAMC, 2017). These statistics point out that the USA is faced with a shortage problem of both nurses and physicians and these professions form the first line of defense when it comes to handling infectious diseases. Therefore, much needs to be done to ensure that the problem of shortage is solved to guarantee sufficient protection of the citizens.

Conclusion

It is clear that with the ever-increasing globalization, there is a need to ensure that nurses are more empowered in terms of infectious disease treatment both at the national and global levels. It is clear that in the course of history, the international trade was characterized by the spread of diseases from one region to another such as in the case of smallpox transmission. Currently, the world is facing the new phenomenon due to the increased interaction between citizens from different regions, and it is this phenomenon that nurses need to be aware of and realign their treatment strategies accordingly. Documented cases of health care disparities are the best reference points in making the necessary realignments to ensure the health services are accessible. When it comes to analyzing the issue of infectious diseases from a global perspective, in the US, Healthy People 2020 and CDC global health security agenda are the two most prominent policies. However, it is clear that when dealing with the challenges of infectious diseases, there is a need to balance between health productivity and economic costs. There is also a need to have the right personnel in the right quantity at all times to ensure the proactive measures are taken when it comes to the treatment of infectious diseases that are emanating nationally and globally.

References

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (2017). Nursing shortage fact sheet. Aacnnursing.org. 

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). (2017) GME funding: How to fix the doctor shortage. News.aamc.org.

CDC. (2017). CDC global health - CDC and the global health security agenda. Cdc.gov.

Ginsburg, P. B. (2016). The economics of health and medical care. Journal of Economic Issues, 10(3), 723-725.

Harrison, M. (2015). A global perspective: Reframing the history of health, medicine, and disease. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 89(4), 639-89.

Hillard, P. J. A. (2014). Healthcare disparities. Contemporary Ob Gyn, 59(7), 44.

Holtz, C. (2017). Global health care: Issues and policies (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

ODPHP. (2017). Global health. Healthy People 2020. Healthypeople.gov.

Research America. (2017). Investment in research saves lives and money.

Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing theories & nursing practice (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.

Stapleton, G., Schro?der-Ba?ck, P., Laaser, U., Meershoek, A., & Popa, D. (2014). Global health ethics: An introduction to prominent theories and relevant topics. Global Health Action, 7.

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