During the late 1800s, public health departments began employing health educators to address community issues important to population groups (National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc., 2008). Prior to this time, hospitals and clinics were viewed primarily as places where sick people went to be healed, and health professionals held the closely guarded secrets to cures and prevention. Changes in health care delivery and management in the 1970s ushered in a paradigm shift in who was responsible for individuals’ health. As health care became more disbursed through legislation and economics, health care organizations expanded their services to provide educational services and outreach in community settings as well as centralized information banks. As a result of these historical trends, individuals have become over time more and more involved in educating themselves on their own health care, and they have become more apt to seek preventive information on health and wellness from within their communities and other sources, such as the Internet (Fertman & Allensworth, 2017).
The fact that populations are amenable to receiving health information is not enough to determine what settings are the most appropriate for providing health promotion programs. Although the lines between health care and community settings have become blurred, as a public health professional, you may need to consider factors related to implementing programs in various settings and compare them to decide what setting or combination of settings will work best for the target population.
For this week’s Discussion, review the media titled Healthcare in Rural Communities. Consider how health education programs described in the media might be implemented differently in health care and community settings. Then, select one of the two scenarios provided below, and consider differences in implementation and outcomes depending on setting. What factors should be considered in determining a setting? How might a particular setting influence the implementation of a particular public health program
In Namibia, a country in South Africa, health care is provided through the government, mission facilities, and private agencies. The country is sparsely populated, and many people in rural communities have no transportation; as such, they walk to health care facilities. Imagine that you are a health educator who has been asked to address the high incidence of children contracting malaria and other illnesses. You want to educate parents about what symptoms necessitate bringing a child in for care, and what to do in case they cannot bring the child in due to transportation or other issues.
Imagine that you are a family health advocate who wants to create a smoking prevention program to decrease the number of smokers in a community. You are asked to target your program primarily to teenagers in order to prevent young people from starting down the path to becoming smokers. Many individuals in the community are employed in tobacco farming and production. The economic reliance on tobacco has made many individuals in the community resistant to messages of abstinence from smoking, although a new study has shown an alarming increase in cancer rates of all types in the community.
Post the number of the scenario you chose (make sure to include the number of your chosen scenario in the subject line). Explain how you might implement the public health program in the scenario in a health care setting. Then, explain how you might implement the same program in a community setting. Include in your post how the implementation would differ based on each setting. Explain one potential strategy you would use in a health care setting and one potential strategy you would use in a community setting to ensure that the public health program achieves the intended outcomes.
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