There are many available topics of discussion in relation to the issues raised in Target 8 of Health 21. This section of the essay will concentrate on the role of the nurse in helping to reduce and prevent levels of alcohol misuse (a topic raised in Target 8). The chosen client group are women in the middle adulthood.
Alcohol is a factor in many of the priority health issues that health visitors (including nurses) need to address, including mental health, coronary heart disease, stroke,
accidents and some cancers. Problem drinking can also severely affect the well being of families through its association with child abuse and neglect and domestic violence. Serious drinking during pregnancy may give rise to fetal alcohol syndrome. Health visitors can raise the issue of alcohol intake in a non-stigmatizing way, particularly as part of a family health plan.
Alcohol is an enjoyable part of many people's lives.
However, the harm caused by excessive drinking is a significant public health issue. Particular trends include growing levels of alcohol consumption in some women who are drinking more than the recommended level of alcohol. High levels of stress and a need to escape the pressures of family life are among the reasons women give.
As key public health and primary care practitioners, health visitors, including nurses, have an important part to play in achieving goals to help anyone with a problem with alcohol, as well as many other health problems. The significance of their contribution was underlined in Saving Lives: OurHealthier Nation (1999), which set out a family-centered public health role for health visitors, working with individuals, families and communities to improve health.
Health visitors will increasingly find themselves leading mixed teams of people. These teams may be made up of many people including nursery...