Obesity has become a significant concern for the public health sector. Here’s how nurses can help s win this fight against obesity.
From children to adults, there seems to be a massive weight problem. Unless it gets addressed right away, it can lead to devastating results.
Obesity is a health issue in which a person gains an insurmountable amount of weight. Due to this, health problems such as diabetes, heart diseases, and even mental health takes a toll.
Obesity can also lead to premature death unless taken care of right away.
Nurses are healthcare professionals who work with patients in a much more intimate setting. They are well aware of the number of patients who walk in and are obese. Their help can enable patients to get better through different means.
Obesity can happen due to many reasons. While a patient can feel embarrassed, there is a way to get healthier. And nurses can help.
How Nurses Can Help Obese People
To facilitate the patient and help them make efforts, here’s what nurses can do:
1. Explain How Obesity Occurs
The stigma surrounding obesity reflects on people with laziness and gluttony, while that is not the case. Many contributing factors, such as genetics, socioeconomic situation, and even mental health, can cause obesity.
Most obese people also struggle with understanding their obesity so that a nurse can help.
What can help nurses better is if they decide to study these conditions in greater detail. Nurses can opt for a masters in nursing online after becoming registered nurses.
A master’s degree is much more detailed and research-based. So the information nurses would share is concrete and absolute.
2. Help Patients Understand The Root Cause Of Their Obesity
The first step in helping a patient is making them understand how their obesity started. A nurse can’t jump to cutting their diet and advising intense workout without informing the patient what they’re up against.
If a patient comes from a family of obese, chances are they can get obese faster than the average person.
Some patients may have mental health issues that cause them to turn to food.
Education helps in removing shame. It prevents a patient from staying in a loop of shame and guilt, which prevents their recovery.
When nurses feel a patient understands what they’re laying down, they can develop a treatment plan.
3. Talk About Change
A nurse can introduce a diet plan to the patient. It depends on a person’s weight how the diet should get designed. The idea of changing a person’s diet is to help them reach their weight under control.
For highly obese patients, a gastric bypass gets suggested. However, as long as a nurse can, they will encourage dietary change to decrease body mass.
When a body loses weight, there is a lot of loose skin. The only way to fix loose skin is through surgery.
Coming back to the dietary program, a nurse would guide the patient to avoid carb-heavy food. They would ban all deep-fried foods, including bread and all forms of pasta. A patient would go on a protein-rich diet with tremendous leafy greens and even particular fruit.
The idea of the diet is to push the body to utilize the fat it has. The diet itself can get difficult to follow. So a nurse needs to be at every step along the way with the patient.
4. Work With Children
Children can become obese, and even newborns can show signs of obesity at a young age. Nurses who attain specialized skills in working with children can work with these children.
They can help parents understand how and why their children are gaining weight.
A mother can indulge in habits that can cause the growing fetus to absorb more needed nutrients during pregnancy. That leads to complications during birth.
Nurses can work with newborns to teenagers to help them manage their weight. The exact process of education, followed by dietary change, gets introduced. After which, parents get guided to encourage their children to get physically active.
5. Encourage People To Get Physically Active
Exercise is a broad topic. There are so many types, all designed for different people. You wouldn’t expect someone who has never exercised to take something as tricky as cardio right away.
Everything needs to build up slowly. While nurses do not get trained experts when working in gyms, they work with physiotherapists. Nurses can provide more medical insight on exercise.
They could advise a patient to start exercising technically. They could either help a patient or inform a patient on getting devices to monitor their heart and breathing rate. A sudden rise in heart rate can cause a heart attack.
Nurses want to help a patient recover and not get worse. So monitoring the gradual change in their life is essential.
6. Work With The Public Health Sector
The public health sector is directly involved with public health. They’re consistently working on healthcare outcomes to help the population get better.
Obesity is an epidemic. Enough people are obese to alarm the public health sector.
Nurses have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to aid the public health sector in their work. They can categorize data to help understand how obesity is impacting people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
When the population gets organized, it is easier to work with the community directly. Every community has another reason for becoming obese. These can result from genetics, food addiction, and even an unhealthy lifestyle.
The purpose of working with the public health sector is to discuss obesity and draft research papers on how to curb the epidemic.
7. Patient Advocacy
While the patient is undergoing treatment, they need to feel safe. An obese patient is not a token for the experiment. While it’s easy to suggest a patient go under the knife, it’s a misuse of patient consent.
Nurses can bring forward that no doctor should get influenced by social stigmas to treat patients. An obese patient deserves care and respect while undergoing treatment.
Instead of forcing them to walk to get tests, use technology to help patients move. It also emphasizes that research-backed methods and not suggestions should treat patients.
Every patient has a right to dignity and compassion. No individual should get shamed if their health is suffering under the decisions they make.
Patient advocacy also includes listening to a patient when they’re uncomfortable. Obesity doesn’t mean a patient is immune to pain, and therefore their patient rights cannot get violated.
Obesity has become an epidemic. More and more children and adults are now struggling with obesity. The healthcare sector can intervene and help these patients get better.
Nurses are the best choice when it comes to working with obese patients. They can educate them, guide them and even advise them. When these factors work in unison, a patient sees noticeable improvement in their health.
Nurses can also work with children in helping them improve their health before it gets worse down the road.
They also understand that their support can get extended towards the public health sector and patient advocacy. The result of the tireless efforts nurse put into the industry is a population thriving more healthily.
While it will take time and a massive social reform to stop obesity completely, change is gradual.