"The impact of APNs in addressing Childhood Obesity" is a remarkable example of a paper on the health system. Childhood obesity is a serious health care issue in America. It refers to the condition whereby a child is overweight compared to his or her height and age, determined through a BMI calculation. Why address the issue/impact on society Looking at current statistics, childhood obesity is at an alarming state, with the Center for Disease Control reporting a steep rise in the cases over the last 30 years. In 2012, it was reported that over a third of children in children and adolescents in the US were obese, and this number is suspected to have risen over the last two years (CDC, 2014; AACAP, 2011).
This presents a major health care problem, for society currently and in the future considering the health complications that could arise from the condition. Among the major health risks that are associated with obesity in children include cardiovascular health complications such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, joint and bone problems (AACAP, 2011). Long terms effects have also shown that obesity contributes to many types of cancer including cancer of the gall bladder, colon, breast, ovary, prostate, and kidney (CDC, 2014).
Additionally, the issue also affects children and adolescents from a psychological perspective following the social discrimination they will face from their peers. Victims of childhood obesity, both family, and children, suffer a great deal, in the long run, in terms of costs, psychological trauma, and physical suffering. Impact and the role of APN in addressing the need Advanced practice nursing has improved the role of nursing practice with a firm theoretical foundation.
This has enabled them to carry out health promotions and address current health risks as well as develop illness prevention plans at a higher level (Joel, 2013). According to Hamric, Hanson, and Tracy (2013), APNs are required to utilize all forms of objective evidence in designing care plans for a given population, in this case, children and adolescents. Additionally, APNs are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to combine evidence-based practices with Theory-based practice in order to come up with improved care plans that can address specific issues that are affecting the society or specific populations (Hamric, Hanson, & Tracy, 2013). In preventing childhood obesity, APNs need to apply their competence in advocacy, assessment, prevention, and management of the issue.
In terms of advocacy, APNs are empowered as change agents with the ability to carry out healthcare advocacy at the community and government level. APNs can effectively, assess current policies on childhood obesity and use their evidence-based and theoretical knowledge in advocating change that will promote effective strategies to deal with childhood obesity (Rubenstein, 2012). APNs can also operate at the community level by accessing institutions such as schools and addressing the issue through education and carrying out projects that will in turn help in the reduction and prevention of childhood obesity.
Another important strategy that APNs can enforce to help manage childhood obesity is placing emphasis on the need to screen and assess children and adolescents regularly so as to monitor and address the issue of obesity at an early stage (Rubenstein, 2012). To conclude, it is clear that APNs possess significant knowledge and skill sets that can adequately address various health care needs that affect our society to a great extent.
Using the knowledge of their theoretical understanding and evidence-based practice skills APNs can effectively assess, devise, advocate, manage and prevent, emerging, and current health care needs such as childhood obesity.
AACAP. (2011, March). Obesity In Children And Teens. Retrieved March 14, 2015, from American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Obesity_In_Children_And_Teens_79.aspx
CDC. (2014, December 11). Childhood Obesity Facts. Retrieved March 14, 2015, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm
Hamric, A. B., Hanson, C. M., & Tracy, M. F. (2013). Advanced Practice Nursing: An Integrative Approach, 5th Ed. Philadelphia: Saunders-Elsevier.
Joel, L. J. (2013). Advanced Practice Nursing: Essentials for Role Development. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.
Rubenstein, D. C. (2012). Faculty and Staff Development Strategies to Prevent Childhood Obesity. The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing 37, 6: 385 - 391.