Taking it to the Streets: Integrating Health Outreach Education Activities to Teach Health Promotion and Preventive Screening in FNP Education
Review of Literature: The Chronic Disease Care Model (CCM) is an health care model which focuses on incorporating well informed patients who are active in their health care, with a prepared and competent practice team. A barrier to use of the model is the lack of time needed to provide health education during routine visits. Research shows that implementation of such teaching would add nearly a whole eight hour workday, per provider to an already overextended work schedule. Future FNPs can be educated in reducing patient factors (such as increasing patient motivation and adequately assessing the level of health literacy) and provider factors (such as knowledge of appropriate screening guidelines and properly evaluating outcomes) in order to adequately meet the goals of the CCM.
Summary of the project: FNP students developed and implemented Health Outreach Service Projects (HOSP) that included community based health promotion education and recommended health screenings for medically underserved communities in the following areas: cardio/peripheral vascular, mental, integumentary, and endocrine health topics as well as providing pre-participation sports physicals for communities at risk. Goals of the program were to: a) Educate FNP students within the CCM framework, b) plan HOSP projects that incorporate the role of the FNP with underserved communities, c) provide students with opportunities to deliver community based health promotion education, selected health screenings, chronic disease education, and to make appropriate referrals, and d) increase the visibility of FNPs as a source of expert health care knowledge among medically underserved areas.
Implications for NP education: Through HOSP activities, students gain experience with health promotion education and conducting recommended health screenings, decision making around positive findings, and making referrals. Faculty is able to guide and observe HOSP activities to evaluate student learning, acquisition of health promotion and screening skills, and guide clinical decision making around positive findings. These activities may ultimately help reduce chronic diseases in communities and improve patient outcomes.