Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chapter 17: Injuries

Injuries occur all the time. They effect society in a number of ways. One of the biggest ways include how much money it costs. The cost is not only the medical bill, but the cost of time lost, lost productivity to employers, and loss of income to the individual; if the injury is severe enough.

Injuries can be unintentional such as a fall or they can be intentional such as assault. To make sure that there is a universal understanding of these terms definitions are given at the begining of the chapter. I was unaware that the term accident is frowned up because it suggests that it was unpreventable. Other definitions given include unsafe act and hazards. After the definiton statistics are given on the cost of injuries to society.

The chapter focuses on both types of injuries. The first discussed is unintentional injuries. In 2004 there were, 112,012 deaths caused by unintentional injuries. Some causes include motor vehicle crashes, poisonings, and falls. Certain people tend to be more prone to unintentional injuries. Those age newborn to 44, are more likely to die from unitentional injuries than those that are old. Males and minorites are also at a higher risk. These injuries can occur at home, work, on the road, and anywhere else. Alcohol and drugs contribute to these injuries, especially those sustained in a car. There have been many ideas and contributors to injury prevention. The most common approaches to prevent injury is thru education, regulation, passive protection, and litigation.

Intentional injuries were looked at in a similar way. The forms of intentional injury include assaults, rapes, suicides, maltreatment and others. Firearms directly tie into intentional injury. Only 2.5% of all firearms fatalities are considered unintentional. Intentional injuries directly tie to the violence in our society. This violence include individual violence and family violence. No one is safe from chance violence and maltreatment. Children and the elderly are likely to become victims because it is harder for them to defend themselves. Violence is very common is schools as well.

There were a few things that really stood out in this chapter. The first thing was that unintentional injuries can be seasonal. Most fires, and injuries resulting from, happen in the winter becausae of the elevated use of stoves for heat. The same with drownings in the Summer. This made sense but I just hadn't really mad the conclusion before. The different approaches to prevention also jumped out at me. I think it is very smart to use a multitude of approaches to help with problems. An example of this would be with Motor Vehicle crashes. One needs to be educated about driving, regulations controling the speed should be in place, and airbags should be present. This uses three of the four approaches.

The last thing that really jumped at me was about Child maltreatment. It reminds me of the book I read about a child whose mother abuses him. I have seen far to many children in my area being neglected or abused. It upsets me. I don't know how someone can bring a child into the world and not want to love and care for them.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chapters 15 and 16

The earth is where we all live. We are stuck here. This is where we were born, grow up, have children of our own, and eventually, die. Who wants to speed up the process of death? Not very many would be a good answer to that question. Most of us want to live long and healthy lives, we want to thrive and be as productive and happy as possible, correct? Well what about the earth. It should live long, and thrive fully too. The way I see it, if the place in which we live is not healthy, it is not at all possible for us to be healthy.
We walk around daily, strutting around like kings and queens, thinking we can do whatever we want to do to the land, and the environment and still be ok down the road. Sure, throwing the candy wrapper discretely on the ground while walking isnt going to make you drop dead instantly, and using the toilet will not cause you disease, but what will happen is that every tiny piece of pollution that we humans contribute to earth each day, destroys us a little bit more. Poor water supply, decreasing land, less soil to grow vegetables, filthier air to breathe, more and more disposable products are depleting our world, our health, and ultimately our lives.
Humans produce residues and wastes every day through things such as
1. human body waste
2. excess food materials (trash)
3. yard waste
4. construction waste
5. agricultural waste
6. transportation waste
7. energy production wastes
8. defense wastes

Every one of these include the word "waste" or "excess." and none of them sound any good to me.

In chapter 16, it discusses how environmental hazards are effecting the lives of people everywhere. These are any factor that contributes to the increased risk of human injury, disease, or death. These can be classified as biological, chemical, psychological, physical, or sociological hazards, and can even be natural disasters and terrorist attacks as well. One of the interesting ones to me was the lead poisoning, which is a chemical hazard. I have always heard people joke about getting lead poisoning but never took any of it too seriously. How would you even get lead poisoning? By eating paint? Well what kind of idiot would eat paint?? The fact is, it is so much easier than that. It is most commonly developed by children up to age five, and can come from multiple sources such as lead based gas for a car, batteries, pipes and paint in your homes, water, dust, and off of toys and furniture as well. This can cause serious damage for those afflicted, and is why it was so interesting to me, because i never took the thought of lead poisoning all very seriously. anemia, birth defects, bone damage, neurological and psychological depression, kidney damage, learning disabilities, miscarriages, and infertility. After reading all of that, I have no doubt any longer that it is something serious, and i doubt anyone would argue me on that.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chapter 14

In the US, there are many problems with the health care system, but they can summed up into cost, access, and quality. A large part of why so many citizens go without health care is because they don't have insurance and the costs of simple health care procedures are enormous. Many cannot afford to pay health care providers out of pocket. There are different types of health care insurance, but most people get it through their workplace. Each week or each paycheck, a certain amount of money is taken out of your paycheck to supplement the cover you and your family are recieving through your employer. Many people choose careers simply for the reason of good health care coverage. A family plan allows you, your spouse, and your children (as long as they're in school) to stay on the policy. Of course, the more people you have under your coverage, the more expensive it is going to be. In Maine, there is insurance called Maine Care which provides those who qualify to be covered by the state's policy. Typically you pay nothing or a small amount, depending on your income. This system also has faults because there still are many people that fall through thr cracks and get left behind without coverage. As of today, the US is the only country without nationalized health insurance. I think this has a lot to do with the different classes. The US is home to every nationality, race, age group, and class. Therefore, those who work hard for what they have may end up paying for someone that does not work at all, which makes people become enraged. It is a tough goal to reach, but hopefully someday there will be no gaps in the health care system in the US. It will lead to a healthier population of people and will save lives.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chapter 12: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs

Chapter 12 focused on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs as a concern to the community. The chapter discussed different types of drugs and different methods used on all three levels of prevention. There was also a lot of information on drug prevention organizations and where federal drug funding goes. What I became concerned with was why the two drugs causing the most damage are the legal ones.

At the begining of chapter 12, a lot was focused on showing the statistics and numbers that are associated with drugs. There was a list of total number of deaths and the costs associated with the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs on page 343. The bottom of the same page had a table with a list of 20 personal and community consequences of drug abuse. The first two pages focus on scaring the reader, not just informing them. After the initial scare, definitions are given.

There are both genetic and environmental factors that contribute to drug abuse. Environmental factors include personal, peers, sociocultural, and family. All of these factors play a role and if there are many different factors working together, a person is more likely to abuse. Personal factors include personality traits and susceptability to stress. Family also effects a child greatly. The values a child is instilled with young about drugs, can really impact their future.

Most of the chapter was devoted to the types of drugs and what can negatively result from using drugs. The chapter discussed both legal and illegal or illicit drugs. The legal drugs discussed were alcohol, nicotine, over the counter, and perscription. Alcohol and Nicotine were two of the biggest focus points in the chapter. This could be because both cause a seriously high number of deaths each year. Over the Counter Drugs are becoming more of an issue as people within the last 10 years have started to use them to cook crystal methamphetamine. Prescription drug abuse is also an issue on the rise. Here in Maine there is a large concern about this type of drug abuse. This could be contributed to accesibility of pharmacuticals.

The illicit drug that was focused on the most was marijuana. I found the argument given to be unconvincing and was unsurprised that the number of high school seniors who had smoked pot. The chapter went on to discuss narcotics, hallucinogens, stimulants, and depressants. There are many other types of drugs not listed in these categories, all of which remain a problem in the US.

There are multiple levels and types of prevention. There are many organizations on both state and federal levels that push the war on drugs. NIDA, the National Insitute on Drug Abuse is the largest institution in the world devoted to drug abuse research. The department of justice, the department of homeland security, and the department of education all also fight drug use. State agencies differ from state to state.

There are a few things that really got me thinking in this chapter. The first thing was that the two drugs we have the most issues with are ones that are legal. Another issue that I was concerned with was that Marijuana was a schedule one drug. This is reserved for drugs with no medical use. However, marijuana has been proven to help with many health concerns. I found the chapter to be very biased and not mention any of the good points.

Monday, October 25, 2010

ch. 9

This chapter focused specifically on Elders. It pointed out that the Baby Boomers are now starting to turn 65, which means our elderly population is going to rise. Many elderly people are depending on care from their families versus a nursing home. It is very sad to say that there are abusive people that work with elderly and take advantage of their money, are very rude towards their illnessses, and treat them terribly in other ways. This is a fact that many people tend to overlook when learning about the elderly population. I think it is best to try an help our older family members so they don't have to be a part of that. But I also realize they can become very dependant and it is hard to manage them as well as running our younger families. Statistics show that more and more parents are become dependent on help from their children which cause their children to quit their jobs and become a full time care-giver, for both their own children and their parents. Diseases that older people get are harder to deal with because their body isn't abel to fight off the disease as strongly as it once was able to. This puts even more of a burden on elders. As a group, we found it interesting that "old" is broken down into 3 categories. 65 is the age where you are considered an elder, 75-85 is middle old, and 85 is old old. Though, elders don't like to be called"old", they prefer something that isn't so stright-forward. Some elders remain as active as they were 20 years before, but that has to do with family history of disease and how well they care for their bodies. It is important that my generation takes care of our bodies because we need to grow older and healthier.

Friday, October 22, 2010

ch 7

Chapter 7 was all about maternal, infant, and child health. This encompasses the health of women of child bearing age from pre pregnancy- through pregnancy; labor, delivery, post partum period and the health of the child prior to birth through adolescence. There were some causes for concern that were brought up in this chapter.

Along the lines of infant and maternal mortality rates in the U.S., concerning whites and blacks, though the mortality rates of infants has gone down in recent decades.. The statistics of black infants-14.1 deaths per 1000 live births. White infants- 5.8 deaths per 1000 live births. Black women- 31.2 per 1000 births. White women-8.1 per 1000 births. So the statistics add up to show that the U.S. is ranked 28th in infant mortality and 20th in maternal mortality. What’s most important concerning the health of a child is the health status of the mother/her immediate environment because the two correlate together.

Family and reproductive health was a subject that was brought up in this chapter. The U.S. census bureau has defined a family as “a group of 2 or more people related by birth, marriage, or adoption and they reside together, subfamily counts as well. Another definition was “two or more persons who are joined together by bonds of sharing and emotional closeness and who identify themselves as being of the family.”

There are some health risks that are brought up when dealing with children/infants who are raised in single parent homes. Some of those risks are: adverse birth outcomes, low birth weight, infant mortality, and more likely to live in poverty.

Teenage pregnancy was a big topic discussed it this chapter, there are a lot of statistic s to show how sexually active adolescents have become in recent years. There are a reported 750,000 pregnancies every year…that’s a huge number. And every year it costs taxpayers at least 7 billion dollars in direct costs associated w/: health care, foster care, criminal justice, public assistance, and lost tax revenues. The younger a mother is the more likely she is to smoke during pregnancy, which can lead to all sorts of health problems towards her and her unborn child. At least 31% of teenage girls get pregnant at least once before they reach 20 yrs of age.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chapter 6

The main focus of chapter six was the idea of a coordinated school health program, and the effects it can have on a school, and the lives of those surrounding. In small high schools, like most of us experienced, there is usually a major lack in the health department. Many places only require a single semester or year of health classes, and that is hardly enough time to learn all the things a person should know about how to take care of themselves, and prolong their future with quality of life. Health classes, if taught properly, should not focus mainly on things that we all know to be true. Exercise is good, smoking is bad, dont drink and drive. Seems like we were born with that knowledge, right? However, who knows all there is to know about sexuality, depression, healthy eating, warning signs of eating disorders, responding and helping those in crisis, cpr and emergency response, and the thousands of other topics there is to learn about in a health class.

Many families believe that health classes should not be given the right to teach their children about such controversial topics, and that it should be left up to the parents and churches to instill such information. However, a mother most likely does not know all the facts, or is willing and comfortable to tell her child about all important topics. If it is a serious concern of morals, a child could be removed from the class and be given a separate assignment to be worked on in its place.

Adequate skill in the field should be assessed before someone is allowed to teach a health education course. We all discussed our experiences with teachers, and they were not all the same. One school had a great teacher who was full of knowledge, and humor, making class fun and enjoyable. Students were required one semester of health for the first two years of high school, and were full of interesting topics that applied to their lives. On the other hand, another was taught by the physical education teacher, who was uncomfortable talking about sex, and didnt seem to care much about what the students learned.

There needs to be drastic changes when it comes to the way that youth are being taught about health, in order to keep the country going. As cliche as it sounds, todays youth is our future. As college students today, we are young and healthy, and ready to jump in to our futures and live our lives. What happens when we get old, and grow ill and fragile? Who will be the ones ready to start their future? It will be the ones just starting their lives now. If we are not educating them properly on how to care for their bodies, care for others, keep the environment healthy and safe, eat and exercise correctly, stay sexually aware and safe, keep a handle on their mental and emotional well being, and countless more topics, how will they survive? They wont.

Without your health, nothing else can happen.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Community Organizing

This chapter discussed how to create and evaluate Community Organizations. It gave multiple examples and charts. There were some definitions to explain the difference between commonly interchanged words, such as goals and objectives. This chapter had a very sensible flow to it.

Chapter 5 started with information explaining that the need for organizations was now more than ever. With the increase of technology and population, communities are not as connected as they used to be. Organizations help the community come together to solve an issue. There are three main methods that an organization can use. These methods include locality development, social planning, and social action.

Organizations must follow a process in order to get mobilized and running in the community. First, the issue of main concern must be recognized. Once this is recognized, if the organization is not started in the community it must gain entry. People are then organized and assessments are made. Either mapping community capacity or doing a needs assessment must be done to determine the needs of the community. Priorities and goals are then set and the organization must arrive at a solution. Once a solution is selected the intervention strategy must also be chosed. Once the strategy is selected is must be implemented, evaluated and either maintained or reevaluated.

There are different programs that have developed for Health Promotion. Healthy People being one of these programs. To understand programs you need to understand the difference between Health education and Health promotion. To create a health program steps similar to the ones listed above are followed.

There were a few things that caught my attention in this chapter. I was suprised when I read the Assumptions that community organizations must make. One assumption was that people want to change and can change. Not all people want to change. Not everyone that smokes wants to quit. Most of the other assumptions make sense. I can understand how large groups of people need some sort of organizations to get things accomplished.

During class, our group discussed the importance of an evaluation. Without an evaluation a organization doesn't know if their strategy is working. Sometimes, this crucial evaluation can overlooked. Another point the group brought up was how different rural and city neighbors are. In most small towns people know their neighbors. In a large city however, you are very less likely to interact with your neighbors.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chapter 4 Summary/Reflection

Chapter 4 was basically a continuation of chapter 3. It was agreed that this chapter was a lot easier to follow as it did not have as many vocabulary words as the previous chapter. Diseases were broken down first into two groups, communicable and non-communicable. Communicable diseases are transmitted from and infected host while non-communicable diseases cannot be transmitted. Examples are AIDs and then heart disease. It is extremely important to control the spread of communicable diseases by washing your hands and taking caution when coming in direct contact with others. Non-communicable diseases are only able to be prevented by keeping yourself as healthy as possible, though it is possible to attain these through hereditary history. Touching, kissing, sexual intercourse, and any other form of direct contact is a form of direct transmission. Indirect transmission includes airborne (breathing in germs through the air), vehicleborne (touching soiled towels, or coming in contact with any contaminated object, such as a counter top), and finally, vector borne transmission is through a living organism, such as a fly or mosquito. Priorities must be made so that the appropriate amount of funds can be made available.  The order of priority is decided through the number of people who die from the disease, the number of potential years of life lost due to the disease, and also the cost and need for finances for the disease.  The top 3 leading causes of death for Americans are heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Communities, along with individuals, need to start with prevention at a younger age. It is important to teach younger children about prevention, bad habits start at a young age!

Sumer was intrigued by how many risks for disease are all around us. The way disease transmission was broken down and explained, made it easier to understand just how we get infected with them. She was especially interested in diseases caused by food additives. This made her think of all the additives that are in the foods she eats and would like to know more about this topic. Jenny thought that we needed to make more time in our everyday lives to stay healthy and excersize, even though it is very hard to put those things into a busy schedule. It is very important to keep ourselves healthy. She thinks we need to utilize the opportunites such as using the gym equipment more, and of course there is more that should be done to allow more healthy activites.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chapter two review

In chapter two, the different levels of health organizations were described, and we learned of the responsibilities of each. The four levels are International health agencies, National Health Agencies, State Health Agencies, and Local Health Departments. They each play an important role in the lives of people in communities, and the chapter goes in to greater details of each. Internationally, the World Health Organization, (WHO) is the largest, but not the oldest, international government health organization. Their main purpose is to attain the highest level of health for people as possible. They manage information, negotiate global partnerships, and help in developing new technology for health care, disease prevention, and more. The Department for Health and Human Services, (HHS) is the United States national health agency, which was formed in 1980. It is people serving people, giving it that personal touch. They serve everyone of all ages, including newborns and the elderly. Sumer and myself both noted how the Department of Health and Human Services has helped us in our own lives. Neither of us would have health insurance if it were not for this opportunity. Organizations such at the Administration on Aging, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and many more were also discussed throughout this chapter, and were very informative on what exactly each group provides for the public’s wellbeing. Every state has its own health department, and as Chelsea pointed out, it is very clear that all organizations or agencies have the same goal: promote, protect, and preserve the health of all people. No matter what the focus of that particular agency is, it in turn affects all aspects of individual health. Finally, local health departments were discussed. They are the responsibility of the city, and it would not be uncommon for multiple towns or counties to be under the same health department depending in the number of residents. I found that to be interesting, because if a large city has the attention of one department, and four or five small towns share the attention of another, is one group getting more or less out of their department than the other?
We all agree that school health programs are very important, and Sumer told of how she is thankful for the health education she had in school, because it helped her to make better, more healthy choices in life. I believe that is true for all of us. Without the education we receive in middle and high school, the way we live our lives could be very harmful to ourselves and others.
Quasi governmental organizations, which are those with responsibilities from the government, but run as voluntary, and voluntary organizations were covered, and those such as the American Red Cross caught our attention. I was personally amazed that the red cross is more than just people who come to your school and do blood drives. Their responsibilities are heart warming, and include tasks such as helping with relieve and recovery from disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and more. Also, my favorite, they are almost like a bridge between active duty members of the armed forces and their families back at home. If there is a need to contact one another in emergency, the ARC is there to make sure that happens. Voluntary agencies raise money to help support programs such at the Shriners hospital, and also for research needs.
For our personal reflections, we all took a different path. Sumer explained her thankfulness for school health education, and the help that the Department for Health and Human Services gives to her personally. She also recognized how community health is so important to her everyday life, but just doesn’t really think much about it. Chelsea was very interested in the state and local health organizations, and the how big voluntary ones can become. She hopes to work with them one day. Finally, mine was about my interest in how businesses and companies are cracking down on their workers and making rules such as no smoking on work property, or wearing the safety seatbelt at all times while operating a company vehicle. Some are even providing such services as stress management courses, and alcoholics anonymous. These are all tiny steps towards a brighter and healthier future for everyone.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chapter One Reflection/Summary

After individually reading the chapters, Jennifer, Chelsea and I briefly compared our summaries on chapter one. We did this to ensure that we all picked up on the key points in the Chapter. Chapter One starts out with a brief introduction and some important definitions. The Definitions given were for the terms Health, Community, Public Health, Public Health Systems, Community Health, and Population Health. We discussed why we thought the text gave so many definitions in the first chapter. It was decided that to understand the nature of Health and role the government and people play in health care, one must understand terms commonly used.
Following the definitions, many factors that affect the health of a community were discussed. The factors were broken down into Physical factors, Social and Cultural factors, Community Organizing, and Individual Behaviors.
The next sections are about the History of Community and Public Health. The earliest civilizations, before 500 AD, had drainage systems and practiced basic cleanliness. By the middle ages, 500-1500 AD, much culture and sanitation was lost as the church gained power. During the renaissance, 1500 -1700 AD, disease and exploration were steadily growing. By the 18th century, the industrial revolution was in full spring and many people had moved to the city from the country. This lead to much crowding and very dirty and poor living condition, which breed disease.
During this time, Dr. Jenner found a vaccine for smallpox. The bacteriological period of public health was during the 19th century.The 20th century was broken into 4 major sectors, Reform phase, the 1920's, the great depression and world war two, and the postwar years. The period of social engineering was from 1960 to 1973. Medicare and Medicaid were also created. The History was a very interesting part of the chapter. It was mentioned during reflection, that the section on history really flowed and was held the readers attention. It helped to show how recent many developments in the health field are.
Ten years into the 21st Century and we are facing a multitude of health concerns. These issues include Health Care Delivery, Environmental Problems, Lifestyle Diseases, Communicable Diseases, Alcohol and other drug abuse, and disasters. All of which are growing issues. The chapter continues to discuss what the World and the USA are doing to acheive improvements in Community Health Care. For the United States, this includes Healthy People 2020.
Our group spent some time discussing Healthy People 2010 because we were all conscious of it, but each of us also had further questions on what exactly it was. Between the three of us we came to a good understanding of what Healthy People 2020 is all about. We then discussed Bioterrorism. Bioterrorism was an issue that Jenny, Chelsea and I all brought up in our reflections because it seems as though we understand the threat as a nation, yet no one really understands how much Bioterrorism could really affect us. This lead into another point that was raised in reflection. How prepared are we as a society? If there was a major Bioterrorist attack how many people would servive? We all agreed that we could be doing more to prepare.