Advanced Practice Role in Nursing: STDs Abstract
The human body is prone to may illnesses. Some diseases affected the whole body while others attack specific parts of the human body. This study seeks to address the various types of sexually transmitted diseases. It also discusses the most common pathogens, typical sign and symptoms, and treatment approaches used by physicians to address the diseases.
This paper also discusses the potential sequels from these illnesses, and how a nursing practitioner can integrate knowledge from evidence-based practice to create a holistic plan of care for patients with sexually transmitted infections.
STDs are diseases caused by infections passed on from one person to another when there is sexual contact. There are approximately 20 different types of STDs known to mankind, and they also tend to be very common (Workowski & Berman, 2011). In the United States and the UK, the most common types of STDs include: HPV (Human Papillomavirus), Chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, Trichomoniasis, hepatitis B&C and syphilis (Workowski & Berman, 2011).
Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, and it is the most reported STDS in both the U.S and the U.K (Li, Gao & Wang, 2016). However, Sha et al (2016) argue that HPV, caused by the HPV virus, is the most common STI in the U.S. Gonorrhea, caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae is also a common STI as it is often caught alongside Chlamydia. Genital herpes is also a common type of STI, usually caused by two strains of the herpes simplex virus infections; HSV-1 (common) and HSV-2(less frequent). Genital warts are also caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. HIV-Human Immunodeficiency Virus is one of very infectious STI and has no cure. The disease is caused by a virus that attacks the immune systems. There is also Hepatitis B which is also caused by a virus.
According to Weiss-Randall (2016), most of the times, sexually transmitted infections may not cause any symptoms. In medical terminologies, infections are only referred to as diseases when they cause symptoms and that is why STDs are branded the terms “sexually transmitted infections.” According to Weigler et al (2013) more than half of mankind must get an STD at sometime in life. When they occur, most of them inhibit signs such as: abnormal discharges from the vaginal or penis, pain during sex or when peeing, tingling and itching sensation around the genitals as well as abnormal blisters around the genitalia. Some STDs may also cause other signs and symptoms such as; loss of appetite, general weakness, fever, swollen lymph nodes in the groin as well as blisters on lips, penis, gums, tongue, around the anus, thighs or buttocks and other parts of the body (Sutton, 2013).
STDs are usually managed depending on their cause. STDs caused by bacteria are easier to treat via antibiotics. According to Workowski & Berman (2011), antibiotics can cure many bacterial as well as parasitic infections, including, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Viral infections are not curable, but they can be managed using antiviral drugs. Individuals with viral infections are advised to start treatments.
According to Weigler et al (2013), it is very difficult to tell people who have STDs and those who do not because some of these diseases have recurring sequels. Viral infections are the most prevalent and a patient has to keep taking antiviral drugs prescribed by the physician to keep the virus at managed levels. According to Weiss-Randall (2016), even very healthy looking people can have STDs. The author argues that the best way of keeping away preventing these diseases is by practicing safe sex even one has already been treated of a disease.
From the above research, it is evident that STDs are a great challenge in the healthcare. This is more so because the diseases are caused by diverse pathogens, and the fact that they are also very common. This means that each and every disease might demand a unique management plan. In this case, a nurse has to integrate knowledge from evidence-based practice in creating a holistic plan of care for individuals with STD. This is more so if the disease being managed is viral in nature. Diseases caused by bacteria can be cured with just a single shot of antibiotics (Shah et al, 2016). However, viral infections need holistic management plans to make sure that patients do test and refill their medications at the right time to keep the infections within manageable parameters. According to Sutton (2013), since viral infections have no cure, the strongest predictor for preventing infection sequels and re-infection is treating sexual partners simultaneously, or before they resume sexual activities. Therefore, the sooner one starts treatment, the more effective it is to manage the disease. Failure to do that at an early stage may lead to serious complications and sequelae.
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