The Healthy People 2020 is a public health initiative in the USA that sets targets and benchmarks that health care institutions can use to direct and motivate their action. The objectives are concerning the common diseases that are existent within the country’s boundaries. Asthma is of the utmost interest of the chronic conditions prescribed in the Healthy People 2020. Central to this interest, is the number of lives lost to this chronic respiratory disease in the USA. According to the Healthypeople.gov, (2016), it accounts for approximately 23 million of USA citizens. Moreover, it is present in across of settings, for instance, most homes, educational facilities, urban centers, and states are having this burden. That notwithstanding, it has a massive financial burden that the society must also incur. Such is the case given the high taxation and medical insurance rates that the USA citizens have to pay to compensate the health care cost of treating Asthma. For example, $20.7 billion is the approximate cost incurred annually in treating this respiratory condition. Clearly, with such instances, it is indispensable that asthma as a chronic illness is worth analysis.
To begin with, a brief look at the pathophysiology of Asthma is central in understanding it. Asthma refers to the chronic inflammation of the airway whose results are respiratory tract hyperresponsiveness, airflow restriction, and respiratory symptoms. Central to this condition, are the pathologic changes that include increased mucus production, bronchoconstriction, and hyper-responsiveness. The affected person exhibit coughing, chest tightness, dyspnea and wheezing as their clinical manifestations (“CDC Vital Signs – Asthma in the US”, 2011).
Secondly, identification of Healthy People 2020 objectives of Asthma is also noteworthy in the understanding of this subject. The first objective according to this initiative is to reduce mortality rates across all age groups due to asthma. Besides, it aims to decrease the hospitalizations secondary to this condition across all the ages. Also, the initiative targets to minimize the number of visits to the emergency department by persons of all age groups due to Asthma. That notwithstanding, increasing the number of activities that Asthmatic individuals can take part is also an aim of this initiative (“Respiratory Diseases | Healthy People 2020”, 2016). Another objective is to reduce the number of Asthmatics aged between 5-17years and 18-64years that miss school or work respectively. Increasing the number of Asthmatic persons receiving the patient education is also an aim of this initiative. Furthermore, the other initiative’s objective is to increase the number of Asthmatic individuals receiving the appropriate care prescribed by the guidelines of National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP). Lastly, it aims to increase the coverage area in USA with an efficient surveillance system that will trace asthma cases and disability at the greater state level (“Respiratory Diseases | Healthy People 2020”, 2016).
Of the essence to the achievement of these objectives is the adoption of effective strategies that will promote holistic care. The Healthy People 2020 specifies an evidence-based practice that takes into account the home-centered, the multiple triggers and the environmental actions for all age groups. Also, central to the success of eliminating this condition, is the utilization of multifaceted strategy that focuses on the behaviors of the patient. An example befitting of such actions include but not limited to improving the surveillance system that traces the cases of Asthma in an efficient manner (CDC, 2013). Secondly, educating the health care personnel on how to manage Asthma affords best returns in realizing the set goals. The training equips the health care staff with the proven strategies that have success rates in other countries. Last but not the least, patient and family education is another widely used approach. In this approach, the nurse utilizes the family conferences to explain to both the patient and relatives the nature of the conditions. He/she must emphasize the risk factors, triggers, relief strategies and the preventive strategies during such forums (CDC, 2013). With such strategies in place, the health care sector is on course to realize the set objectives by the initiatives.
Finally, the role of nurses in the health care facilities in effecting these strategies is also paramount in meeting these targets. For example, nurses have an invaluable role in ensuring patients are aware of their health status through patient education. Thus, they need to enlighten the patients about the conditions upon every contact with the patient to spearhead a change in behavior. Additionally, nurses working in the community must also participate in the disease surveillance activities. A case in point, reporting all cases of Asthma noted to the relevant authorities so that it can assist in having the exact picture of the magnitude of this problem. Such a revelation is the essence of change in approach or utilization of other interventions. A nurse must support the realization of this initiative through attending continuous development activities that will enhance his/her skills in handling such a condition. Evidently, these instances illustrate the role that a nurse can play in the attainment of these goals.
In conclusion, asthma deserves all the attention as other conditions given its existence in all social quarters and the cost incurred to treat it. Thus, attainment of its Healthy People 2020 objectives is a timely intervention that will free the USA from the burden of this condition and propel its economic growth.
CDC Vital Signs – Asthma in the US. (2011). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 1 November 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/VitalSigns/Asthma/index.html.
CDC’s National Asthma Control Program An Investment in America’s Health. (2013). Retrieved 1 November 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/pdfs/investment_americas_health.pdf
Healthypeople.gov,. (2016). Respiratory Diseases | Healthy People 2020. Healthypeople.gov. Retrieved 1 November 2016, from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/respiratory-diseases
Respiratory Diseases | Healthy People 2020. (2016). Healthypeople.gov. Retrieved 1 November 2016, from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/respiratory-diseases/objectives