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Nursing and Social Determinants of Health


Citizens of the United States must have equal opportunities in health care. There are a lot of determinants that could cause illness or health. Little attention has been paid to the social factors, for example, economic stability and community context. A program Healthy People 2020 aims to promote good health by improving the social environment. It concerns a lot of spheres of public life, including nursing. Nurses have effective tools for cooperation with families, and, in this way, could establish health care policies in a certain community.

Main body

The functions of nurses are not limited only to medical procedures. Their main task is to involve families in healthcare activities. It is a complicated task that requires assistance in restructuring family reality and developing a new communication model (Wright and Leahey, 2012). First of all, a competent nurse aims to build reciprocal relations with people. It enables a further step – sound family assessment. After identifying strengths and problems, assumptions might be made concerning reasons for diseases, risks, and prevention measures. On the basis of assessment, a nurse takes a decision whether an intervention is necessary.

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Collaborative nurse-family relationships, as a premise to effective assessment and intervention, could be developed relying on the principles of the communication theory, for example, on an idea of meaningfulness of nonverbal communication and a concept of content and relationship communication levels. Any conversation could be understood and rightly assessed only within the interfamilial context; otherwise, it becomes senseless (Wright and Leahey, 2012). Following the principles of communication theory in general practice helps to understand the possible psychological cause of illness and treat it correctly. Personal healthcare enhances life quality and influences general body outcomes (Social Determinants of Health, 2018).

Nursing could, consequently, improve health care of a community both through direct medical procedures, and improved social determinants.


Wright, L. M., & Leahey, M. (2012). Nurses and families: A guide to family assessment and intervention. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.

Social Determinants of Health. (2018). Web.