Primary Preventation

Primary Prevention: The Way to a Healthier America
What would you say if someone told you that what you do today could save your life tomorrow; that some simple screenings and interventions could prevent cancer, heart attack, AIDS, or influenza? What if someone told you that you could save thousands of dollars and pain tomorrow by following easy guidelines for a healthier life style?   The answer to these questions is prevention.   According to Webster (2010) prevention is defined as, “the act of preventing or hindering.”(np)   There are three different types of prevention in healthcare; Primary prevention, secondary prevention, and tertiary prevention.   Simply defined primary prevention does not allow disease or injury to occur.   Secondary prevention is early detection, and tertiary prevention is considered treatment.   The focus of this paper will be on primary prevention.   According to Williams (2008) “A major role of community health nursing is prevention.   Prevention means to avert problems.   Primary prevention may include increasing people’s resistance to illness (as in the case of immunization), decreasing or eliminating the causes of health problems, or creating an environment conducive to health rather than health problems”(p.223).   Examples of primary prevention include vaccination, health screenings, diet and exercise programs, smoking cessation classes, education, and diagnostic testing.   In the 1980’s there was an increased focus on primary prevention as a means for the healthcare industry to reduce costs, and lengths of hospital stays.   Nurses and other clinicians called for evidenced based studies and approaches which would illustrate the need for and benefit of primary prevention.   For example the prevention of major lifestyle diseases like heart attack or stroke via advanced diagnostics and education on lifestyle changes such as diet/exercise and smoking cessation (Wolf, 2001).
Primary prevention goes beyond illness and healthcare, as there are many...