Shifting the focus from treating diseases toward one of wellness and prevention is essential for the future of this country. According to Benjamin, R. M. (2011), “The health and vitality of Americans are critical to the productivity and innovation essential for our nation’s future. Students who are healthy and fit come to school ready to learn; employees who are free from mental and physical conditions take fewer sick days, are more productive, and help strengthen the economy; and older adults who remain physically and mentally active are more likely to live independently. Therefore, we need to weave disease prevention into the everyday fabric of our lives, including where we live, work, learn, and play.” This greatly exemplifies the importance of healthcare reform pushing for wellness and preventative measures. A 2006 study by Maciosek et al. determined that increasing the use of preventive services—including tobacco cessation screening, alcohol abuse screening, and aspirin use—to 90% of the recommended levels could save $3.7 billion annually in medical costs. Shifting our nation’s focus toward preventive health will not only result in a huge cost savings but, more importantly, will save and improve lives. The role of healthcare reform in meeting this goal is increasing accessibility to healthcare services. The Affordable Care Act was a huge step in allowing many more individuals access to services and education that they were not able to recieve before. The nurse’s role in this shift is an increasing demand for skilled individuals to be available for this growing population. Nurses are not only needed in the hospital setting, but doing outreach and teaching individuals preventative measures and educating on healthy behaviors.
Benjamin, R. M. (2011). The National Prevention Strategy: Shifting The Nation’S Health-Care System. Public Health Reports, 126(6), 774–776.
Maciosek MV, Coffield AB, Flottemesch TJ, Edwards NM, Solberg LI. (2006). Greater use of preventive services in U.S. health care could save lives at little or no
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