Community Health: Critical Reflection And The Learning Organization

Community Health: Critical Reflection And The Learning Organization

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Community Health: Critical Reflection And The Learning Organization

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Community Health: Critical Reflection And The Learning Organization

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Question:
Discuss about the Community Health for Critical Reflection and the Learning Organization.
 
Answer:
1. Social determinants of health are conditions where people live, work, grow, born, age and includes the wider set of systems and forces that shape the daily life conditions. The systems and forces include the systems and economic policies social norms, development agendas, political systems and social policies. Experiencing the living conditions shape the health of a population rather than the lifestyle choices and medical treatments. A social determinant of health perspective is a view point that investigates and justifies the health condition of an individual or a group. Various factors are responsible for shaping the health and experiencing the living conditions that form the perspective. Decisions of the government in the public policy domains are also responsible for shaping the living conditions (Braveman & Gottlieb, 2014). The income that an individual receives through social assistance, family benefits and employment determines the availability and quality of affordable housing, recreational opportunities and social and health services that determine the living experience. 
From the perspectives of high levels of psychological and physiological stress, people suffer from adverse material and social living conditions. The prime reasons for these stressful living conditions are poor quality of housing, low income, inadequate working conditions, low income and insecure employment. Stress is further increased by mistrust, social isolation and supportive relationships and leads to prolonged biological reactions straining the physical body. Implications of policies should focus on the problem source for reducing stress and improving the conditions of living experience for the people by the decision makers and the elected representatives (Suhrcke & Kenkel, 2015).
The perspectives of income are the most important social determinant of health and the income level shapes the overall condition of living by affecting the psychological and physiological functions. Basic prerequisites of health like housing and food security are the social determinants of health that are determined by income. Lower income population is often faced by material and social deprivation and this makes them unable to afford the basic prerequisites. This also leads to the social exclusion of the people and they fail to participate in the recreational, educational and cultural activities. Consequently, it affects the health and reduces their ability to perform (McMurray & Clendon, 2011). Policy makers and government need to address this concern by increasing the wage levels and providing support to the disadvantaged individual or group. Reducing income inequalities is also another effective step for improving the overall community health.
Education forms another important social determinant of health perspective and more educated the people, more healthy they tend to be. Education level is connected and correlated with the various social determinants of health like working conditions, employment security and income levels. It becomes easier to raise the socioeconomic ladder with higher education for getting access to the economic and societal resources. When the literacy rate is increased, the understanding of self-promotion of health develops (Pockett & Beddoe, 2015). People develop sophisticated skills and attain the understanding regarding the beneficial and harmful factors of health. Policy makers, therefore, should focus on developing a curriculum for the school students so that consciousness for a healthy life is attained at an early age.  Support should also be provided to the underprivileged children who cannot afford schooling.
 
2. The society is benefited by taking action on a social determinant of health perspective in improving the health and wellbeing of the community. Since the social determinants of health can be viewed from various perspectives, it can be said that from each perspective, the society is benefited by taking action on them. From the perspective of stress, it is evident that physiological and psychological stress leads to straining of the mind and body (Marmot et al., 2012). Chronic stress leads to prolonged biological reactions and chances of recovery diminish under such circumstances. Therefore, to avoid diseases of the immune system and cardiovascular system, action has to be taken to reduce the stress. This can be done by improving the living experiences of the people by practicing healthy eating habits and taking up physical leisure activities (Chambers & Walker, 2012). Healthy eating habits provide the energy to cope up with the daily stress and healthy living programs enhance the quality of life of the individuals. Taking up of physical leisure activities promotes the de-stressing and therefore, taking up of drugs is avoided for relieving the stress symptoms. All these factors enhance the living experience and therefore, a healthy community is developed.
The perspective of income is the most important social determinant of health and therefore, influences the most in determining the health of the community. Meeting the basic prerequisites of health can greatly influence the health of the community and therefore taking action on this perspective can be beneficial for the society. Income inequality has been the biggest factor for issuing the health of the people based on income and balancing the income of the people can bring about a positive change. Progressive taxation can be an effective way to bring about the income inequality and this can bring equal health in the community by promoting the living experience (Keleher, 2011). Enhancing the levels of assistance and increasing the minimum wage of the people who are disabled or unable to work can benefit their health by coming out of their disadvantage.
The educational perspective of social determinant of health is not only beneficial for the society in terms of earning bigger income, but also helps them to practice better and healthy living habits. Higher education facilitates to acquire greater knowledge on self-care practices and avoids the chances of getting indulged in poor health conditions. Therefore, action has to be taken to improve the educational status of the community as higher literacy rate is directly related to better living experiences. More resources are gained and greater ability is achieved with higher education and it is of paramount importance to attain healthier lifestyles (Benach et al., 2014). Taking the action at the school level education will be beneficial as it will be helpful for the individuals from an early age. In addition, appropriate arrangements for the schooling and higher education of the children of low-income families has to be done to promote the health improvement program at all levels of the community and building up a healthier society devoid of illness.
3. The public health approach to healthcare is a powerful and unique way to address and perceive the local and national issues of health. It deals with the entire community and is focused on the health and wellbeing of the community dwellers. It includes interventions that are population based and aims at preventing an issue or health condition by limiting disability and death. The public health approach to healthcare has a number of roles and responsibilities that involve assessment, policy development and assurance. Assessment is the statistical analysis of the health status of a community by collecting data on the health problem (Drummond et al., 2015). Policy development involves the implementation of the scientific knowledge in the process of decision making and assurance makes sure that appropriate health services are received by the community dwellers.
Social work is of utmost importance in public health response and this can be justified by citing two examples of public health where social work plays a pivotal role. Two of the cases where social workers play a major role are the prevention and transmission of HIV/AIDS disease and promoting the health of the aged population. HIV/AIDS is recognized as a global pandemic that has affected the communities and its dwellers worldwide and exerts economic and social implications (Baldwin, 2016). Social workers help to tackle the epidemic and counsel the patients suffering from HIV infection. Intervention is conducted by estimating the crisis of the situation by providing case management philosophies. They serve to educate the general population and the groups that are at high risk to develop the disease for reducing the risk of the infection. Social workers support the implementation and development of the health management programs including the prevention and educational strategies for meeting the requirements of the HIV-infected patients (Shelby, Aronstein & Thompson, 2014). They are responsible for advocating the lobby for just and equitable distribution of the available resources, support structures and services and provision of the essential medications.
The aged population needs care for living a healthy life and social workers help them to stay independent and mobile. This in return increases the quality of life for the individual and their family. They provide referral services, counseling and assessment for the promotion of health in various settings for healthy living experiences of the older adults. They act to increase the research alliances and information sharing. Test interventions are implemented for improving the quality of life and ensuring better health for the older adults. They advocate the maintenance and development of the infrastructures of the community for safe accommodation of the older adults. This helps them to mobilize and get socially engaged that promotes their physiological and psychological state of health. Community competence is improved by the social workers that eventually helps the older population to enhance their health literacy and supports them to practice healthy behaviors (Payne, 2014). Social workers also work towards community management for making the community a better place to live for the seniors. They work to reduce the potential barriers for the elderly existing in the neighborhood for the promotion of healthy aging like insufficient external lightings and poor condition of roads and paths.
 
References
Baldwin, M. (2016). Social work, critical reflection and the learning organization. Routledge.
Benach, J., Vives, A., Amable, M., Vanroelen, C., Tarafa, G., & Muntaner, C. (2014). Precarious employment: understanding an emerging social determinant of health. Public Health, 35(1), 229.
Braveman, P., & Gottlieb, L. (2014). The social determinants of health: it’s time to consider the causes of the causes. Public Health Reports, 129.
Chambers, A.H. & Walker, R. (2012). Introduction to health promotion. In P. Liamputtong, R. Fanany & G. Verrinder (Eds.). Health, illness and well-being (pp. 107-124). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Drummond, M. F., Sculpher, M. J., Claxton, K., Stoddart, G. L., & Torrance, G. W. (2015). Methods for the economic evaluation of health care programmes. Oxford university press.
Keleher, H. (2011). Public health. In H. Keleher & C. MacDougall (Eds.). Understanding health (3rd ed., pp. 17-32) South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Marmot, M., Allen, J., Bell, R., Bloomer, E., & Goldblatt, P. (2012). WHO European review of social determinants of health and the health divide. The Lancet, 380(9846), 1011-1029.
McMurray, A. & Clendon, J. (2011). Community health and wellness: A socio-ecological approach (4th ed). Marrickville, NSW: Elsevier (pp. 5-27)
Payne, M. (2014). Modern social work theory. Palgrave Macmillan.
Pockett, R., & Beddoe, L. (2015). Social work in health care: An international perspective. International Social Work
Shelby, R. D., Aronstein, D. M., & Thompson, B. J. (2014). HIV and social work: A practitioner’s guide. Routledge.
Suhrcke, M., & Kenkel, D. (2015). Social determinants of health: early childhood development and education. Promoting Health, Preventing Disease The Economic Case: The Economic Case, 237.

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