Definition of Health:
Health education is very important to us. WHO defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not the mere absence of disease or infirmity”.
Lawrence Green defined health as “a combination of learning experiences designed to facilitate voluntary actions conducive to health.”
Definition of Health Education:
It is any combination of learning experiences designed to help individuals and communities improve their health, by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes.
Objectives of Health Education:
Various aims of this education are mentioned below:
- To help people understand that health is an asset in the community.
- Inspiring people to adopt health-promoting behaviors by providing appropriate knowledge and helping to develop a positive attitude.
- Supporting people to make decisions about their health and achieve the necessary confidence and skills to put their decisions into practice.
- To train the people with skills, knowledge, and attitude.
- To promote the development and proper use of health services.
- To develop desirable health practices and health habits.
- To develop health consciousness in the school and the community.
- To combat the superstitions and prejudices in the community.
- To provide a healthful environment for physical and mental growth.
Basic Principles of Health Education:
There are eleven basic principles of health-related education which are discussed in the following:
It is a psychological principle that people are unlikely to listen to those things which are not to their interest.
It should aim at encouraging people to work actively with health workers and others to identify their own health problems. Health educators should allow the clients to go through the stages of identification of problems, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
3. Known to Unknown:
Start where the people are and with what they understand and then go ahead to new knowledge.
Repetition at intervals and take feedback is extremely useful for understanding all health information and level of understanding.
Every individual has a unique way to learn. Find out and stimulate or awakening of the desire of learning called motivation.
Health educators must be aware of the various barriers to communication and the cultural background of the community. The health educator has to adjust his talk and action to suit the group for whom he has to give health education. When the health educator has to deal with illiterates and poor people, he knows the local language.
All health-related education should be need-based. Community health education programs should be purposeful, ascertain, specific, and relevant to the problems and available solutions.
8. Change Behavior:
The purpose of health related education is to change behavior. Therefore the multidisciplinary approach is necessary to understand human behavior as well as for an effective teaching process.
9. Scientific Based knowledge:
Health-related education must be scientific and current knowledge-based. Therefore a health educator should have the recent scientific knowledge to provide health education.
10. Rapport Relationship:
The health educators have to make them acceptable to community people. They should realize that they are enablers and not teachers. They are like friends to them. They have to win the confidence of clients.
11. Compare and Upgrade knowledge:
It must be remembered that people have no information or ideas about health. The health educators are not only passing information but also allow clients to analyses old ideas with new ones, compare with experience, and take decisions that are found favorable and beneficial.
Targets People for Health Education:
Targets people for health education are mentioned in the below-
- Individuals such as clients of services, patients, healthy individuals.
- Groups E.g. groups of students in a class, youth club.
- Community e.g. people living in a village.
Role of Health Educator:
The various important role of a health educator is in the following:
- Talking to the people carefully and listening to their problems.
- Figure out the behavior or action of the community people that could cause, cure, and prevent these problems.
- Assist people to see the reasons for their actions and health problems.
- Asking people to give their own ideas for solving the problems.
- Helping people to find out their ideas so that they can understand which are the most useful and the simplest to put into practice.
- Inspiring people to choose the idea best suited to their circumstances.
Maria Khatun Mona is a Founder and Editor of Nursing Exercise Blog. She is a Nursing and Midwifery Expert. Currently she is working as a Registered Nurse at Evercare Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has great passion in writing different articles on Nursing and Midwifery. Mail her at “[email protected]”