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NURS 5050 Nova Southeastern University CDC Health Disparities Discussion

NURS 5050 Nova Southeastern University CDC Health Disparities Discussion

Question Description

I’m working on a writing discussion question and need an explanation to help me study.

I have to reply to these 3 Posts


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health disparities are “differences in health outcomes and their determinants between segments of the population, as defined by social, demographic, environmental, and geographic attributes” (as cited in Ritter & Graham, 2017, p. 12). Health disparities impact groups of individuals who have an increased amount of social or economic barriers to health. These barriers could be due to race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, geographic location, gender, sexual orientation, mental health, disabilities, or other characteristics that may be linked to discrimination (Suarez-Balcazar et al., 2017).

As an emergency department nurse, I see a vast array of both health disparities and vulnerable populations on a regular basis. A group of individuals that I recognize as being affected most in my place of work is that of the African American population. A specific health issue that these patients commonly encounter is hypertension. African Americans are almost twice as likely to suffer from hypertension than their Caucasian counterpart (Stechuchak, et al., 2018). All too often I have patients of African American descent that have known hypertension and have been prescribed anti-hypertensives, yet are non-compliant with their medication or health care regimen. Upon being asked reasons for non-compliance patients often attribute forgetfulness, lack of education on risks of sustained hypertension, or lack of transportation to regular health screenings or the pharmacy to fill scripts.

As nurse practitioners, we have the ability to eliminate the vast majority of these issues for this population. The biggest opportunity that advanced practice registered nurses have to intervene to reduce the disparity in this population is to educate both patients and their families on the importance of maintaining a normotensive state. Patients and their families can be educated not only on the long and short term risks of hypertension, but also alterations in diet and exercise that can be modified in addition to pharmacotherapy. A potential creative, reliable plan of action to help minimize this particular health disparity includes having an educational seminar for this targeted population that could be organized by the advanced practice nurse. It may include primary prevention strategies, as well as education and tips once the disease has been diagnosed. The event could occur monthly so as to reach a wide range of audiences. During the community outreach event, screenings may be provided along with blood pressure checks.

In reference to a patients’ lack of compliance due to forgetfulness, there can be a designated family member that assists the patient in administration of medication. In reference to a patients’ lack of compliance due to transportation, a nurse could participate in community outreach programs that bring much needed health care to these vulnerable populations.

Overall, the African American population suffers greatly from hypertension more than their counterparts. This may be due in part to diet and culture, lack of access to care, or lack of education on the importance of maintaining a normotensive state. Nurse practitioners could intervene in many ways to reduce the disparity.


Ritter, L. A., & Graham, D. H. (2017). Multicultural health. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Stechuchak, K. M., Kirshner, M. A., Jackson, G. L., Bosworth, H. B., Edelman, D., Weinberger, M., & Coffman, C. J. (2018). How views of the organization of primary care among patients with hypertension vary by race or ethnicity. Military Medicine, 183(10), e583–e588. (Links to an external site.)

Suarez-Balcazar, Y., Mirza, M. P., & Garcia-Ramirez, M. (2017). Health disparities: Understanding and promoting healthy communities. Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 46(1), 1–6. (Links to an external site.)


Social determinants of health are described as external factors that can affect one’s health such as “economic stability, education quality and access, neighborhood environment, health‐care quality and access, and the community and social context” (Schneiderman & Olshansky, 2021, p. 313). One social determinant of health in particular that can be such an important factor is economic stability. If one does not have money that allows them to have health insurance and buy healthy foods, their health can be affected. For example, Higginbotham et al. (2019) makes points on how poverty not only affects people physically, but also emotionally. As advanced practice nurses, we have the ability to intervene and help with certain social determinants of health. For example, educating a patient whose glucose level is elevated to eat healthier foods can be vital for proper regulation. But, making sure to look at the patient as a whole and certain factors such as economic stability is just as important. Higginbotham et al. (2019) states the importance of screening patients for social determinants prior to an intervention. Educating patients on healthy foods that are affordable in a situation where patients may not have a lot of money is key. Other actions can be taken such as, providing outside resources and groups that can help patients have more access to fresh fruits and vegetables and educating patients on the effects of poor nutrition. One research article titled Nurses’ Perceptions: Addressing Social Determinants of Health to Improve Patient Outcome had statements from nurses who made it clear that they feel as though money should not be a reason that someone cannot have access to healthcare and that further actions should be taken from nurses and nurse practitioners to help increase access (Schneiderman & Olshansky, 2021).


Higginbotham, K., Davis Crutcher, T., & Karp, S. M. (2019). Screening for social determinants of health at well-child appointments. Nursing Clinics of North America, 54(1), 141-148.

Schneiderman, J. U., & Olshansky, E. F. (2021). Nurses’ perceptions: Addressing social determinants of health to improve patient outcomes. Nursing Forum, 56(2), 313-321


Social determinants of health (SDOH) can be described as the conditions in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age, and they influence a wide range of health, functional, and quality-of-life outcomes and hazards (Healthy People 2030, 2021). One SDOH that needs to be looked closer at is education access and quality. It is suggested that people with higher-educated individuals are more likely to be healthy and live longer. Teaching health education and promotion courses with concepts in mind may help to build culturally competent students and future professionals. Addressing social justice, health disparities, and health equity as part of health education and promotion initiatives is not a new notion, and teaching health education and promotion courses with these concepts in mind can help to build culturally competent students and future professionals (Rich & Paschal, 2020). The pursuit of health equity means to strive for the best level of health among all persons, this may also mean giving special attention to the persons at the greatest risk for poor health (Rich & Paschal, 2020).

As nurses we are given the tools to intervene when necessary, one intervention that is seen as essential is education. Educating the population and certain communities that need to be focused on further can create longevity. An example is educating the public on a disease that is common, like hypertension, and explaining that when a patient ignores this diagnosis and has no control over their hypertension other diseases can form as a result. Cheng et al (2020) explains that one effective way of educating patients is face-to-face interaction, many participants in this research study felt that webinars were not engaging to an audience. It is critical to explore how to make education more accessible to patients and choose an educational path that works best for each community.


Cheng, I., Powers, K., Mange, D., Palmer, B., Chen, F., Perkins, B., & Patterson, S. (2020). Interprofessional education through healthcare hotspotting: Understanding social determinants of health and mastering complex care through teamwork. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice, 20, 100340. (Links to an external site.)

Healthy People 2030 (2021). Social Determinants of Health.…

Rich, R., & Paschal, A. (2020). US college students’ perceptions of social determinants of health, health equity and racial health disparities. Health Education Journal, 79(6), 700–711.

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