During my Practicum Experience, I encountered a patient who will be referred to as Elaine in this description. Elaine, at the time of our examination of her, weighed nearly 200 pounds, was 5’7” in height, 35 years of age, and led a sedentary lifestyle. She reported to me and the other nurses that she was a regular smoker, having smoked two packs a day since she was in her early twenties, and also drank three times a week. She has an office job, and as such does not regularly exercise. Her blood pressure was 150 over 95, leading to mild stage 1 hypertension. While she showed few outward symptoms, she often had difficulty breathing and fatigue, symptoms often associated with hypertension. She did not often check her blood pressure, which led to her being unaware of her levels being as high as they were (Buttaro et al. 1999, p. 561).
In order to treat Elaine’s hypertension, two distinct prevention strategies could be implemented. First, we would advise Elaine to undergo weight loss through diet and exercise; modest reductions in body weight are proven to help reduce the risk of hypertension (NIH 2002, p. 14). Secondly, we would advise her to limit or cut out her alcohol consumption entirely; decreased consumption of alcohol directly leads to lower blood pressure (NIH 2002, p. 16). It is hoped, with these strategies, that Elaine’s blood pressure might lower, thus preventing or successfully treating her hypertension. We would also ask her to cease smoking, as that would help even further with the treatment for her hypertension (Buttaro et al. 1999, p. 571). With the help of these prevention methods and prospective treatments, it is hoped that her hypertension would be treated.
Buttaro, T.M., Trybulski, J., Bailey, P.P., & Sandberg-Cook, J. (1999). Primary care: a
collaborative practice. Mosby.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2002). Primary prevention of Hypertension:
Clinical and Public health advisory from the National High Blood Pressure Education Program. National Institute of Health.