While treating patients with chronic illnesses, the major challenge faced is developing a plan of care that addresses the specific needs of a patient and caregiver. One needs to be in close touch with the patients and make sure that they take medications as prescribed. The patients support group family and peers should come-up with an ideal plan to help the patient manage the illness and also to prevent further health complications. The chronic illness that I am going to discuss is hypertension. Hypertension also known as high blood pressure is a chronic medical illness whereby the blood pressure in the arteries rises up. When the blood pressure is elevated, the heart is forced to work harder than normal in order to be able to circulate enough blood in the vessels.
Hypertension is classified into two, primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension are high blood pressure cases with no obvious underlying cause while secondary hypertension is caused by medical conditions that affects the heart, kidney, arteries and the endocrine system. Research indicates that 90-95 % cases are classified as primary hypertension while 5-10 % is classified as secondary hypertension (Wong, and Mitchell, 2007).
I chose to discuss hypertension because many studies done on this illness shows that 72 million people in the U.S. have hypertension and are dying yet it is preventable and manageable. The disease rarely has signs and symptoms and mostly it can be identified when one seeks medical attention to a related problem or does body screening for any sickness. Hypertension has no visible symptoms until when their blood levels reach 180/110 mmHg.
Life style changes are the best recommendations to lower high blood pressure before one starts therapy. Patients with hypertension are advised to maintain a normal body weight. They are also recommended to engage in regular physical activities like aerobics and walking briskly for 20-30 minutes in a day which will help them in reducing excess fats in the body. Physical exercises help a lot in weight loss which it turn reduces the amount of excess fats in the body and this allows the heart to pump normally. Furthermore, they are advised to reduce sodium intake to 100mol per day (Sherwood, 2012). Another possible way to prevent hypertension is to take a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and avoid foods that are rich in fats.
The nursing care plan of hypertension is to regularly monitor the patient since the illness is a life long lasting health condition. The caregiver or the nurse should lower and control the patient’s blood pressure often (Carretero and Oparil, 2000). In order to achieve this goal, the nurse should apply specific nursing interventions that will teach and support the patient to follow the treatment as applied. The caregiver has to monitor the patient closely so as to make sure that the patient is taking the medications prescribed. In addition, the nurse should teach the patient how to take their blood pressure on their own and record it and carry it with them on their visits to the clinic. The caregiver should develop a plan for regular exercises for the patient and also advice on the recommended exercises so that the patient does not tire while exercising. The nurse should also instruct the patient to brisk walk for at least 15 minutes a day. The nurse should incorporate low fat foods and low sodium intake for the patient and advice a lot of fruits and vegetables intake..
Carretero, O., A, and Oparil, S. (2000). Essential hypertension. Part I: definition and etiology. Circulation, 101 (3), 329–35.
Wong, T. and Mitchell, P. (2007). The eye in hypertension. Lancet, 369 (9559), 425–35.
Sherwood, C. (2012). How does Aids effect the Immune System? Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4923207_aids-effect-immune-system.html
Swales, J., D. (1995). Manual of hypertension. Oxford: Blackwell Science.