Learner With Disabilities or Chronic Illness In Nursing Education

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Chronic Illness or Learner With Disabilities In Nursing Education

Learner With Disabilities or Chronic Illness In Nursing Education

Educating Learners With Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses, Scope of the Problem Chronic Illness In Nursing Education.

Educating Learners With Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses

    Teaching others about health and wellness or disease and its treatments is a critical and challenging role for the nursing caring for any population of individuals in any setting. 

    However, the teaching learning process is especially demanding when working with people whose abilities to learn are challenged by sensory, cognitive, mental health, physical, and other types of disabilities that affect their capacities to see, hear, speak, move, understand, remember, or process information. 

    In light of these challenges, education remains a critical component of care as nurses assist patients with disabilities and their significant others to maintain already established patterns of living or to develop new ones to accommodate changes in health status or functional ability.

    This chapter focuses on those persons whose sensory, cognitive, mental health, or physical conditions require nurses to adapt their approach in teaching others to enable learning. Although the information presented here focuses specifically on patient populations, the same principles of teaching and learning can be extrapolated to apply to other categories of learners. 

    For example, the nurse educator, in the role of in-service educator, faculty member, or staff development coordinator, may use these strategies when teaching hospital personnel or nursing students who have a physical or learning disability.

    This chapter provides an overview of a wide range of sensory, cognitive, mental, and physical disabilities and other issues that affect the ways in which people learn. Included are the most common disabilities encountered by nurses, such as learning disabilities, mental illness, and communication disorders. 

    Although not a disability, chronic illness is included because it is a situational issue that often causes disabilities and that requires a change in the way the nursing approaches health education. 

    This chapter also provides a summary of assessment, teaching, and evaluation strategies that nursing educators can use in designing and implementing teaching plans for individuals with unique learning needs and their families.

Scope of the Problem Chronic Illness In Nursing Education

    “Disability is part of the human condition. “Almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in their life, and those who survive to old age will experience increasing difficulties in functioning” (World Health Organization (WHO), 2015b, p. 3). 

    Therefore, it is not surprising that more than 1 billion people throughout the world (about 15% of the population) live with a condition that is classified as a disability. This number is expected to increase as population age and the incidence of debilitating conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and cancer continues to grow (WHO, 2016b).

    Given these worldwide statistics, it is not surprising that a significant number of Americans live with a wide range of disabilities that affect them in a variety of ways. In the United States, nearly 60 million Americans (1 in 5) are estimated to have a disability, with almost half of these persons reporting a disability that is considered to be severe (US Census Bureau, 2012). 

    Almost 1 in 12 Americans aged 18-64 report having a disability severe enough to limit their ability to work (Cornell University, 2012).If the incidence of disabilities seems high. It is important to remember that not all disabilities are readily apparent to the casual observer. For example, not all people with disabilities use a wheelchair, wear a hearing aid, or walk with the assistance of a white cane.

    Individuals with disabilities are more likely than people without disabilities to have more illnesses and greater health needs, are less likely to receive preventive health and other types of social services, and are more likely to suffer from poverty (Brucker & Houtenville, 2015; Reichard , Stolzle , & Fox, 2011). However, it is important to avoid making assumptions about this population. 

    People with disabilities are diverse in the type and extent of health disparities they have, and the access to services that are available varies from person to person (Horner Johnson, Dobbertin, Lee, Andresen, & the Expert Panel on Disability and Health Disparities, 2014; Wisdom et al., 2010 ).

    For example, Down syndrome a common cause of intellectual disability-is associated with various chronic physical conditions, including heart disease, epilepsy, and leukemia. In the case of Down syndrome, the associated intellectual disability complicates the chronic health conditions; that is, individuals with Down syndrome are less likely to access health services because of fear, lack of understanding on the part of caregivers, and environmental barriers (Vander Ploeg Booth, 2011).

    Other factors contributing to health disparities among people with disabilities include fear. lack of understanding and physical barriers. Cost is another major issue. People with disabilities face many challenges related to employment resulting in financial constraints (Brucker, Mitra, Chaltoo , & Mauro, 2015). 

    Therefore, even with health insurance, people with disabilities may have insufficient resources for copays, transportation costs, and other expenses related to accessing health care (Lee, Hasnain Wynia, & Lau, 2012).

    It has been said that people with disabilities represent the largest minority group in the United States, a group that is composed of individuals of all ages, of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, and from all walks of life (Do Something. org, 2017). Health care for this group of people is often complex and costly. 

    More than 25% of healthcare expenditures in the United States are associated with disability care, borne largely by Medicaid and the public sector (Anderson. Armour , Finkelstein, & Wiener, 2010). As educators, nurses can play a significant role in promoting health and wellness, ensuring proper self care, and improving overall quality of life.

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