My school just like every school in the USA engages in health education on virtually all levels and attempts to cover every student. In the following term paper I will speak about my high school.
Health education in my school in advanced via the following ways:
Physical education requirements. Our high school has 4 mandatory classes in physical education. In other words, students are free to choose from various classes, yet are required to engage in physical education activity, which is directly tied to their health and well-being.
Health education classes. Students in our school are required to take several healthcare classes which together with human anatomy deal with health and healthcare education. These classes directly teach students how to take care of themselves and of the loved ones and remain healthy throughout their lives.
Health seminars and lectures. These seminars are held several times per year yet usually twice the semester. These seminars can be organized by either school nurse or by public organizations. Typically the seminars speak about teen pregnancy, abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, let alone drugs, substance abuse, smoking and alcohol. Some seminars are dedicated exclusively to CPR, steps that need to be taken to stop bleeding etc. I personally attended seminars on how to fight stress in school, avoid date rape and family violence. Here I have to admit that these seminar certainly benefit students, since they manage in a limited period of time to present enough of information needed by all students in daily settings.
Individual meetings with students. School nurse oftentimes organizes individual meetings. One of my friends who suffers with obesity and excess weight has weekly meetings with the school nurse who advises him on how to take on healthy diet, excel in sports and lose weight.
I believe that despite existing health education initiatives there exist various gaps that need to be overcome. For instance, despite various seminars on dangers of sex, alcohol and drugs, people indeed do these things. On the contrary, some people start doing these things just because the word “danger” is associated with “being cool”. I believe that the gaps are seen in different realities that seminars/lectures and real life presents. Thus, instead of telling people that one should not have sex on the prom night, the lectures should rather be on how to use contraceptives effectively and on how to develop romantic relationships with members of the opposite sex. I personally am aware of many people who had sex just because they wanted to try something new. After having sex, they usually would lose a partner, since they did not know how to develop relations further.
Also I am aware of the fact that many people after reaching the age of 21 (or getting to college) would consider themselves as ‘qualified’ (seminars/lectures say “no alcohol till you are 21”), engage in binge drinking and suffer serious health damages. In other words, I believe that most health education initiatives done in school just to assure that in the short run (while kids are in school) they do not do damage to their life. After they leave school, no one cares if they die from alcohol poisoning or AIDS.
In my opinion, nurses should participate in the curriculum committee and should develop programs that would have long term effects rather than short term ones. One needs to understand that the role of a nurse is to assure good health long after the person visited her and even graduated from school.
Thus, I believe the seminars, classes and lectures should provide people with objective picture regarding alcohol, sex, drugs, smoking etc, so that people are able to make informed decisions rather than do things because ‘it is cool and prohibited’ or because ‘now I graduated and I am qualified to drink and smoke’.
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