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One of the negative trends that is currently growing in Miami-Dade, Florida, is the situation with sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Miami-Dade takes the fifth place in the overall ranking regarding the health behavior among all counties of Florida, and the levels of adult smoking, obesity, alcoholism, physical inactivity, and many other health factors are low and close to the best U.S. values (County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 2019). However, the STIs rate is getting worse, and the number of newly diagnosed chlamydia cases per 100,000 population is 445.7 and continues to rise from 2007 to the current time. Miami-Dade also shows the fourth-highest rate of syphilis nationwide (Larios Venegas et al., 2020), and a high prevalence of gonorrhea (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019). The mentioned STIs trend can be related to the unawareness of the population about STIs prevalence, symptoms, and consequences (Palmer, 2019). Therefore, specific health problems need to be addressed at all levels, including the community level.
The creation of a community health center program may help to reduce the health, social, and economic consequences of STIs. The STIs prevention program should necessarily include health education and counseling, screening, and treatment of patients with STIs (Bungay et al., 2017). Health education helps to overcome the deficit of knowledge about STIs and reduce susceptibility to infections by promoting the use of condoms and limiting the number of sexual partners. Special attention should be paid to risk groups, including adolescents and pregnant women (Larios Venegas et al., 2020). Hence, the creation of such a program may assist in the deterrence of STIs.
Notably, nurses play a major role in all areas of STIs management. Nurse-led education and screening for STIs prevention has been shown to be highly efficient and has been determined as the fundamental area of STIs care (Bungay et al., 2017). Furthermore, in screening services, nurses may independently provide proficient testing, while doctors serve as consultants. Nurse leaders should create the conditions for making the STIs health services in the community available to everyone, expanding the educational activities, and providing continuing education for nurses practicing in the field of sexual health.
Bungay, V., Handlovsky, I., Phillips, J. C., & Prescott, C. (2017). A scoping review of the literature on nursing practices with persons seeking care for sexually transmitted infections. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 26(1-2), 33–48. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13561
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2019). Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2018. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. DOI: 10.15620/cdc.79370
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (2019). University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. www.countyhealthrankings.org
Larios Venegas, A., Melbourne, H. M., Castillo, I. A., Spell, K., Duquette, W., Villamizar, K., Gallo, G., Parris, D., & Rojas, L. M. (2020). Enhancing the routine screening infrastructure to address a syphilis epidemic in Miami-Dade County. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 47(55), 61–65. https://doi.org/10.1097/olq.0000000000001133
Palmer, P. G. (2019). Demographic, behavioral, and cultural factors on chlamydia trachomatis infection. Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/dissertations/6941
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