Our first lecture of the day was discussing what public health is and what it entails in the UK. One of the most important ideas of public health is accessibility. How can an environment be created to be accessible to all citizens when considering socioeconomic factors? For example, how can education of cardiovascular disease be shared? If you mail pamphlets, some people may not have access to mailboxes. If you make phone calls, some people may not have access to phones. If offering free scans of the heart, what setting will you make it in so it can be available for people to reach? These are important factors to consider when sharing education of a health topic- share it on multiple platforms to increase accessibility. Be aware of these different factors when striving to make education and resources available to all citizens.
We then discussed a case study on tobacco usage. The legal age for tobacco is 18, but it use to be 16. It may be changed soon with the number of tobacco users being evaluated, which may result in a policy change. I think it is pretty well-known how bad tobacco is for a person’s health. In the UK, it kills 8 million people each year, and 1.2 million of that died from second-hand smoke. This is important to note because it is evidence of how being around smoke can affect someone’s lungs. This is a reason why smoke-free sites were created- so it does not harm citizens of a building. They tend to be outside of buildings, and sometimes smoking may not be permitted on outside grounds of a building. It is important to explain and educate people on the ‘why’ it is bad for you. Someone may tell a child to not do something but they do not tell them why, and this will trigger their curiosity complex. Explain this reasoning and they will understand the effects of their actions.
Another important thing to note is that 80% of tobacco users live in low- and middle-income countries, and most tobacco deaths occur here as well. It is the target of intensive commercial tobacco industry interference and marketing.
After the tobacco case study talk, we were invited to attend a health conference programme at the Botanical Gardens down the street. We were able to squeeze in a few of the talks, but it was great to hear about new ideas! I listened to a mental health nursing talk and a conscious objection to forced pharmaceutical injections. Mainly, it talked of mental health nurses being obligated to restrain a patient with three people to inject a prescription in. It was a short but really interesting talk that sparked some ideas in my head. Mental health nurses are expected to hold accountability and critical thinking. When put in a situation where they are to be controversial, what will happen? Will it cause a moral injury? There are two options to make: accept that this is the rationale and how it should be done or empower mental health nurses. How can we help MH nurses to not have to make a forced decision upon them that they will have to hold down their patient and inject a medicine? As an aspiring mental health nurse or practitioner, these are important ideas that I need to keep in mind to advocate for myself and nursing workforce.
Lastly, we went to a skills and simulation lab! We practiced handwashing with UV lights to see the ‘germs’ on our hands, anatomy and physiology quiz, and CPR training. Our last activity was to talk through a scenario of how to talk to a patient and their visitors. It raised interesting ideas. I put myself in the position of when I was a patient and a visitor of a loved one. How do I want to be treated? How do I want my loved one who is in the hospital treated in terms of mannerisms and social context? The way you talk to people plays a great role in what your character is.
At night, we walked down to Digbeth and a saw a really cool mural depicting borderline personality disorder that the organization Pause (that I talked about in a previous blog) created just this past week! Lastly, we ended the day with seeing the face of Tommy Shelby on a building! A great end to the day.