Incorporating obesity education into adult primary and acute care nurse practitioner programs
Epidemic levels of obesity in the United States have created a ripple effect throughout healthcare. Healthcare organizations have taken great strides to address obesity-related issues such as sensitivity training and adjustments to the environment of care. Studies suggest, however, that nurses, physicians, and their respective students need additional obesity education and training in the care of the obese patient. To date, there are no national guidelines regarding the specific education of obesity to be included in advanced practice nursing curricula. Obesity is incorporated within other disease state content guidelines rather than as a unique medical condition. Additionally, obesity content is seldom incorporated into core coursework, making it more challenging for students to consider in subsequent diagnostic and management courses. A review of the current obesity literature and of the primary and acute care adult/gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP) competencies provides rationale for incorporation of obesity content into the curricula. In order to achieve positive patient outcomes, it is imperative that nurse educators design new and innovative strategies that foster student inquiry, clinical planning, and sensitivity in the care of bariatric patients. These strategies allow primary and acute care AGNP students the opportunity to engage and apply psychosocial skills, psychomotor skills, and critical thinking skills in a nonthreatening, safe environment. Utilizing these unique teaching strategies, students can obtain an extensive understanding of the complex and challenging needs of bariatric patients. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Sabol, VK; Hammersla, M; Idzik, SR
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