The roles of the three levels of health promotion, primary, secondary, and tertiary, differ. Primary prevention takes place before anything else takes place. Vaccinations, wellness visits, and annual exams are examples of primary prevention. Maintaining primary preventions will allow for the prevention of any illness as well as the earliest detection. Early treatment is the first step in secondary prevention. “Secondary prevention is concerned with the early detection and treatment of disease processes before they progress and cause irreparable harm” (Falkner, 2018). Early treatment and frequent screenings are examples of secondary prevention. Tertiary prevention begins when the disease has advanced significantly. “The goal of this level of prevention is to assist the patient in regaining some semblance of normalcy and reintegrating into their lives and society” (Falkner, 2018). During this stage, some prevention measures include providing adequate resources, medical equipment, and even additional education to aid in the adaptation to a new lifestyle change.
The level of care varies between the three prevention levels. Someone being educated in the primary prevention stage may not require as much detail and attention as someone in the tertiary prevention stage. Someone in the tertiary prevention stage may be facing learning barriers such as denial or a lack of resources. It is critical for a nurse to always educate in order to avoid progressing to the next stage. However, the level of care varies greatly as the stages progress.
What are some examples of prevention that you have witnessed as an individual? Do you adhere to primary prevention measures? If so, what exactly are they?