Despite increased abilities across developmental realms, including the maturation of pain systems involving self-regulation and the coordination of affect and cognition, the transition to young adulthood is accompanied by higher rates of mortality, greater engagement in health-damaging behaviors, and an increase in chronic conditions. Rates of motor vehicle fatality and homicide peak during young adulthood, as do mental health problems, substance abuse, unintentional pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections.
Describe how the advanced practice nurse can play a role in improving the health of young adults through preventive screening and intervention. Word limit 500 words. Please make sure to provide citations and references (in APA, 7th ed. format) for your work.
The transition to young adulthood is often characterized by increased abilities in various developmental realms, including self-regulation, affect, and cognition. Despite this, however, this period of life is often marked by higher rates of mortality, health-damaging behaviors, and chronic conditions. Rates of motor vehicle fatalities and homicide peak during young adulthood, as do mental health problems, substance abuse, unintentional pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (Arnett, 2000; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020; Heron et al., 2021). As such, it is imperative that advanced practice nurses (APNs) play a role in improving the health of young adults through preventive screening and intervention.
One important aspect of preventive screening is identifying and addressing risk factors for poor health outcomes. APNs can provide comprehensive health assessments that include questions about behaviors such as substance use, sexual activity, and driving habits. APNs can also use evidence-based screening tools to assess for mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. By identifying and addressing these risk factors early on, APNs can help young adults make positive changes that will improve their health outcomes.
Intervention is another key aspect of improving the health of young adults. APNs can provide education and counseling on a range of topics, including sexual health, substance use, and safe driving practices. For example, APNs can educate young adults about the importance of practicing safe sex to prevent STIs and unintended pregnancies. They can also provide information about harm reduction strategies for substance use, such as using clean needles or taking medication to prevent opioid overdose. Finally, APNs can counsel young adults on safe driving practices, such as avoiding distracted driving and wearing seat belts, in order to reduce the risk of motor vehicle accidents.
In addition to preventive screening and intervention, APNs can also play a role in promoting access to care for young adults. Many young adults face barriers to accessing healthcare, such as lack of insurance or difficulty finding a healthcare provider who understands their unique needs (Keeley, 2020). APNs can provide care in a variety of settings, including primary care clinics, schools, and community centers, making it easier for young adults to access the care they need.
In conclusion, the transition to young adulthood is marked by higher rates of mortality, health-damaging behaviors, and chronic conditions. APNs can play a critical role in improving the health of young adults through preventive screening, intervention, and promoting access to care. By identifying and addressing risk factors early on, providing education and counseling, and promoting access to care, APNs can help young adults make positive changes that will improve their health outcomes.
Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55(5), 469–480. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.5.469
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Leading causes of death by age group, United States – 2019. National Center for Health Statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/mortality-age-sex.htm
Heron, M., Anderson, R. N., & Gindi, R. M. (2021). Mortality in the United States, 2019. National Center for Health Statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db395.htm
Keeley, R. D. (2020). Overcoming healthcare barriers for young adults. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 32(7), 481–488. https://doi.org/10.1097/JXX.000000000