Discussion: NURS 6051 Health Literacy
In order to effectively manage their own health, individuals
need to have competencies in two areas—basic literacy and basic health
literacy. What is the difference? Basic literacy refers to the ability to read,
even simple language. Health literacy is defined as, “the degree to which
individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health
information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (National
Coalition for Literacy, 2009). Unfortunately, according to a Department of
Education report on health literacy, only 12% of adults aged 16 and older are
considered to have a proficient level of health literacy (U.S. Department of
Education, 2006). Acquiring health literacy skills has become more complicated
with the explosion of online health information, some credible and some
In this Discussion, you focus on how to help individuals
find credible information on the Internet and develop strategies nurses can use
to increase the health literacy of their patients.
Think about the nurse’s role in improving the health
literacy of patients.
Consider the many ways patients access health information,
including blogs, social media, patient portals, websites, etc.
Reflect on experiences you have had with patients who
self-diagnose using online medical sources.
Using the Internet, the Walden Library, or other trustworthy
sources, identify a resource that you could introduce to patients to help them
evaluate the credibility of health information found online.
What are some strategies you could employ to improve the
health literacy of patients?
By Day 3
Post your assessment of the nurse’s role in improving the
health literacy of patients. Then, identify the resource you would recommend to
patients for evaluating online health information and why it would be
beneficial. Describe additional strategies for assisting patients in becoming
informed consumers of online health information.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.
By Day 6
Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different
days using one or more of the following approaches:
Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings,
synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings
from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
Validate an idea with your own experience and additional
Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from
readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.
Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional
insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.