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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.

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Advanced practice nurses (APNs) are well-positioned to play a role in improving the health of young adults through preventive screening and intervention. They have the training and expertise to assess the health needs of young adults, provide education and counseling, and refer patients to other providers as needed.

Here are some specific ways that APNs can improve the health of young adults:

  • Screening for health risks. APNs can screen young adults for a variety of health risks, including high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and mental health problems. This early identification of risk factors can help to prevent serious health problems from developing.

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  • Providing education and counseling. APNs can provide education and counseling to young adults about healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking and drug use. They can also help young adults to develop coping skills for managing stress and mental health problems.
  • Referral to other providers. If APNs identify health problems that they cannot treat themselves, they can refer young adults to other providers, such as physicians, mental health professionals, or social workers.

In addition to providing preventive screening and intervention, APNs can also play a role in promoting the health of young adults by:

  • Advocating for young adults’ health needs. APNs can advocate for young adults’ health needs at the individual, community, and policy levels. This includes working to ensure that young adults have access to affordable health care, preventive services, and healthy living resources.
  • Educating the public about young adults’ health. APNs can educate the public about the health needs of young adults and how to promote healthy lifestyles. This can be done through public speaking, writing articles, or developing educational materials.

By taking these steps, APNs can help to improve the health of young adults and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, injuries, and other health problems.

Here are some specific examples of how APNs have improved the health of young adults:

  • APNs at a community health center developed a program to screen young adults for high blood pressure and cholesterol. The program was successful in identifying young adults who were at risk for these health problems and providing them with education and counseling about how to manage their risk.
  • APNs at a school-based health center developed a program to teach young adults about healthy eating and exercise. The program was successful in helping young adults to make healthier choices and improve their overall health.
  • APNs at a state health department developed a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of mental health for young adults. The campaign was successful in reducing the stigma associated with mental health problems and increasing the number of young adults who seek help for mental health problems.

These are just a few examples of how APNs can improve the health of young adults. By taking a proactive approach to health promotion and disease prevention, APNs can help to ensure that young adults reach their full potential.

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