Skin Cancer Discussion Response – This problem is exacerbated by primary caregivers’ failure to enlighten these individuals on the measures of protecting their skin, such as wearing sunglasses and caps….
Reflective 4: Skin Cancer Discussion Response
Over the past week, I have learned a lot about health knowledge deficits and lack of primary prevention education in rural areas. The clinic I am currently precepting at is in a more rural area of Tennessee, and many patients are farms, construction workers, or truck drivers who spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun. When performing assessments on these patients, I have found many suspicious moles or skin lesions in sun exposed areas such as the face and forearms.
If suspicious lesions are found, we educate the patient about the possibility of skin cancer, and we remove the lesion via shave biopsy to send to pathology. When discussing skin cancer prevention with these patients, almost all of them report that they do not wear sunscreen and were never told they needed to unless they were at the beach or the pool.
Skin cancer is often a result of sun damage due to ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure and can be dangerous if not treated timely (Mayo Clinic, 2020). These patients who spend the majority of their days outside are not wearing sunscreen, which places them at high risk for developing skin cancer such as basal cell carcinoma and melanoma.
In 2015, the American Cancer Society reported that 91,270 Americans were diagnosed with melanoma, which can metastasize and be deadly if not treated promptly (Thanh et al., 2020). The skin is exposed to UV radiation year round, and UV rays can penetrate through windows and clouds (Skin Cancer Foundation, 2021). This is why it is important to obtain the patient\’s occupation and hobbies, and ensure they protecting themselves from any possible health hazards, including prolonged sun exposure.
Removing skin lesions via shave biopsy is quite simple; however, if the lesion tests positive for cancer, the patient may require more tissue to be removed to ensure all cancer cells have been extracted from the skin. Also, the word cancer can be very scary for patients to hear.
Sun protection via sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing are relatively simple and affordable ways for patients to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer; however, they may not be aware of the importance of sun protection if they are not properly educated by their primary care provider. It is crucial that primary care providers screen patients for healthcare knowledge and understanding of primary prevention strategies, especially in rural communities with limited resources.
This past week I learned that primary care can really mean anything. Many patients seek care from their primary care physician for well-care, urgent visits, psychological issues, substance abuse, or anything that may be going on with them. We saw a patient this week that had been struggling with attention deficit disorder (ADD) since childhood. Now that she was an adult it was starting to affect her work and advancing her education. Attention deficit disorders that persist into adulthood have shown emotional issues, lower educational attainment, job instability, and the need to depend on parents for longer (Fabiano et al., 2019).
Our patient had been dealing with ADD for years and had been on and off of medication. She presented to the clinic saying that her medication (Vyvanse) was no longer working, and she thought she needed to be increased. After an extensive conversation, we learned the main problem involved her new aspiration to further her education. She was taking her ADD medication in the morning with breakfast, just like she had done when she was a child, but her classes now started at 5 pm. We educated her that the duration of this medication is about 10 hours, and she may need to consider taking her meds later in the day so they would last through her classes (Epocrates, 2022).
Our patient was very receptive to changing the timing of her medications. We also discussed non-pharmacological interventions to help her focus on concentrating like choosing one task and not moving to another until that one was complete. We also stressed the importance of removing all distractions when she was attempting to do schoolwork. Studies have also shown positive results in adults with ADD receiving occupational therapy for adjunctive treatment (Kastner et al., 2022).
I learned from this experience because I had never had a patient with ADD. I was very unfamiliar with adult ADD and the treatment. Vyvanse was also new to me, the only medication I really knew about for the treatment of ADD was Ritalin. It was a great feeling to be able to help this patient overcome her barrier and continue her education with something as simple as changing the timing of her medication.
Reflective 4 Response
##Name, you have elaborated on the vital role of primary caregivers in educating those residing in rural areas on primary care strategies for preventing skin cancer. The most affected individuals are those with outdoor occupations like farmers and construction workers.
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This problem is exacerbated by primary caregivers’ failure to enlighten these individuals on the measures of protecting their skin, such as wearing sunglasses and caps. There are various measures that primary caregivers can take to raise awareness about skin cancer. They include offering mobile screening services to reach inaccessible rural areas and using the UV index tool to educate the public about the harmful effects of UV exposure (Jeihooni & Rakhshani, 2019).
They can also organize workshops targeting entrepreneurs and investors who own most outdoor occupations, such as construction industries. Such seminars can help educate them to implement protective measures for their employees, like requiring them to wear helmets, gloves, and sunglasses to reduce the impact of UV radiation. Lastly, they can also educate parents and guardians to take the first step in nurturing the importance of skin protection among their children, making it easy for them to prioritize their skin health.
Jeihooni, A. K., & Rakhshani, T. (2019). The effect of educational intervention based on the health belief model and social support on promoting skin cancer preventive behaviors in a sample of Iranian farmers. Journal of Cancer Education, 34(2), 392-401.
I agree that primary care covers every issue affecting patients’ daily lives, including psychological problems and substance abuse disorders. Your case scenario highlights the importance of primary care. To further support your conclusion, primary care is vital to the community since its affordable and effective in enhancing prevention and treatment approaches for various health problems like substance abuse disorders and mental health issues (WHO, 2021).
The healthcare system uses primary care centers to raise disease awareness and prevention mechanisms. Furthermore, it improves health outcomes and performance, including equity and access to health services. Patients usually visit primary care centers at the onset of initial symptoms of disease, ensuring the provision of early treatment. WHO (2021) observes that it increases the resilience of crises, such as the outbreak of Covid-19. Their position makes them the first responders to detect epidemics, making it easy for the healthcare system to strengthen its response strategies.
WHO (2021, April 1). Primary Health Care. World Health Organization. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/primary-health-care#:~:text=Primary%20health%20care%20ensures%20people,feasible%20to%20people’ s%20everyday%20environment. (Accessed July 5, 2022)
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