Role Of A Nurse Gambling

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Nurses play a significant role when it comes in promoting the health and wellbeing of individuals. There are different types of specialties in nursing, therefore, their role as health promoters is very complex and has a wide range of knowledge and skills that are valuable for preventing diseases (Kemppainen, 2012). This essay will define and discuss the concepts of health and illness and wider determinants of health. Furthermore, this essay will focus and examine one of the health behaviours that affects an individual’s health and wellbeing. This will also analyse how nurses can be involved in supporting and promoting patient health and wellbeing in field of practice. Lastly, this will include a conclusion at the end.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), in 1948, ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (Felman, 2017). And illness is defined as a disease or period of sickness affecting both mind and body (Ackard, 2013). The wider determinants of health, also known as social determinants, are the social, economic, cultural and environmental factors that influence the health and wellbeing of an individual (Dahlgren and Whitehead model 1991). Paying attention to these factors contribute for a better health population and not only by treating ill health.

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Health behaviour defined as the activities and views of an individual with regards to their health and well-being. Gambling addiction is one of the health behaviours that affect an individual’s health and wellbeing. The Gambling Commission found in 2015 that in the UK, more than 2 million people are addicted to gambling or at risk of developing a problem. (Gambling Commision, 2015). According to BBC news, the national lottery is the most popular form of gambling and about £14.5 billion was spent between October – September 2017 on gambling (BBC News, 2019). Gambling is classed as an impulse control disorder and it can affect mental health. The world is now more advance, people can just gamble online, and it is easier to access. A holistic approach (1926) can be used for a patient with gambling addiction. This include physical, mental and their social factors. Gambling addiction may be a mental health issue, but once their mental health is affected, it can lead to physical. E.g. they may feel depress and drink alcohol to ease the pain or they might go bankrupt and lead to being homeless. Drinking alcohol and becoming homeless can deteriorate their physical health and will end up in the hospital.

Around 430,000 people are suffering from gambling addiction in the UK. Most people who suffers from compulsive gambling do not seek help. NHS statistics shows that around %5 of these people look for help and only %1 get treatment for their compulsive gambling. Gambling addiction can significantly affect relationships, financially, their own selves and other areas in their life. Gambling addiction is a serious issue and may sound problematic, but it can be treated. Holistic approach looks at the individual’s needs, circumstances and their preferences of receiving their treatment (The Health Foundation, 2016). According to National Health Service (NHS), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most common and has the best result for treating Gambling and other types of addictions. Sadly, because of the casualties made in the family by the people suffering from compulsive gambling, it is common for the family to have something against them especially emotional problems. However, families’ support is undoubtedly important for emotional support specifically when they are trying to reach for help or starting to quit their addiction. A nurse in a field of practice can support a patient with compulsive gambling by recommending services such as counselling and other associations that can help people with compulsive gambling. There is also National Problem Gambling Clinic, these are for people who live in England or Wales and are over 16 years of age. This is a specialist NHS clinic for problem gamblers. Gambling Commission found that 11% of approximately 3000 young people (11 – 16 years old) spent their own money on a gambling activity in the 7 days before taking part in the survey (Gambling Commision, 2019). The most common gambling activities they spent their money on are private bet and slot machines.

Health promotion is defined by the WHO as the process of enabling people to increase control over their health and its determinants, and thereby improve their health (World Health Organization, 2018). Gambling can give them a sense of community from the environment. For some it might be fun or harmless, but in the long run it can lead to major problems. In the beginning, when they are trying to stop their gambling addiction, it is one of the worse. They can’t suddenly stop gambling just like that. It must be step by step. For example, if the patient usually spends £100 a week, they could reduce it to £90 the next week until they stop. Or if they are using gambling apps, they could put a time limit on how long they can be on the app. A nurse can educate the patient on how to live a healthy lifestyle. A patient can’t just divert their mind from their addiction, they must do something else to interrupt the feeling of going back to gambling again. When the patient starts to recovery, the nurse can encourage the patient to do or develop hobbies such as jogging, cycling or learning how to play an instrument instead of gambling. Hobbies are extremely good for addiction recovery, but they will still need the support of professional addiction treatment which is the best way to cure addiction.

In conclusion, gambling should get more attention due to its major consequences such as negative psychological, physical and social conflicts. People with gambling addiction are prone to having depression, migraine and other anxiety. Also, people are now taking part in the gambling world at a very young age which is 11 to 16 years old. They may not be placing a lot of money, but eventually when they get older and continuously gambling, they will experience psychological effects. This essay explained the concepts of health and illness and wider determinants of health. Additionally, this essay examined gambling which is one of the health behaviours. Finally, it analysed how nurses can be involved in supporting and promoting patient health and wellbeing in field of practice. 


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