Congestive Heart Failure
One of the primary reasons for hospitalizations among Americans is CHF. When the heart is not working right, it pumps insufficient arterial blood to essential organs and tissues, including the kidneys, brain, and legs. As a result, these organs and tissues receive insufficient blood flow, leading to injury or failure and tissue death (Reber, 2018). The purpose of this article is to give readers an overview of the prevalence of CHF in the United States and discuss quality- and safety-related improvement measures. It will also talk about national CHF measures to guarantee that patients with CHF get quality care.
CHF Population Overview
CHF is a chronic cardiac disease that develops from a long-term risk factor or risk factors that faces the individual. On many occasions, it tends to occur during old age. This is because the risk factors take much time to cause a significant impact on the heart to make it fail to perform its usual physiologic functions. Thus, most of the affected population is old age, especially from the ages of 65 and above. Many of these individuals have an underlying disease that has been perceived for a longer duration. However, in the past few years, the prevalence of CHF has been on a significant rise. Due to this reason, many health organizations have undertaken active research to develop active and continuous ways through which it can be safely combated, and the health of the patients safeguarded.
Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood to other parts of the body due to narrowing of the arteries and increased blood pressure (AHA, 2020). In order to enhance perfusion, the heart strives to beat faster and build more muscle, which leads it to expand in size (AHA, 2020). Heart failure can be concealed for a long time using these compensatory strategies. Because of this, some people may not notice symptoms until the condition has progressed to the point where the body cannot respond appropriately. The most common causes of congestive heart failure include coronary artery disease, excessive blood pressure, and a previous heart attack (CHF). CHF is characterized by shortness of breath, persistent coughing, excess fluid buildup in body tissues, fatigue, lack of appetite, increased heart rate, and confusion (AHA, 2020).
Reber (2018) estimates that over five million Americans suffer from congestive heart failure (CHF), resulting in 875,000 hospitalizations each year. People 65 and older are more likely to develop CHF, and African Americans are more likely to be affected owing to risk factors like obesity and hypertension (Reber, 2018). After a Myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure (CHF) is the leading cause of disability and mortality worldwide (MI). Patient noncompliance with treatment regimens and lifestyle modifications is a common reason. Because the damage that has already been done over time cannot be reversed, the objective of treating CHF is to reduce symptoms (Reber, 2018).
AHA (2020) states that individuals with CHF are actively involved in their treatment plan, making required dietary, activity, and lifestyle adjustments to attain the most outstanding possible quality of life. Effective therapeutic communication by health care professionals should be focused on patient-centered care for those with congestive heart failure (CHF). Nurses may play an essential role in the client’s care by conducting evaluations and encouraging patients to adopt healthy lifestyle changes that are culturally acceptable and personalized.
The nursing care profession is defined by the clinical roles put in active nursing practice to promote the patients’ health. Whenever a problem that affects a patient arises, it is the sole duty of nurses to act towards combating that problem. Congestive cardiac failure affects a large patient population. With its effects of deteriorating the patient’s health, it becomes objective for nurses to act in a manner that can combat it and deter it from impacting the health of patients negatively. Nurses help patients with CHF manage their symptoms by educating them on adopting lifestyle changes that improve their quality of life. According to the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses, CHF patients should be informed on the importance of exercise (AAHFN, n.d.). When to exercise and what kind of activities they may safely do are also important considerations. Evidence supports the notion that regular exercise helps people manage their symptoms while increasing their energy and overall health.
Exercise strengthens the heart and can assist in reducing the number of hospitalizations. Second, the nurse should instruct patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) on food and lifestyle choices (AAHFN, n.d). It is recommended that patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) limit their salt consumption because sodium promotes fluid retention, raising blood pressure and putting more stress on the heart. Edema and shortness of breath are also possible side effects of fluid accumulation in the lungs. American Heart Association (AHA, 2020) advises congestive heart failure (CHF) patients to consume no more than 1,500mg of salt per day. Reducing salt intake will reduce stress on the heart and lead to better results for patients. To minimize additional damage to the heart and increase the quality of life, nurses should teach patients, particularly those with alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy, to stop drinking alcohol altogether. Finally, the nurse should urge their patients to cease smoking and using other tobacco-related things. The nurse’s responsibility is to explain to congestive heart failure (CHF) patients that no tobacco product is safe since nicotine increases heart rate and blood pressure, constricts the major arteries, and can cause an irregular heartbeat (Worsley, Webb and Vaux, 2016). These situations are dangerous for someone who already has a damaged heart. Quitting smoking will simplify the heart to pump blood since the arteries will be wider (AAHFN, n.d).
Nurses play an essential role in educating and assisting patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) to manage their symptoms and collaborate to create and implement a treatment plan. Caregivers can help CHF patients obtain safer and higher-quality treatment by utilizing data-driven and research-based techniques (Worsley, Webb, and Vaux, 2016). Patients with this severe and chronic disease will benefit from this change.
This research will be embedded towards the main objectives of finding out the most effective ways to play critical roles in promoting the health of CHF patients. However, the research will also expound on how nurses play vital roles in preventing CHF occurrences by implementing primary healthcare services that ensure healthy lifestyles (Cajita, Cajita & Han, 2016). It is the advocative roles of nurses that will be much expounded in this research. However, CHF will be expounded regarding its causes, disease process, and implications on the patient’s health if urgent critical care is not implemented. Even though mentioned in the introduction, this research has been selected due to its major significance of serving as a critical health educative tool to the large patient populations affected by cardiovascular diseases. It is a significant problem in nursing as most of the patient population tends to face this significant problem.
The research questions that will drive this inquiry include; what is CHF? What are the causes of CHF? What are the significant implications of CHF? What is the current prevalence of CHF in the USA? What are the roles of nurses in CHF treatment and patient health promotion? (Cajita, Cajita & Han, 2016). These questions, alongside the stance of evidence-based practices, will ensure that CHF is well expounded, understood so that the clinical findings can be safely implemented in clinical nursing practice through evidence-based practices.
My chosen topic aligns with the MSN essentials number VIII that focuses on clinical prevention and population health to improve patient populations’ health. By enacting in this research, I will have taken an active part in researching about CHF, developing the ideations to clinical health screening methods, at-risk patient identification, and implementation of safe clinical outcomes through EBPs to safely promote the health of both at-risk populations and the health of those individuals that are affected by CHF (Zaccagnini & Pechacek, 2019). As nurses, it is our prime objective to work towards safeguarding the health of our patients nonmatter our levels of certification. In the active prevention of CHF, we will play the active roles of patient education, disease screening, and patient health promotion until the disease is safely combated and its effects are reduced in the patient populations.