Social determinants of Health are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. (Center for Disease control (CDC), 2016).
Examples of social determinants are; availability of clean water and food resources, access to health care, language literacy, economic stability through jobs and education, exposure to crime and violence, cultural variety and social attitudes. (Healthy People, 2020). These factors, determine the well-being of individuals and their ability to prevent disease and promote healthy living.
Social determinants of health are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources throughout local communities, nations and the world. When there is more of the social factors that contribute to poor health such as exposure to crime and violence or reduction of the social factors contributing to good health in the community that is, limited access to clean water and food, poor access to health care etc. in the community, members of the community will be at great risk for illness.
Communicable disease chain demonstrates how a communicable disease is linked together by links of chain with each link representing a concept such as the agent, reservoir, portal of exit, mode of transmission, portal of entry and susceptible host.
Nurses can interrupt this infectious chain through educational awareness and prevention through vaccinations. (Healthy people, 2020). An example of communicable disease is influenza which is transmitted through droplets in the air and hand to mouth contact. This is easily transmitted in environments with poor ventilation.
To control communicable disease, a nurse should aim at the weakest link to break the communicable disease chain. Example, antibiotics would break the agent link with a strep throat infection and stop the disease before it spreads to someone else. A nurse should ensure patients take their prescribed antibiotics. Also, the importance of proper hand washing cannot be over-emphasized. A nurse that does not practice proper hand washing could become a mode of transmitting infectious agents during care of patients. It is required/expected of nurses to engage diligently in infection control measures such as hand-washing and proper use of personal protective equipment such as hand gloves, gowns/aprons etc.
Center for Disease Control (CDC), (2016): Social Determinants of Health. Retrieved from
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Grand Canyon University (GCU). (2015). Epidemiology and Communicable Disease.
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