Nur 405 Epidemiology Paper

1893 words 8 pages
NUR 408

Public health nursing allows nurses to encounter various vulnerable populations on a daily basis. In particular, the elderly make up a large portion of the population, and their vulnerability to the environment and other physical factors is a very important aspect of public health nursing. Epidemiology allows the public health nurse to study and assess vulnerable populations, including the elderly, and create interventions that maximize the health potential of all members of the public.
Definition and Description of Epidemiology
Originally, epidemiology was a term that was used to describe the spread of infectious disease. Over the course of time, that definition has expanded considerably in order
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Epidemiological Triad
A tool that has proven beneficial in field of epidemiology is the epidemiological triad. This triangle shows the relationships that exist between three interrelated factors in relation to the spread of disease: agent, host, and environment. The agent is identified as the disease causing object. The host is a living being that is able to be affected by the agent. The environment is the surroundings inhabited by and further manipulating the host. According to the epidemiological triad, the interaction among the agent, the host, and the environment, all govern the way communicable diseases develop and spread. In addition, the relationship between these three factors also determines the way communicable disease will be prevented or stopped (Wissman, 2007).
Disease causing agents can take on many forms. Infections agents include viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Physical agents include genetics, temperature, and trauma. Chemical agents include drugs, toxins, and fumes. Agents affect hosts based on their susceptibility. Hosts that are not susceptible to disease causing agents are determined to be immune by either active means (natural or artificial) or passive means (natural or artificial). Environments consist of physical factors, access to health care, high risk working and living conditions, crowding, temperature, and many other examples (Baughman, 2004).
The epidemiological triad can