Prevention: what does it really look like?


Many of us believe we know what PREVENTION is.  I thought I did.  If you look it up, there are many different interpretations.

An interesting post came to me via a friend on FACEBOOK.  His brother is an exercise physiologist.  However he is a teacher at a community college as well.  I actually credit him with suggesting I sit for the ACSM personal trainer certification.  I haven’t really turned back since.

In part, he speaks from a perspective not unlike mine.

Physicians, nurses, as well as other health care professionals take on the task of caring for those in need.  Never mind that need or undoing came from their own negligence of their health.  We as health care professionals still care for them; even under extenuating circumstances.  My role is far different from the nursing career I once had in dialysis. I like to think of myself as working from the PREVENTATIVE side now, as opposed to the CHRONIC or ACUTE side.

Either way, his face book post struck a chord.  He spoke of a respiratory therapist giving breathing treatments to a current smoker.  Now, the therapist knew this patient had no intentions of quitting.  Yet here he was providing a breathing treatment.  We as health care professionals see the END USER effects, of highly preventable CAUSES.  Diabetes & hypertension; both in most cases highly preventable CAUSES of kidney failure, which puts one’s feet on the road to dialysis.

What about other diseases of man’s own making?  That being said, I will be the 1st to admonish those seeking to blame the poor & underserved communities for their plight.  Why?  I grew up in a poor underserved community.  My mother was a single parent which could not afford to keep both me & my sister.  I was raised by my godparents until the age of 11, when they moved to Michigan.  It is a kind of a  “riches to rags” sort of story.  But that’s not the focus of this post.

What is the focus is how much of disease is of man’s own making?  What can we as health care “preventionists’ do to help him out of this spiral?  Everything and nothing.  As a nurse in my former life, I could provide dialysis treatments to help remove some of the toxins that a normal kidney would.  Dialysis is not a cure, and it is not without side effects.  As a healthcare preventionist now, I can guide those through lifestyle modification to a different outcome.

Why do I say everything & nothing?  I can teach, modify, train, recommend, even dictate.  All to naught for those unwilling to avail themselves of my services.  Yet there seems to be money for a new purse, dress, shoes, or all you can eat buffets.  But the type of service I or someone similar provide?  This is what I hear.  “I can do that myself, I don’t need to pay her.  I’ve lost weight before I can do it again.  I don’t need to pay anyone for that.”  Perhaps.  In the words of a TV psych which I really don’t like ” HOW’S THAT WORKING OUT FOR YOU?”

For many, it simply is not.  So again I ask, what can we as health interventionists do?  What can you do especially now?  A lot.

How about starting with skipping the drive thru?  Maybe pick up some fruits and vegetables?  From what I’ve seen, they are rotting on the store shelves, while frozen fried chicken, pizzas, and similar food stuffs are depleted.

Online cooking shows and “how to” guides on preparation abound.  Perhaps start with a simple soup or pasta dish with vegetables if cooking isn’t your forte.   Yes the unfamiliar is intimidating.  But the alternative in the long run isn’t intimidating, it’s scary.

PREVENTION can have many meanings.  Now it has even more.  PPE(personal protective equipment), hand sanitizer, bactericidal cleaning agents all qualify now as PREVENTION.

What about a mindset?  Can that qualify?  More on that later.


All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments?  Contact me at



  1. Everybody wants a quick fix at no cost. It seems to be the way of the world now, and it’s crept into the fitness craze. Pills take the place of exercise, and even in fitness clubs there are juice bars to congretate. Thus making fitness clubs the place to be, as opposed to being a place to work….and to show off my nifty new workout outfit!

    1. That is certainly one aspect of working out at some clubs. Can think of a few which fit the bill.

      Since I take on clients one on one usually, and they have little interest in going to clubs, it’s much easier. They know what I provide. I know what they are looking for when they come to me. That is the oversight of a medical professional, someone familiar with potential outcomes associated with medications. These include both the positives & negatives impacting a workout.

      And if they can decrease or kick some of the meds to the curb, all the better! Thanks for commenting!

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