Hypertension is a common chronic condition that affects millions of Americans. It can cause stroke, heart disease and kidney disease, so it’s important to recognize it early on and treat it aggressively. In this guide, we’ll cover how healthcare professionals can help prevent hypertension in their patients.
Nursing Intervention Hypertension
1 Understand the causes of this condition.
Hypertension is a condition that occurs when the arteries around your heart are narrowed, resulting in high blood pressure. This can lead to serious health problems if left untreated, including heart disease, kidney damage and stroke.
The causes of hypertension are not always known but include:
- High salt intake
- High alcohol intake
- Caffeine intake (coffee)
- Fatty food intake (pastries)
- Sugar intake (soda)
If you have any of these risk factors for hypertension or high blood pressure then it’s important to be aware of them and make healthy lifestyle changes where necessary.
2 Examine all medications taken by the patient.
- List the following medications:
- Antihistamines and decongestants
- List the following supplements, herbs, vitamins and herbal remedies:
- Multivitamins/multiminerals (and other B vitamins)
- Vitamin C supplements or citrus fruit and juices (as tolerated)
3 Develop a health plan with the client.
You should develop a health plan with the patient and discuss the importance of diet, exercise and medication. You should also discuss the importance of regular blood pressure monitoring, weight loss, quitting smoking and regular exercise.
4 Provide information about hypertension and lifestyle changes to prevent the disease.
Hypertension is a serious condition that can lead to heart attack and stroke. The following nonpharmacologic interventions can be helpful in preventing hypertension:
- A diet that is low in salt and high in potassium may help by decreasing fluid retention, which reduces blood pressure. Adequate fluid intake is also important to prevent dehydration.
- Regular exercise has been shown to lower blood pressure. Try at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise five times per week or 20 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise three times per week for best results.
- Smoking cessation lowers blood pressure by improving the function of your arteries, allowing them to relax more fully during each heartbeat. Smoking also increases your risk for many other diseases, such as coronary artery disease and cancer; quitting will reduce these risks as well as improve your overall health and quality of life!
5 Manage other factors for risk such as diabetes, obesity and smoking cessation.
- Weight loss
- Diet modification
- Smoking cessation
6 Weigh the patient regularly and chart any weight changes.
To monitor a patient’s weight, weigh them at regular intervals. Weigh the patient once a week and chart any weight changes or trends. Weigh the patient in the same manner each time to minimize variability in results. The most accurate way to weigh a person is with an electronic scale that reads within 5 grams of actual body weight (a scale should read within 4% of actual body weight). If you do not have access to such equipment, you can use an analog bathroom scale that has been calibrated for accuracy against your hospital’s standard digital scale (see instructions below).
You should weigh people naked or wearing only undergarments (if they are female) when possible; however, if this is not possible due to modesty concerns or other circumstances, weigh them wearing their normal clothing while keeping track of any changes in clothing throughout your shift so as not to miss significant changes in body composition over time due to increased fluid retention during illness/surgery etcetera
7 Monitor other symptoms such as headache, dizziness, dizziness or chest pain.
The nurse should also monitor other symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and chest pain.
In hypertension secondary to hyperviscosity, a headache may be the most common early symptom. The headache can be generalized or localized over one temple. It is often described as throbbing in nature and may radiate to the back of the head or neck.
The patient may complain of feeling light-headed when rising from a recumbent position (orthostatic hypotension). Dizziness can also occur with exertion and in postural changes from lying down to sitting up or standing up (postural hypotension). In addition, blood pressure drops during sleep because of decreased cardiac output and diminished vasoconstrictor tone in arterioles that supply cerebral tissue with blood flow; this results in orthostatic hypotension upon awakening.
8 Healthcare professionals can play an important role in preventing hypertension by educating patients about their risk for the disease.
As a healthcare professional, you can play an important role in preventing hypertension by educating patients about their risk for the disease. The first step is understanding the causes of this condition and examining any medications they are taking. You should then develop a health plan with your client that involves educating him or her on hypertension’s symptoms, causes and contributing factors (such as diabetes, obesity and smoking cessation). Finally, you should provide information on lifestyle changes that can help prevent hypertension as well as manage other factors for risk such as diabetes and obesity.
Nurses have a unique opportunity to help patients with hypertension because they can help them make lifestyle changes and monitor their health by regularly weighing them. The nurse’s role is to provide information about hypertension and lifestyle changes to prevent the disease.