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PBHL20001 Understanding Public Health Assignment Sample

This assessment task for this unit is a reflective practice assignment of about 2000 words that describes your growing understanding of Public Health as a discipline. This is an individual assignment. You are strongly encouraged to work on your reflection throughout the term and to make notes of ideas that occur to you or issues that interest you that you can include when you write your assignment.

Your reflection should focus on how your understanding of Public Health changed over the course of the term, and you should compare your knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes at the beginning of this unit with how you feel at the end. You should also reflect specifically on the following questions:

1. How does an understanding of the history of Public Health contribute to professional practice?

2. How important are the non-health factors that are part of public health practice?

3. What are some of the ethical issues associated with public health practice?

4. How will the things you have learned as part of this unit affect your own practice in the future?

This reflective assignment is an essay. A less formal writing style may be used, and references are not required. If you do use any source material, however, each item must be identified in an in-text reference and also appear fully cited on a reference list.



The concept of public health is very important as it deals with ensuring the health and wellbeing of all the people of a country. However, there are different aspects related to the public health related policies. These aspects may not be medical in nature. Factors such as social aspects and ethical issues can affect public health related decision making. In this context, this essay for assignment help will highlight the history of public health and its contribution to professional practices. Along with this, it will also highlight the ways in which social factors and ethical factors impact public health related decision making. Lastly, this essay will highlight the concepts that I have learned in relation to public health during my coursework.

1. An understanding of the history of Public Health and contribute to professional practice

History of public health had become important in the second half of the nineteenth century in the USA. By the late 19th century, in the USA a public healthcare structure had been established which helped me and healthcare staff to treat the patients with proper guidelines.

History of anything is important to understand the present value of the particular area. In healthcare, the history of public health plays an important role in understanding different aspects for professional practice (Naeem et al., 2021). Public healthcare is always involved with different kinds of risks. Due to different symptoms and different health conditions, there are risks of wrong treatments. Historical facts and information help to avoid such risks. Apart from that, history always shows the ways that have already been considered for public health. The result may be favourable or adverse for the patient. Thus, in order to provide better treatment to the public, healthcare organisations can bring up innovative ways to treat people. Innovation helps public healthcare to be more developed and advanced. With the advancement of Medical Science, public healthcare should also become more developed for the better health of the society.

For a doctor, it is important to know the history of healthcare. A person may have a family history of carrying a disease hereditary and that affects that person at a point of his or her life. In such cases, I should know about the family medical history to go forward with the most suitable treatment method. It helps me to consider the wider range of possibilities rather than narrowing the possible ways of the treatment (Aruru et al., 2021). The history of public healthcare helps me understand the timescale of beneficial health. Exceptions are there too as some of the communicable diseases do not follow the rules of history. Nevertheless, in order to improve the public healthcare activities, I should consider all kinds of facts and figures from the past to understand the nature of the disease more conveniently. It will help me to find relevance with the future plans too.

It is important for the healthcare units to keep a track of every vase of public healthcare to use it as a history of case studies in case of treating the same disease in future. For me, knowing the health history of the family of the patient can be fruitful as it helps me to take necessary steps in order to minimise the health risks of the patient (Estabrooks et al., 2018). For example, a family has a history of diabetes. It is being observed that the family members who are blood related, have a high chance of diabetes at a certain age. In this case, I always advise to have regular checkups and blood tests.

2. Importance of the non-health factors that are part of public health practice

Before enrolling for this course, I had an idea that the non-medical factors had no relation with public health practices. I was unaware of the different aspects of non-health factors and how these aspects can make or break the mere foundation of public healthcare. However, during this coursework I was introduced to this topic in depth. I have been taught that different social aspects such as level of income, level of social protection, food insecurity, education, unemployment, discrimination and social exclusion and others play an important role in public health care facilities (Ford and Airhihenbuwa, 2018). As per World Health Organisation, social determinants are more important than lifestyle choices when it comes to influencing health. We have read those undeveloped countries where the rate of uneducated people is higher face more public health issues. For example, the covid-19 pandemic has also affected the deprived section of the countries in larger proportion. There is a higher chance that people with low-income groups will not be able to get the same healthcare facilities that other people get. Moreover, there is a high chance that diagnosis of dieseases will be late for these people as they often avoid going for checkups (Schuchat et al., 2020). On the other hand, people with a low rate of education are not aware of the different healthcare initiatives. Moreover, they may not be aware of the precautions that they need to take. Factors like low income, higher rate of unemployment and lack of economic growth also leads to depression which can again lead to substance abuse and drinking. Lack of education and social awareness can also lead to taboos and stigmas which can make it difficult for the people to get access to healthcare.

During our coursework, we have also learnt about the different strategies that are being taken to mitigate these issues. I have noticed that governments of different countries have started to make health considerations while making decisions about all the other aspects of society. I think this policy is highly effective as it engages a diversified range of stakeholders and aligns their objectives of promoting health as well as social welfare (Khoury et al., 2018). During the coursework, I have been taught that focusing on job creation, development of agriculture, improving the educational system and ensuring equality can ultimately improve public health. In this context, I have noticed the government making policies for ensuring that there is full attendance in the schools while also ensuring that the students are being educated about different diseases and the way they can take care of themselves. This is a form of responsible learning. Moreover, I have learnt that implementing cross-sector strategies can also improve the health of neighbourhoods which belong to poor sections of the society (Brownson et al., 2018). I know about different coordinated strategies that have been implemented across different sectors with social, cultural, economic barriers. These sections of the society have health disparities and are making cross sectional policies to mitigate the same.

3. Some of the ethical issues associated with public health practice

Ethics is a branch of philosophy which differentiates between right and wrong actions. During my coursework, I have learnt about the ethical issues that can hamper public healthcare practices. As per my understanding, the different ethical concerns that arise in healthcare practices include informed consent, confidentiality, scientific integrity and respect for human rights. In this context, the public health ethics inquiry has three main functions, which include identifying and mitigating ethical dilemmas, resolving the dilemmas by deciding the most suitable course of actions (Wickramage et al., 2018). I have also learnt about different forms of ethics such as bioethics which deals with reproductive or end of life decision making, clinical research ethics, confidentiality and use of emerging technologies. Here, as a healthcare practitioner the focus needs to be given on whether the decision taken will be beneficiary for the patient or it will be non-malefic. Other than this, the concept of justice also plays an important role. This is the reason why female foeticide is banned in India. Moreover, gender determination is also banned in India due to the ethical grounds of healthcare. Moreover, I have knowledge that health care practitioners have the liability to safeguard patient information. Other than this, I have also learned about public health ethics which deals with emergency preparedness, social determinants of health, infectious disease control and others.

As per my knowledge, the covid-19 pandemic was a type of ethical issue for the public healthcare system of different countries as it was the duty of the government to collaborate with the health care practitioners in order to reduce the spread of this infectious disease. I think that setting priorities is highly important as the government as well as the public health practitioners need to identify the way they will allocate financial resources (Estabrooks et al., 2018). The policy makers need to negotiate between different ethical issues as they choose their competing priorities in order to resolve the conflict. Our coursework has also taught us about the five conditions that are developed by James Childress that have to be considered before overriding important morale considerations in healthcare. These are policy effectiveness, least restrictive infringements, proportionality of benefits and burdens, necessity and public justification. Thus, as far as I have understood, public health care has to be followed in alignment with asset goals, benefits and burdens of public healthcare and the actions associated with them.

I also think that the majority of public health practitioners do not have adequate skill sets to consider ethics in their day to day work. In this case, first the healthcare practitioners will have to let go of the normative assumptions they hold. Majority of healthcare practitioners think that relying on professional experience and own personal morale is more than enough in managing challenging ethical issues in healthcare (Khoury et al., 2018). However, in reality there is lack of proper clarification and the boundaries of ethical healthcare are also not properly set. The existing healthcare frameworks also do not have the ability to reduce ethical tensions. The decision makers need to formulate frameworks that can manage ethical conflicts while reducing ethical tensions. Thus, I have learnt from my coursework as well as personal experience that there is a lack of effective policies to mitigate the ethical challenges associated with public health. However, the government is trying to take active measures to mitigate the same on a real time basis.

4. Learned factors as part of this unit affect your own practice in the future

The history of public health plays a vital role in comprehending various facets of my professional practice in healthcare. Various types of dangers are constantly present in public healthcare. There is a danger of incorrect therapy due to a variety of symptoms and health issues. Facts and information from the past can help you avoid such dangers. Aside from that, history always demonstrates the approaches to public health that have already been examined (Brownson et al., 2018). The patient's outcome may be positive or negative. As a result, healthcare organisations can come up with novel ways to treat patients in order to give quality treatment to the general public. Innovation aids the development and advancement of public healthcare. As medical science advances, public healthcare should improve as well, for the betterment of the people's health.

We've also learned about the many ways being used to address these concerns as part of our study. I've noticed that governments in several countries have begun to consider health issues while making decisions concerning other elements of society. This policy, in my opinion, is very effective since it involves a wide range of stakeholders and aligns their goals of enhancing health and social welfare. Throughout my training, I was taught that focusing on job creation; agricultural growth, educational reform, and guaranteeing equality can all help to enhance public health.

In this context, I've noticed the government enacting laws to ensure full attendance in schools, as well as to ensure that pupils are educated about various ailments and how they may take care of themselves. This is an example of responsible education. Furthermore, I've discovered that employing cross-sector techniques can help improve the health of neighbourhoods in low-income areas (Brownson et al., 2018). I'm familiar with a variety of coordinated solutions that have been applied across several industries to overcome social, cultural, and economic constraints. Health disparities exist in these areas of society, and cross-sectional policies are being implemented to address them.

Ethics is a philosophical branch that distinguishes between right and wrong conduct. I learned about the ethical difficulties that can stymie public healthcare efforts during my education. Informed permission, confidentiality, scientific integrity, and respect for human rights are among the various ethical considerations that occur in healthcare procedures, according to my understanding (Naeem et al., 2021). In this setting, the public health ethics inquiry serves three key purposes: detecting and minimising ethical issues, and resolving the dilemmas by determining the best course of action.

As a healthcare provider, my focus should be on whether the decision you make will be beneficial to the patient or non-beneficial. Aside from that, the concept of justice plays a significant role. Female foeticide is illegal in India for this reason (Wickramage et al., 2018). Gender determination is likewise prohibited in India because to ethical considerations in healthcare. Furthermore, I am aware that health-care professionals are responsible for protecting patient information. Aside from that, I have learnt about public health ethics, which includes topics like emergency preparedness, socioeconomic determinants of health, and infectious disease control.


After analysis, it has been concluded that heath care sectors need to inform their employees about different issues and make an awareness program. If the sectors want to improve its issues then it needs to make more charity programs and develop clinical leadership. Through those analyses understand various things and try to practice those days by day to improve it. I need to make my decision-making process more effective for the patient's benefit. I also think that fundamentals growth and education growth can help to develop heaths care services. Non-heaths factors did not have any concern with the heaths care sectors or services.

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