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October 04, 2018

Is Your Health IQ Your Biggest Barrier to Better Health?

Joyce Knestrick, PhD, CRNP, FAANP

Not understanding your own health needs may be the biggest barrier you face to better health. Providers are becoming increasingly aware of this phenomenon, and nurse practitioners (NPs) are on a mission to change it. Nine out of 10 NPs spend at least half of every patient visit on patient education. Why? Because informed patients make better decisions, which ultimately lead to healthier outcomes.  

If you’re not sure how better health education can make a difference for you, here’s a cheat sheet of fast facts providers want you to understand:

  1. Family history is important, but lifestyle can be even more significant.
  2. Prevention is more effective than any available treatment option.
  3. The same risk factors cause most chronic conditions.
  4. Screening can save your life.
  5. Not all treatments are right for all people. Regular visits help your provider get to know you and treat you more effectively.

Understanding your own health is the first step to being healthy. Good providers don’t just treat illness, they also promote wellness. If you feel like you don’t know enough about your body, your family history and your personal risk landscape, talk to an NP!