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NRS 428: Describe the social determinants of health and explain how those factors contribute to the development of this disease.

NRS 428 Describe the social determinants of health and explain how those factors contribute to the development of this disease.

Assessment Description

Topic 2 DQ 1

What are social determinants of health?  Explain how social determinants of health contribute to the development of disease.  Describe the fundamental idea that the communicable disease chain model is designed to represent. Give an example of the steps a nurse can take to break the link within the communicable disease chain.

Resources within your text covering international/global health, and the websites in the topic materials, will assist you in answering this discussion question.


The social determinants of health are the conditions of birth, development, employment, living, and aging. They include income, education, housing, and work (Social Determinants of Health, 2018). The social determinants of health are linked to health outcomes and health disparities. A growing body of research has shown that addressing the social determinants of health can improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities. There are many ways to address the social determinants of health. Some approaches include policy changes, community-based initiatives, and individual-level interventions. It is important to note that no one method is suitable for everyone and that different approaches may work better in various settings.

There is growing evidence that social determinants of health play a significant role in disease development. For example, studies have shown that factors such as poverty, poor housing, and lack of access to healthcare can lead to a higher incidence of disease (World Health Organization, n.d). In addition, social determinants of health can also affect the course of an illness and make it more challenging to manage. Therefore, it is a crucial issue to consider, as social determinants of health can significantly impact human health and well-being. Thus, ensuring everyone has access to the resources they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle is vital.

The communicable disease chain model illustrates the transmission and control of infectious diseases. The pathogen, reservoir, portal of exit, method of transmission, the portal of entry, and new host are the six different linkages that make up the model. According to Study.com (2019), each link in the chain plays a specific role, and each one can be broken or interrupted in various ways. For example, a nurse might perform multiple actions to break the chain of infectious diseases. Some of the most popular steps a nurse may use include, but are not limited to, adequate hand washing, wearing PPEs, using all necessary safety precautions, and using the proper sterilization and cleaning methods.

In conclusion, social determinants of health significantly impact individuals’ well-being. Therefore, nurses should understand them and incorporate better practices to prevent the spread of diseases.


Social Determinants of Health. (November 30, 2018). Social Determinants of Health. Healthy People. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health

Study.com. (2019). Chain of Infection: Definition & Example. Retrieved from https://study.com/academy/lesson/chain-of-infection-definition-example.html

World Health Organization (n.d). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/social_determinants/sdh_definition/en/

Social Determinants of health can be political. Our political temperament and governmental structure play heavily into the healthcare

NRS 428 Describe the social determinants of health and explain how those factors contribute to the development of this disease.

NRS 428 Describe the social determinants of health and explain how those factors contribute to the development of this disease.

resources that are available to the citizen. It was interesting to learn that healthcare for all, in the United States, was proposed as early as 1904, and was for a time pursued by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration. When the doctor’s association of the time protested he pulled back to pursue the Social Security Act. Post-WWII Europe embraced healthcare for all as a deterrent to communism, while the United States felt that “socialized” medicine promoted communism. The American Medical Association, comprised of MDs, has continued to lobby and exert political power against healthcare reform, including the ACA. For years it was the pressure that they exerted on Medicare that prevented those in rural communities from being able to seek care from advanced practice nurses and NPs. While at the same time not being able to attract MDs to their rural communities to serve their people. To be more precise Advanced Practice RNs and NPs could provide care Medicare would just not pay them for it. The AMA’s pressure was to protect power and revenue for their constituency, disappointing. In most areas of inequity if you follow the money or the power the true nature of things will be revealed. Thankfully the Affordable Care Act addresses some of these past hurdles.

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Gilligan, H. (2018, May 23). Socialized medicine was coined in the US, not Europe. Timeline. Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://timeline.com/socialized-medicine-was-coined-in-the-us-not-europe-30438fad9d69


Rangel, C. (2010, March 23). H.R.3590 – 111th Congress (2009–2010): Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Congress.Gov | Library of Congress. Retrieved May 26, 2022, from https://www.congress.gov/bill/111th-congress/house-bill/3590

Sep 7, 2022, 11:38 PM

Social determinants of health refer to the socioeconomic factors within the environment that one was born in, lives, and work that impacts health outcome. These factors include culture, economic status, race, ethnicity, and other social factors (Palmer et al., 2019). These social determinants of health can contribute to the development of health. An example is the economic status of an individual, family, or community. Low-income levels can lead to inability to afford health insurance and consequently become a barrier to health care access. Individuals that are uninsured or underinsured often have a late clinical presentation of illnesses which might lead to the development of complications. Race can also lead to the fear of racism that then affects access to health care. A good example is the distrust that African Americans have in the health care system after the unethical Tuskegee Syphilis experiment (Wells & Gowda, 2020). Consequently, a significant percentage of the African American population do not seek health care services for fear of discrimination. Education level also affects the health behaviors of an individual and consequently impacts health outcomes and decisions.

The communicable disease chain model represents how a communicable disease moves from one person to another. The idea that the chain represents is that the chain can be broken. The model has six components which are; infectious agent, reservoir, portal of exit, mode of transmission, portal of entry, and susceptible host. The infectious agent represents the disease-causing microorganism. Understanding the reservoir and portal of exit is critical in also determining the mode of transmission. The mode of transmission can be air, water, blood, and other body fluids. The nurse can break the link by addressing the issue at the mode of transmission or portal of entry. For example, nurses can engage in handwashing to prevent the spread of certain communicable diseases. Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) further seeks to seal off portal of entry of an infectious agent into a susceptible agent. According to Lee et al. (2020), the principle of single-use device or individual equipment to break the chain of infection is effective. These approaches have been used in preventing the spread of Hepatitis B and C within the clinical setting. Therefore, understanding the chain is important in determining the appropriate points of intervention and the strategy for use.


Lee, M. H., Lee, G. A., Lee, S. H., & Park, Y. H. (2020). A systematic review on the causes of the transmission and control measures of outbreaks in long-term care facilities: back to basics of infection control. PloS One, 15(3), e0229911. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0229911

Palmer, R. C., Ismond, D., Rodriquez, E. J., & Kaufman, J. S. (2019). Social determinants of health: Future directions for health disparities research. American Journal of Public Health, 109(S1), S70-S71. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2019.304964

Wells, L., & Gowda, A. (2020). A legacy of mistrust: African Americans and the US healthcare system. Proceedings of UCLA Health, 24, 1-3.

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