The causes of the causes

The following poem describes and challenges us to think about the complex web of interrelated factors or conditions that influence health and well-being.

Why is Jason in the hospital?

‘Why is Jason in the hospital?
Because he has a bad infection in his leg.


But why does he have an infection?
Because he has a cut on his leg and it got infected.


But why does he have a cut on his leg?
Because he was playing in the junk yard next to his apartment building and there was some sharp, jagged steel there that he fell on.


But why was he playing in a junk yard?
Because his neighbourhood is kind of run down. A lot of kids play there and there is no one to supervise them.


But why does he live in that neighbourhood?
Because his parents can’t afford a nicer place to live.


But why can’t his parents afford a nicer place to live?
Because his Dad is unemployed and his Mom is sick.


But why is his Dad unemployed?
Because he doesn’t have much education and he can’t find a job.


But why …?’

From Federal, Provincial and Territorial Advisory Committee on Population Health for the Meeting of Ministers of Health (1999: vii)


Your task

What are you thinking about as you read through this poem?

Where do you see yourself, as a nurse, in this poem?

Does this poem in any way challenge you to think differently about your patients/clients? If so, why?


Reference

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Advisory Committee on Population Health for the Meeting of Ministers of Health (1999) Toward a Healthy Future: Second Report on the Health of Canadians Charlottetown: P.E.I., vii. available from http://publications.gc.ca/collections/Collection/H39-468-1999E.pdf [19 June 2018]

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This article is from the free online course:

Could You Be the Next Florence Nightingale?

Coventry University