Post 1

( Please respond to the Discussion post ) 

Newborn Screening and Public Health Transformation

Mandatory newborn screening in America has rapidly transformed public health and healthcare through the timeliness of test results.  The newborn screening is typically done 24-48 hours after the baby is born.  The screening is done through a blood test.  The results for those tests take between five and ten days to come back.  Getting the results in an adequate amount of time is vital for improving the overall quality of health of newborns, (Cellucci, 2019).  Faster results mean that physicians can provide treatment for conditions and can start to monitor the baby’s health. One challenge that public health practitioners face is the false-positive test results, (Lipstein, Perrin, Waisbren, & Prosser, 2009).  This is when test results reflect the newborn being positive for a condition but the newborn is negative.  This results in delayed accurate results, frustrated and confused parents, and delayed treatment for any true-positive results. False-positives can occur from infants having a lower or a higher level than the expected range.  Sometimes this happens if the infant has not eaten enough before the screening or if the specimen was exposed to heat. Public Health departments all over the U.S. are urging laboratories to improve testing and creating new/updated technology, (AACC, 2020). 

Inappropriate Use of Prescription Drugs and Public Health Impact

Inappropriate use of prescription drugs is very challenging for public health because of a drug overdose and addiction. Sometimes prescription drugs are illegally sold, given to family and/or friends, or even being used when symptoms have subsided. These instances are considered to be inappropriate use of prescription medication.  This can lead to drug addictions, allergic reactions, or dangerous interactions with other medications that are also being used at the same time. All of these possibilities can be detrimental to the health of those inappropriately using the medication.  One important public health response is prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).  These programs are aimed to protect patients at risk for substance abuse by monitoring and keeping track of controlled substance prescriptions in certain states, (CDC, 2020).  The programs are not established in every state, therefore, extending PDMPs throughout the entire U.S. would be very beneficial.  This way, pharmacies and healthcare providers will have a better understanding of how to treat patients.   

My Role as a Public Health Professional

I can personally exercise critical thinking in my future career as a public health professional.  Since my future career will involve certain aspects of sexual health, I will find ways to encourage and implement STD/STI prevention for vulnerable and at-risk communities. For my specific future public health career, the science elements that important to understand would be the structure, function, and growth of STD/STI bacterial, viral, parasitic, and fungal agents.