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Chronic Disease Overview

About two-thirds of all deaths in the U.S. are due to chronic disease. The most common of these are heart disease, cancer, stroke, lung disease and diabetes. In this course we will look at these common chronic diseases and how they affect people in different groups.

We will also explore the relationship between chronic disease and mental illness. Mental illness may be triggered by the emotional affects of an illness, the symptoms of the illness or its medication. Because you may be working closely with clients, it is important to recognize the symptoms of mental illness and how to help clients in an emotional crisis.

Course topics include:

  • Health disparities
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Recognizing mental illness and clients in a crisis

Learning Objectives

After you complete the course, you will be able to:

  • Describe why chronic diseases affect groups or populations differently
  • List the characteristics, symptoms and treatments of four common chronic diseases
  • Describe two common mental health disorders
  • Recognize a clients in crisis
  • Describe your role in helping a client in crisis

Why do you need to know about common diseases?

You may not be a healthcare provider—like a doctor or nurse—but you will be working with clients who have a chronic disease. If you understand chronic diseases, medical terms and treatments, you will be better able to help people, clients and healthcare team members in your setting.

You may need to know about chronic diseases so you can:

  • Help clients understand a chronic disease, a medical test or why it is important to follow a treatment plan
  • Talk to healthcare providers about clients' needs
  • Help clients communicate with healthcare providers about their disease

Let's start the course by looking at how chronic diseases affect people in different groups. >>>

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