Central Ohio Technical College Social Determinants of Health Discussions


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Florence Nightingale is considered a pioneer in the nursing profession – leading nurses in a charge to encourage patients to live healthier and nurses to extend care beyond the bedside. Nightingale observed a relationship between patient mortality and the environment resulting in the Environment Theory. The Environment Theory focuses on the role of the environment in health and illness and the idea that the altering the enviornment can affect change in health.

Jean Watson added to nursing’s discussion on social determinants of health (SDOH) and her theory of holistic nursing – the Philosophy and Science of Caring – nursing care that focuses on the health of the whole person. Watson’s theory integates four major concepts into nursing practice: human being; health; enviornment/society; and nursing. Watson upholds that there are internal and external factors surrounding human beings and their health and wellness. https://www.watsoncaringscience.org/jean-bio/caring-science-theory/#10cp

The future of nursing, as has our past, depends on the evolution and further growth of the profession as a distinct heatlh and caring discipline – and the development of nurses who can meet the unique needs and wishes of diverse individuals and groups. To create effective programs and modalities for eliminating health disparities and improving population health, we must work collaboratively to adress the unique needs within the community. This means we MUST consider and address social determinants of health (SDOH).


For this discussion, you will explore the social determinants of health (SDOH) as described by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and reflect upon how SDOH, impacted by poverty, can impact overall health and wellness.  

Visit https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/social-determinants-health to learn more about SDOH. 

Visit http://playspent.org/

Play the game at least twice. 

The first time you play, make the choices you would like to make without regard for money. How long does your budget last? 

In subsequent plays, make the choices you HAVE to make in order to stretch your budget for the entire month. Take notes regarding the choices you make, the sacrifices they involve, and how it makes you feel. Imagine facing these choices in your real life. 

At the end of each game session, you can refresh your browser to replay. Play the game as many times as you have to in order to make it through the month without running out of money. 

In your discussion posting, address the following:

  • Describe the choices and sacrifices you made in order to stretch your budget through the month.
  • How did you feel when you had to sacrifice a want or need? 
  • Which situation seemed the most unfair? 
  • How does living with such a low monthly budget affect people’s health? 
  • Does living in poverty impact other social determinants of health? If so, explain.

Your initial post must be posted before you can view and respond to colleagues, must contain minimum of two (2) references, in addition to examples from your personal experiences to augment the topic. The goal is to make your post interesting and engaging so others will want to read/respond to it. Synthesize and summarize from your resources in order to avoid the use of direct quotes, which can often be dry and boring. No direct quotes are allowed in the discussion board posts.


  • Identify and describe social determinants of health (SDOH)
  • Discuss how social determinants of health (SDOH) lead to differential health outcomes

Points: 30


  • Initial Post: Minimum of one (1) total references: one (1) from required course materials
    Words Limits
  • Initial Post: Minimum 250 words excluding references (approximately one (1) page.

    2.     Overview

  • For this discussion, you will explore the health rankings of the county in which you grew up and identify the social determinants of health impacting these rankings in comparison with the state as a whole. Visit https://www.countyhealthrankings.org/ and find the county in which you grew up. In your discussion posting, address the following questions:

    1) Where does your county rank overall in the state where you grew up?
    2) In what areas of health does your county have higher health rankings?
    3) In what areas of health does your county have poorer health rankings?
    4) Identify and explain at least TWO social determinants of health (SDOH) that contribute to your county doing well or poor in these areas.
    5) What disparities are in YOUR home county that impact its overall health ranking in the state?

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