Community Health Nursing.
Community health nursing refers to the creation and establishment of public health practices as well as nursing to endorse and protect the health status of the community at large (Gauwitz, 2007). It entails combination of all the elementary fundamentals of clinical expertise, nursing with public health and community practices. This implies that community health nursing is a fusion of both primary healthcare and nursing practices in line with public health nursing. Community health nurses endeavor to ensure continuous and comprehensive practices that are deemed preventive, curative as well as rehabilitative holding onto the belief that concentrated care on an individual, family or group results to a healthy community. In addition, it is notable that community health nurses are supposed to execute their duties remarkably to all members of the community explicitly without favor or discrimination. Through working with the entire community, the nurses are able to enlighten people on health issues thereby elevating community health, safety as well as accessibility to care.
Community health nursing is a population focused practice which requires unique knowhow, skills as well as competencies. It encompasses working with communities and the demography as equal partners in focusing on primary prevention as well as health promotion. Thus, the public health nurses work industriously to improve a community’s health and prevent diseases since they believe that a person’s health is affected by elements such as genetic makeup, environment and lifestyle. In this regard, they avail screening services, preventive care, direct health care services and above all health education. Relaying useful and informative information to the community on how to improve their health status forms their core agenda. Thus community health nursing is very crucial for every community in order to ensure elevated health standards which in turn increases their productivity thus, improving their living standards (Harkness & DeMarco, 2012).
Notably, there are numerous shortcomings that influences the overall health status of a community. Therefore, the community health nurses are entitled to identify these challenges and devise effective models of educating the community on ways to avoid them and also provide care to affected persons. This information is relayed via organization of demonstrations in schools, senior centers, local groups, and community groups. The nurses explain proper nutrition, early detection of prevalent ailments, risk factors, safety practices and above all how to care for the disabled persons in the community. Moreover, the nurses educate the community on simple first aid practices that they can offer to anyone suffering from maladies such as nose bleeding, fainting, and poison consumption just to mention a few.
It is notable that infectious diseases such as tuberculosis are likely to spiral out of control mostly in urban areas due to overcrowding. Health status of children is also under great threat of preventable diseases, violence, accidents, and environmental toxins. In this case, community health nursing is very crucial to ensure improved health conditions for children via educating the community on provision of conducive environment for children growth (Harkness & DeMarco, 2012). Additionally, they inform parents regarding the importance of vaccination for their children. Notably, community health nurses are mandated to move door to door in a community providing vaccination to all liable children so as to ensure a healthy community. This activity plays a great role in eradicating the menace of unequal access to health care services. Unequal access to health care services as well as insurance coverage which are crucial in a community to bolster the health standards lead to elevated instances of morbidity amongst infants, expectant women and other vulnerable members of a community.
Working as a community health nurse is excellent since one is able to combine their love for nursing and that of their community thus reducing morbidity rates. The community health nurse is supposed to keep the health standards of the community in question under control. The primary duty of a community health nurse is to provide treatment and education to the members. They often provide affordable care to all members inclusive in a community. These nurses work together with other health professionals such as highly qualified doctors to ensure improved health care for the citizens. Noticeably, healthcare nurses in a community also focus on preventing an outbreak from sweeping over the whole community (Gauwitz, 2007). Some exemplary examples of maladies that would affect a community at large includes influenza, HIV and AIDs, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, obesity, and many more.
In order to prevent the tremendous impacts of these ailments, the community health nurses circulate throughout the whole community interacting directly with community members, handing out informational fliers to the members to educate them on the diseases and how they can be prevented and also spreading a word about the common means of avoiding and preventing certain health issues. In some instances, the nurses are required to distribute health related items such as mosquito nets to reduce the number of malaria patients, free condoms to prevent increased teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), as well as medication to already infected persons (Harkness & DeMarco, 2012). It is also notable that the community health nurses administer vaccinations and immunizations to all pertinent individuals in a community in order to protect them from contagious diseases. The community health nurses are normally concerned about the health of the whole community in general rather than that of individuals.
Community health nursing also plays a very significant role of advocacy in a community. Through community health nursing, a community is able to present its grievances to both the political leaders and health providers. The community health nurses play this role by writing proposals, for example, to the government requesting for funding of health facilities thus ensuring free or affordable health care services for a community consisting of low income earners. In addition, they make it easy for the members of community to access high standard healthcare for those with critical conditions through being the link between the patients and the highly competent practitioners (Holzemer & Klainberg, 2012). Community health nurses also book appointments and recommend the critically ill patients in the big hospitals in order to acquire quality medical attention the soonest possible. Thus, it is notable that the community health nurses aid a great deal in reducing mortality rate which is prevalent with infants, pregnant women, and the aged.
Through community health nursing, root causes of particular ailments affecting members of a community are pinpointed subsequent to critical analysis and interpretation of research findings. The community health nurses conduct thorough research leaving no stone unturned in their endeavor to discover risk factors causing particular maladies associated with a community. Unravelling of such risk factors is important since it leads to implementation of measures which controls or completely eliminates them. In addition, loopholes affecting the health standards of the community are identified during research and means of mending them are developed thus improving health status. A healthy community results to a productive community thus reduced death rates. Research also aids in identification of the best lifestyle to be adopted in a community to prevent instances of increased health complications.
Community health nurses participate in improvement of health outcomes of a society via promoting expansion and improvement of healthcare facilities and infrastructures for monitoring as well as managing ailments (Holzemer & Klainberg, 2012). They also organize programs such as Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Such programs facilitate administration of effective baby assessments, newborn screenings and vaccinations which considerably improves community health. Notably, the community health nurses also bear high adaptability as well as willingness to offer health care services in almost all kinds of a community setting such as in community health clinics, schools, churches, homeless shelters, and individual homes.
Communities are dynamic with diverse needs and thus flexibility and adaptability are crucial attributes that public or community health nurses should have.Additionally, they offer comprehensive care at organized events such as health fairs and exhibitions, at agencies and institutions providing medical services, to patients ailing from specific diseases. It is notable that community health nursing provides corporate wellness programs thus, supporting health and productivity of a community. Community health nursing also facilitates partnership amongst diverse partners which fosters addressing of complex health challenges faced by a community.
In the contemporary health care sectors, community health nursing is catapulted in the middle of emergency response plans unlike in the traditional set up where the law enforcers and emergency response professionals are responsible for emergencies. Currently, community/public health nurses are considered as the first persons to respond to emergencies. They are required to offer first aid before the patients get to hospitals in order to control issues such as excessive bleeding. This implies that community health nursing is deemed important in preventing increased death rates or worsened conditions in case of an emergency (Holzemer & Klainberg, 2012). However, it is unfair that the community health nurses are not paid as much as their counterparts in the healthcare institutions despite them executing numerous mandates for a community to ensure high health standards.
Community health nursing is crucial in ensuring improved health standards for all the members. It also facilitates cooperation and participation of all the members in adopting recommendable lifestyle that results to improved community health and productivity. Notably, community health nursing both at generalist and advanced level is based on competence. The public health nurses are required to be highly qualified bearing essential skills to handle any health issues that may arise in a community. Additionally, they are supposed to bear adaptability and flexibility since communities are dynamic and diverse with people bearing different needs and preferences. The core mandate of a community health nurse is to provide affordable treatment to community members at convenient places and information dissemination regarding prevalent ailments as well as how they can be avoided. Notably, roles of the contemporary public health nurses evolve from the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA)which denotes thatit’s essential to stress collaboration as well as partnership with communities and populations. It is also notable that the community health nurses play advocacy roles to ensure funding of health care services for low income earners in a community. Therefore, it can be concluded that community health nurses act as advocates, educators, partners, collaborators, policymakers and researchers in a community in order to ensure improved community health.
Gauwitz, D. F. (2007). Community Health Nursing. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning. Print.
Harkness, G. A., & DeMarco, R. (2012). Community and Public Health Nursing: Evidence for Practice. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Holzemer, S. P., & Klainberg, M. (2012). Community Health Nursing. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Print.