Community Health Nursing

Health Promotion

Community nursing is usually concerned with providing medical, advisory and educative services to a larger population like the children in schools or people of a particular community. Through programs such as Medicaid, different vulnerable groups within the community are able to access medical services. The target groups include the most vulnerable like pregnant mothers, children, the handicapped and the elderly people of the community who might not be in a position to carter for their medical bills. Most of them cannot access private medical insurance services. The federal government in conjunction with the individual states has been very instrumental in making the program a success by funding it. The program has midwives, physicians and qualified nurses who provided the required medical services to the target groups. The patients are provided with the x-ray and laboratory services. Individuals that need home-based healthcare or nursing services are also taken care of (Truglio-Londrigan, 2008). Screening services are made available to the children. Medicaid services also include family planning. Rural populations are also provided with rural clinics.

Health promotion entails encouraging a healthy lifestyle among the people of a given population. These might be in the form of encouraging healthy eating habits or maintenance of high sanitary standards among the people. This is vital in ensuring a healthy population that is free of some ailments. Health protection on the other hand entails protecting people from getting infected by diseases. In the case of a disease outbreak, quarantine might be carried out so as to prevent those who are infected from infecting those who are not. Health education entails the teachings that people get so as to help them have a healthy lifestyle. Disease prevention on the other hand entails all the programs and procedures that are put in place to curb current or future disease infections. This might be in the form of vaccinating children so as to help them develop a stronger immunity that would help their bodies develop resistance to any future infections of certain diseases.

Levels of Intervention

In the nursing, intervention is usually at various levels. People usually have beliefs and social factors that influence their health. It is therefore important to look into these factors before intervening in health issues. The first process involves looking at the demographics of the population. Here there is need to consider the age, sex as well as the ethnicity of the group. The second level involves looking into the psychosocial variable which entails the population’s social class, peer influence, customs, their fears, past experiences and their economic status. Perceived susceptibility is the next level in the intervention process. Here what is considered is a person’s belief concerning his/her ability to be infected by the disease whether it is factual or not. It is also important to look at the perceived seriousness which entails ones belief in how dangerous the ailment might be. The next stage is the aspect of perceived threat to a person’s health. This entails the possibility of the illness to pose any dangers to the health of a person. Another level entails the cues which might either be internal like the feeling of not being well or external like the reminders about one’s health. The last stage entails perceived benefits. It is a look into the possibility of a person gaining from the whole health process. All these will either influence or discourage a person from engaging in the process (Watkins, 2003).

The health of children, the family and the community at large has been greatly influenced by health promotions and education. These have been vital in helping individuals and groups to make sound health decisions. The promotions and health education programs have been made possible through the facilitation by the government as well as other organizations. Health education is usually aimed at disease prevention, reduction or reacting to the risk of infection. Health promotion is however broader though it might encompass health education. The promotion entails community health, pubic health, an individual’s health as well as the policies and social security matters. While tackling the smoking problem among the youth, in the case of health education, programs might be formulated to help educate the youth on the dangers of smoking. In the case of health promotion however, the government might formulate policies to increase the taxation on cigarettes which would in the long run raise the prices of cigarettes hence reducing the number of consumers.

Purposes of Health Education and Promotion

Health education usually targets individuals as well as groups and the main aim is to help in the change of behavior by helping people make the right health decisions. Various community nursing practices are adapted to make this possible. Expanded community nursing services have been known to help in the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities at large. Currently in the United States, healthcare services are much more accessible particularly by the children. The government has increased the number of healthcare providers as well as programs so as to check the infectious diseases (Zaza, 2006).

Public health nursing unlike private health nursing usually aims at tackling health issues of larger populations and the nurse considers the client as an equal partner in ensuring that a healthy lifestyle is reached and maintained. Private health nursing on the other hand targets individuals and the client or patient is passive. Public health nursing looks at health as being influenced by people’s beliefs, customs and practices within a population which have to be tackled so as to attain optimum health standards for the people. Health promotion is prioritized so as to ensure the thriving of a population’s health and this is done through the identification and outreach programs. Much emphasis is put on the optimal use of the available resources. Public health nursing is mainly based on volunteering and most of its programs are not aimed at profit making. Private health nursing on the other hand is usually aimed at maximizing profits.

Health Risks of Young People

Young people and particularly the adolescents have predictable physical, cognitive as well as emotional development and some of these render them susceptible to health risks. The desire for peer acceptance might drive them to indulge in smoking and other drug addictions which pose a health risk to them. They are also prone to dangers of obesity due to their eating habits as their diet is mainly composed of junk foods. Given that they are physically active, they are likely to indulge in dangerous activities like car racing which makes them vulnerable to accidents. These are just some of the health risks that might be averted by appropriate community nursing. Some of the tactics for community nursing being employed to minimize such risks include; education on the dangers of drugs and the need to adopt healthy lifestyles by exercising and healthy eating so as to avert obesity, availing medical care to them and making sure that they get proper housing. They are also vaccinated so as to avert some diseases. Through community nursing, the effects of diseases like cancer and diabetes are very much reduced.

The modern day mothers are engulfed with a number of duties besides taking care of the children. They are for instance supposed to go to work or school. Early childcare has therefore come in handy to assist them. Community nursing has made such programs a success. Community nurses help in ensuring that children in the early childhood centers get healthy food and get to be protected during the sporting activities like biking by putting ong helmets. Proper sanitation is also emphasized so as ensure that the children don’t get infected.

Health Programs

The health program is aimed at ensuring the overall wellbeing of people. The best model for enhancing healthy lifestyles is usually through teaching self care. People are taught to ensure healthy living standards without necessarily having to be supervised. They are educated on eating healthy foods, exercising and taking safety precautions so as to avoid accidents. A school nurse might for instance play several roles. He/she plays the advisory role by advising the children on the best health practices to be adapted. The nurse educates them on the significance of eating a balanced diet, ways of preventing certain infections and various safety precautions. He/she also gives them proper treatment in the event of an infection. He/she advocates for policies and programs that are geared towards ensuring a healthy lifestyle for the children (Sines, 2005).

Young people are also susceptible to neglect or in some cases they might be prone to abuse. The abuse might be in the form of sexual molestation, child labor or constant physical and even verbal abuse. Some of them are prone to neglect whereby their parents might deny them emotional or material support. Such children are likely to develop antisocial behavior like indulging in drug abuse or violence. Through community nursing, such children are provided with guiding and counseling services so as to assist them to overcome their social problems. The children are provided with screening services so as to ensure that their growth and development is all-round.

Preventive measures can be categorized into primary, secondary and tertiary preventive measure. The primary preventive measures target whole communities and they might entail issues such as formulating laws, policies and programs that help in the wellbeing of the whole society. Medicaid is the best example. Vaccination programs targeting whole communities also fall under this category. Secondary preventive measures on the other hand focus on mitigation of available risks or limiting the effects by treating them on time. In the case of community nursing targeting the children, school are provided with community nurses who help in treating the children in the event of outbreaks or any form of disease infection. The mitigation is done by ensuring proper sanitation and taking safety precautions as in the case of ensuring that children are provided with safety facilities, first aid kits among others. Tertiary preventive measures on the other hand focus on minimizing the effects of an already existing disease outbreak and improving people’s health. Measures such as isolating the infected children in the event of an outbreak are a good example.

There are several incidences when children are prone to accidents. These may occur during the sporting activities like biking. It might also be in form of road accidents. It is therefore important that children are taught about safety precautions so as to avert accidents or minimize their effect. Children who are biking might have to be provided with protective helmets so as to protect them in the event of an accident. They also need to be taught about road safety both as pedestrians and as passengers. Children are also prone to violence particularly from their peers. The violence might be due to rivalry or dangerous sporting activities. It might be in the form of fights or mob justice. Community nurses have the responsibility of ensuring that first aid services and medical care is available so as to cater for the victims of violence.

In the case where a child does not have medical insurance, it would be vital to get to know the background from which the child comes from, the belief system of the community which reflect the child’s belief system. The next step it to determine the economic background of the child. If the child is from a well-off family the appropriate medical cover should be recommended for him/her. If from a poor economic background, the child might have to be registered under the Medicaid program.

References

Sines, D. (2005). Community health care nursing. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Truglio-Londrigan, M. (2008). Public health nursing: practicing population-based care. Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Watkins, D. (2003). Community health nursing: frameworks for practice. Philadelphia : Elsevier Health Sciences.

Zaza, S. (2006). The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services. New York: Intl Medical Pub.

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