Community/Public Health Nurses

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Community/Public Health Nurses are professionals who take part in promotion and protection of the health of populations with their skills from nursing and public health sciences. Community/Public health nursing focuses on population and is also community-oriented,(Stanhope and Lancaster, 10). Their unique relationships and clinical knowledge helps in the implementation of programs and policies to meet the needs of the populations. Nurses give patients useful and reliable information on protecting their health. Additionally, they guide on proper nutrition, explain safety practices and early detection of diseases. 

Community/Public Health Nurses have played a critical role in disaster response plan. They have been the first responders to the disaster and assist in any medical emergency within their capacity. The nurses have brought leadership, policy, and planning and practice expertise to disaster preparedness and response.  Furthermore, they assess the community after the tragedy and give psychological support. 

Chronic healthcare issues have improved owing to the role of community/public health nurses. In the 20th century, life expectancy increased by 62% attributing to the advancements in care, procedures and public awareness on chronic diseases (Maurer and Smith, 2013). In the U.S, chronic diseases cause 7 out of 10 deaths and account for more than 75% health care costs.

There has been a slowdown in the economic activity owing to the health related issues. The economic downturn has been impacted by the high costs of spending on health issues. Those suffering from chronic diseases have lost their economic productivity and suffer the cost of treating the illnesses themselves. Through health education and disease management from public health nurses, people have managed to remain in their workplaces longer.

Infectious disease is one of the pressing health problems that community/public health nurses seek to mitigate. The rise of measles and influenza and stopping the presence of Ebola has made the U.S public health officials are on alert (Clarke, Beddome and Whyte, 1993). Public health nurses have been of significant importance in keeping the people in their communities informed about the infectious diseases. Moreover, community/public health nurses have come up with proactive strategies to be rolled out in the case of an outbreak of infectious diseases. 

Terrorist activity can happen at any given time with no notice. Community/public health nurses are needed on the lookout and participate in surveillance of the community they are based. Nurses have been out to report on any unfamiliar situations, and this has helped mitigate terrorist’s attacks. Nurses are also the first responders to help the victims of terrorist attacks, and this has saved lives.

There has been a broken health care system in the U.S as there have been massive and unexpected changes to health (Stanhope and Lancaster 45). New systems are being put in place as the system has been plagued with problems related to cost, access and quality. Community/Public health nurses have been able to play a pivotal role in meeting the needs of the people by providing medicines and treating the people who cannot access medication. This has prolonged the lives by keeping those who would have died long ago alive.

Today, people live longer than ever before, and the number would increase exponentially over the coming decades. The aging population has benefited much from the community nurses. Nurses have been leaders in elder care. The women in the community nurses profession also have aged and graying and this needs to be addressed so as to enroll others in the field (Stanhope and Lancaster 45). They have come up with interventions that manage illnesses in various health care settings. Additionally, the aging community has been taught how to take care of themselves at old age and how to cope with chronic diseases such as diabetes, tuberculosis, heart disease and arthritis. Community/public health nurses get involved with their patients after medical diagnosis have been made and assists the patient to cope with the social problems caused by the chronic diseases. They bring motivation toward self-care with their patients. Home health care provided by the community health nurses has given excellent nursing care to the patients. They have been able to coordinate health and social activities as well as to counsel and teach the patient and family. Nurses have helped in the reduction of problems of the elderly patients through communication. Additionally, they have provided emotional support and promoted self-esteem among the elderly.

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In my community, the old have died of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart problems, and even tuberculosis. One incident involved an older adult with diabetes. The family was the only caregiver for the elderly person, and with time, the situation involving his health worsened. The blood sugar would rise or fall severally, and it would deteriorate the health of the individual. The family too did not know of the foods to avoid, the exercises to give for caring for the elderly. Within no time, the man passed away. There was no community health nurse to help in our case. The introduction of community/public health nursing would help in mitigating these health concerns in our community. The nurses would be able to provide efficient care services to the affected hence improve the lives of the elderly. Knowledge of what is to be done with one’s health is important as it increases life expectancy.

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  1. Clarke, H. F., Beddome, G., & Whyte, N. B. (1993). Public health nurses’ vision of their future reflects changing paradigms. Journal of Nursing Scholarship25(4), 305-310.
  2. Maurer, F. A., & Smith, C. M. (2013). Community/public health nursing practice: Health for families and populations. Elsevier Health Sciences.
  3. Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2016). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community (9 th ed). Maryland Heights, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
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