Reflection Artifact on Community Health Nursing
The course on Community Health Nursing I have been very crucial in facilitating my development of the future roles on prevention of disease and promotion of social justice within a community setup. The overall experience has been overwhelming and has helped be in a position to make use of the critical thinking skills, evidence-based practice and analytical abilities to serve individuals and communities in need of medical attention. The course has allowed me to develop another perspective of role a community in ensuring the health of the community where they live. Factors within the community such as poverty, lack of jobs, limited education, poor nutrition, and lack of health insurance are key factors to understanding the dynamics of health within a community.
The undertaking of this course has granted with an opportunity to analyze the challenges facing different communities. Some challenges include the risk of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, risk factors to children’s health such as environmental hazards, violence, accidents and preventable diseases. In most communities, the issue of unequal access to health care and insurance creates challenges leading to increased morbidity, infant mortality and maternal death especially in the vulnerable populations. All in all, even with these challenges, it has been made clear that nurses have a role in improving the health outcomes and expand the infrastructure necessary to monitor and manage diseases. Practicing community nursing will require the nurse to possess a great strength on adaptability and willingness to offer care in many settings. The various settings under which community nurses may operate include community health clinic, churches, homeless shelters, and learning institutions. As a community nurse, I will now be in a position to create and put into work wellness programs to ensure improvement of health conditions for the community members.
The course has prepared me well in readiness of the professional role of a community health nurse working in different healthcare settings such as home, ambulatory care centers, schools, and residential institutions. Not only will a community health nurse be a care provider, but will also act an educator, advocate, collaborator, leader and researcher (American Psychological Association, 2009). This implies my role as a nurse will expand beyond offering treatment. It will be important to be focus on the means through which the health conditions of the vulnerable members of the community such as the elderly and the homeless can be made better. The advocacy role will be an opportunity to make the voice of the undeserved community to be considered during the political and social reforms. This will require collaboration with various agencies and leaders in the community to pit in place health programs and interventions aimed at addressing the community health conditions.
The undertaking of the course has made me appreciate the nature of community health nurse that is an all-inclusive mode of operation. Community health nurses do not operate in isolation but rather performs better in a multidisciplinary team with the capability of offering all services required for sustaining health care and dealing with emergency. It is well understandable that as a community health nurse, I will be required to collaborate with diverse partners and provider to help to come up with solutions to complex challenges facing the community. The collaboration may include efforts to identify, reach out, and treat people with HIV and AIDS as well in the management of chronic health conditions that have been rampant in the community.
The studying of this course has offered me an opportunity to explore deeper the dynamics in the demographics characteristics within the community. One thing that has been clear is the increasing proportion of the aged citizens who still live in their home setting despite their deteriorating physical and mental health. These senior citizens tend to spend most of their time at their home environment. These individuals in most cases form very strong cognitive and affective ties to the home environment. For this reason, it is important as a community health nurse to ensure the development of home environments that are essential in supporting the healthy aging process.
This course has equipped me with the knowledge on geriatric care thereby I can claim to competent in the care of the older adults. The course has increased my understanding on the health conditions of the older adults. It is evident that increase in age has been considered as predisposing factors to the chronic illness and disability. Studies have indicated that almost 80% of the aged population over the age of 65 has at least one chronic illness (Grady, 2011). The number of the aged with multiple chronic issues has also been on the rise. The course has thus equipped me adequately to be in a position to offer quality health care to large portion of the aged within the community suffering from multiple health problems and complex healthcare needs. I am now capable of communicating effectively with the older members of the community and their families on the need and means of coming up with effective self-management measures to ensure the maintenance of the independence, functioning of the mental and physical health for the aged.
The course has added my knowledge on healthy aging which seeks to develop and maintain optimal mental, social, and physical well-being and functioning of the older adults. This can only be achieved through promotion of communities that are safe, with health services and community programs aimed at preventing the occurrence of diseases. The course has enabled me consider a framework for a healthy aging community. A healthy aging community needs to address basic needs of the aging population with as much importance as is offers other population members. For a healthy aging community, there is need to optimize in the health and wellbeing of the aging population through community supporting measure put forward to promote preventive services and affordable health care. It is important to emphasize on the developing healthcare infrastructure addressing the need of the aged through encouraging physical activity, nutrition, supporting the caregivers in promoting a healthy aging community. The aging community should be given an opportunity to participate in social and civic involvement. A healthy aging community needs to appreciate and support independence of the elderly members by granting them to opportunity to stay at home without being forced into institutions.
Through this course, I have sharpened my skills on disaster management within a community setup. It is important as a community health nurse to be in position of planning for potential threats facing the community with relation to outbreak of diseases. Therefore, there is need to develop public health surveillance system. During time of disaster different magnitude, a community health nurse needs to be equipped with knowledge on different strategies that may be put in place to facilitate the preparedness, response, and recovery processes. Having gone through this course, I have been equipped and can now handle the position of a community health nurse more due diligence and professionalism.
American Psychological Association. (2009) Publication manual of the American Psychological Association(6th). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. ISBN: 978-1433805615.
Grady, P. (2011). Advancing the Health of our Aging Population: A Lead Role for Nursing Science. Nursing Outlook, 207-209.
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