Windshield Survey 6 - NUR 405

Windshield Survey 6 for the NUR 405 Course

Community health nursing has become a focal point in healthcare since the 1960s-70s when the civil right movement shifted the goal from a charitable concept to a political commitment in order to rectify racial injustices of the past (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2008). Many programs came about with the goal of addressing inequalities in the delivery of healthcare based upon social-economical status. Nurse practitioners then became an important factor in the delivery of healthcare, thereby affecting services offered in community health clinics which improved local accessibility to healthcare. (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2008). Many dynamic changes occurred since then with nurses making important contributions in disease prevention and health promotion in the community which countered the escalating costs of acute hospital care.

The definition of a community, in simplicity, is a group of people who live in the same area, or the area in which they live. Unfortunately, this definition does not completely explain what a community is. A community would be individuals who share the same space and interact with each other either directly or indirectly via mechanisms or environment. A community is more than a cluster of individuals, it also will be constructed of families and aggregates (persons with many commonalities) that are interdependent or whose purpose is to fulfill a wide variety of the collective needs (Stanhope and Lancaster, 2008).Stepping back and looking at this description, you could imagine the complexity of interactions which would occur for its survival.

Community health is everything in the process, including characteristics, environment and economics that promote the survival of its constituents. Stanhope and Lancaster (2008) define community health as, “the meeting of collective needs through the identification of problems and management of behaviors within the community itself and between the community and the larger society” (page 371). Emotional and social aspects of community health are reflected in mental health, crime rates and levels of social function. Community structure is determined by the level of services and resources available to the members. Community health may be improved with the formation of organizations whose goal is to promote the welfare of those who it serves (Windshield Survey 6).

To go beyond the concept of community/community health and enter the realm of community as a client is very difficult place into practice as a nurse. Communities are more than their sum/aggregates. The focus for nursing is aimed at the improvement of health for the community as a whole rather than groups of individuals. One could describe... [continues]

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