Nursing is defined as an occupation that focuses on the provision of help to the members of society who are reported to be ill, disabled, and even those who are of old age, the aim of this profession is to ensure that such members of the society regain, achieve and maintain a better health condition throughout their lives. This practice involves the provision of information regarding the illnesses found in the society with an aim of helping them prevent and curing the diseases.
On the other hand, the community health nursing is referred to as the practice of the professional health care providers helping the communities achieve the best level of better health through awareness, education, and various community activities. Research indicates that since the historic ages many believed that nursing can only be done in hospitals and not in the community set up therefore this paper are put in a position to describe how nursing is done in the community set up and also define the roles and functions of the community health nurse (Haynes, Boese & Butcher, 2004).
Mary Jo Clark’s study on community health nursing advocacy for population health clearly indicates that a community health nurse is usually given the mandatory of ensuring the promotion of the good for the population in society, she, therefore, says that for this objective to be achieved the nurse need to be practicing the advocacy as a best practice in the community the nurse serves. In this case, Mary goes ahead defining the practice of advocacy.
Functions of a community health nurse
Assessing the health situation in the community
Mary Jo Clark states that this is one of the functions of the community health nurse through which the nurse is required to carry out a survey that will enable the nurse to define the health problem that the community is facing, this can only be done when the community health nurse observes the behaviors and characters of the community members, considering the health facilities that are present in the community and the performance of the health organizations that are in the community. The nurse should also be in a position to consider the resources available that is the human resources and monetary resources the results from such surveys normally serve as the key to better planning for the creation of a better health condition in the community, it also helps in the determining of the core causes of the health problems in the community at large (Clark, 2007).
After determining the problems in the society the community health nurse is required to make priorities in terms of the existing problems that is the nurse is required to consider and deal with the most oppressing health problem in the community and this should only be done considering various factors such as the socio-economic, ethical and administrative factors and also political factors (Clark, 2007).
Creation of awareness, respect and humility in the community
Mary Jo Clark reveals that every individual in a community is entitled to a better health condition regardless of his or her age, race, gender and their socio-economic status in the community, therefore the community health nurse needs to put in mind that every individual has the need of acquiring knowledge on the health issues through which they are enabled to get the knowledge on how to acquire and maintain the wellness of their being, when the health nurse engages in educating the society of matters concerning their health it actually helps the community to be productive in terms of raising their living standards and thus avoiding factors that lead to the deteriorating of their health conditions such as cultural and religious practices.
Administrating the community health nursing
In her studies, Mary indicates that there has been an increased need of change in the health sector whereby many people claim that the quality of the health care they receive have been compromised by the way the health practitioners are paid, in this case the community health nursing play a major role in the reduction of such cases in the community where the practice have been providing a strong linkage of the community healthcare services with those of the hospitals particularly those situated in the district of the stated community (Haynes, Boese & Butcher, 2004).
In this case the community health nursing have been employing the out-patient and community based services including the social services this services have been provided on the basis on particular set of the population in the community such as those individuals who are mentally ill, old aged and those who are disabled this is usually done by increasing the responsibility of the family members of those affected in the community.
Mary Jo Clark’ states that to carry out these activities the community health nurses are required to consider the population, the causes of mortality cases in the community and also consider the existing infectious and chronic ailments in the community. The other factor that the nurses should consider is the social inclination of the members of the society that is reported to be affecting the delivery of the healthcare in the community; these inclinations may be the existing changes in the living standards and patterns of the people in the community and household incomes (Clark, 2007).
Community Health Nursing Areas
School Health Services
Under this area the community health nurses are required to carry out the assessment of the health and nutrition of the school going children and give advice in areas which need improvement. The objective of the nurses ensuring school health is to promote a positive health environment in schools, help in the prevention of various diseases in schools and also for the nurses to inform the school children on health issues affecting them and also ensuring that the children are provided with a healthy environment (Clark, 2007).
Home Health Care
The community health nurses are required to provide health services and products to the people from their own homes with an ambition of maintaining, restoring and promoting the peoples’ health physically, mentally and emotionally. The home health care is usually used in the community health nursing with an aim of maximizing the independency level of the clients, minimizing the effects of disabilities that are found among the members of the families by providing supportive non-institutional services (Haynes, Boese & Butcher, 2004).
The community health nurses are also mandated to carryout the caring of the older people in the community, through this care the nurses are able to determine the health problems affecting the old people in the community and they also come up with the implementation of health services that are meant to meet the needs of the old people in the community.
Occupational health nursing
In this case the community health nurses aim at promoting and maintaining the best well being of the workers both physically, mentally and socially in all working environments. The community health nurses play an important role in the training of the workers on factors that are stated to be affecting the individuals working and how the workers should manage such factors that can affect their health and safety in their occupations. The nurses should also monitor and ensure that the workers in the community are provided with better working standards and healthy environments (Clark, 2007).
Approaches to the administration of the community health nursing
Comprehensive Health Care Approach
The first approach that is to be implemented in community health nursing is the comprehensive health care approach which requires that the health providers should provide healthcare to individuals from their birth to death, the nurses are also required to provide the preventing, promoting and curing health services to community at large, under this approach the nurses are also supposed to consider and attend to the weak and the most vulnerable individuals in the community, this approach provides that people in the community should be provided with the health services regardless of the people’s ability to pay for the services (Haynes, Boese & Butcher, 2004).
She recommends that the nurses should also ensure that the people in the community are provided with a healthy living environment and finally the community health nurses should ensure the mobilization of the community people to work hand in hand with the health professionals in the society. Research indicates that this approach can only succeed when the government participates fully n the implementation of this approach, the role of the government in this approach is to ensure the full supply of logistics in the community, provision of enough health professional to the concerned community.
Primary Health Care Approach
This is another approach that is applied in the implementation of the community health nursing which has made the health care services available and affordable to the individuals in the community, this approach involves the participation of the individuals in community at a cost that affordable by all. Mary Jo Clark’ states that this approach carries eight elements which are as follows; the first element involves the information regarding the health problem affecting the community this information also provide the preventive and control measures that help in the handling of the health problem that is found affecting the people in the society.
The other elements include the provision of clean good quality nutritional food supplies to the community. The fourth element is the provision of maternal and child care such as the family planning services to the community (Clark, 2007).
The other element involved in this approach is the immunization against the infectious diseases; the community health nurses should also practice the treatment of common disease and injuries in the community. The last element in this approach is the community health nurses providing drugs for the treatment of the people in the community.
In this approach we find that the community health nurses are required to ensure that there is an equitable distribution of health services among the members of the community, the nurses should ensure that the participation of the community members is involved in the approach fully, the nurses should engage in the networking with other institutions and sectors such as the education sector, the agricultural sector available in the community, the community health care providers should also use an affordable technology that is acceptable to all people in the community. For this approach to be successful the nurses should know that the community health care delivery can only be successful when there is a full participation and cooperation from the community members (Clark, 2007).
Integrated Child development service approach
Under the community health nursing this approach only applies to the children who are below six years old and the mothers who are between fifteen and forty fours years, emphasizing on those who are pregnant. The community health nurses in this approach normally provide a number of health services such as health checkups, immunization, nutritional, health education and referral services (Clark, 2007)
Reproductive and child health approach
This approach is used in community health nursing with an ambition of improving the health standards of the children and the mothers in the community, this approach involves various services such as the family welfare programme, universal immunization programme, child survival and safe motherhood programme and the acute respiratory infection control among other services (Clark, 2007).
In conclusion we can deduce that the community health care nursing has a number of specialties through which one may decide to work as psychiatric nurse, who practices the caring of the people with mental health problems, paediatric nurse where one specializes in the caring of children and geriatric where the older adults are taken care of among other specialties. Thus community health nursing calls for quality, challenging and informative practices suitable for helping patients to recover in the community.
List of references
Haynes, L, Boese., T & Butcher, H. (2004). Nursing in Contemporary Society Issues: Trends & Transition to Practice. New Jersey, Prentice Hall.
Clark, M. (2007). Community Health Nursing Advocacy for population Health. New Jersey, Prentice Hall.