Community health nursing is a profession integrating Evidence-Based practices to improve the health of people within communities. Community health nursing is a unique profession in which nurses consider the socio-cultural factors and determinants of health when planning care interventions. In addition, societal background of the people is integral in establishing and fostering interactions between nurses and patients. The community is abroad term referring to group of people drawn from different locations showing unique health needs. Nurses play significant roles in strengthening community health to necessitate provision of healthcare services.
The core responsibility of community health nurses is to offer treatment services to patients. However, nurses are expected to transcend beyond providing treatment services to strength the overall health of people within communities. Foremost, nurses play fundamental roles of focusing on clinical services. The clinical services include the assessment of vital symptoms, lifestyle and knowledge base regarding certain diseases. Per Maier et al. (2018), nurses prepare the community in dealing with occurrence of diseases by informing them about signs of illnesses and encouraging the people to report if they spot strange symptoms. Therefore, the community health is strengthened because members are often ready to tackle any imminent danger posed by strange diseases. Additionally, the clinical support services provided by nurses help care teams to understand a patient’s health background and preferences when conducting diagnosis to recommend appropriate care interventions.
Second, nurses strengthen community health through community resources connection in which patients are linked to community-based services. For example, based on evidence gathered for the last 2 years, nurses directly provide transportation and food assistance for referral cases. The social connection is necessitated through follow-up phone calls as nurses attempt to find out how patients are progressing with medication. The follow-up activities undertaken by nurses are intended to monitor if there are side effects arising from use of different medications or possibility of contaminating a whole community (Maier & Aiken, 2016). Well-established resource connection also provides insights on barriers negatively affecting community referrals and access to essential medical services.
Third, nurses strengthen community health through broad arrays of health education and coaching programs. For example, nurses enhance health education by conducing motivational interviews and action planning to empower patients achieves their health goals. The community health education programs often target specific health issues like cancer screening and self-management of chronic illnesses. Empowering patients through education is essential in helping them set goals and support nurses during care coordination.
Practicing nurses impact positively on health promotion within communities by providing patients with insightful information they need to improve their health. For example, nurses are actively involved in educating parents on how to improve their baby’s wellness. Poghosyan & Carthon (2017) posits that equipping patients with appropriate information, while advocating for healthy lifestyles, can assist them gain better control of their health and welfare. In addition, a practicing nurse can impact on health promotion by holistically addressing the health needs and issues within community. Consequently, nurses advocate for societal changes to eliminate resource scarcity that hinder health promotion.
The goal of community health nursing is to promote, protect and preserve the health and welfare of people in communities. Therefore, nurses play fundamental roles in preventing the occurrence of diseases, offering treatment guidelines, and educate communities on making healthy choices. Notably, health promotion influences the health behavior of people and communities to positively impact on health outcomes. Practicing nurses support health promotion by equipping patients with information on managing daily conditions.
Maier, C. & Aiken, L. (2016). Expanding clinical roles for nurses to realign the global health workforce with population needs: a commentary. Israel J Health Pol Res. 5, 21-23.
Maier, C., Budde, H. & Buchan, J. (2018). Nurses in expanded roles to strengthen community-based health promotion and chronic care: policy implications from an international perspective; a commentary. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research, 7(1), 64-65.
Poghosyan, L. & Carthon, J. (2017). The untapped potential of the nurse practitioner workforce in reducing health disparities. Policy Polit Nurs Pract, 18, 84–94.