Community health nurses begin the nursing process with assessment of a community. It is essential to know your specific community to identify health needs, determine a community health nursing diagnosis, develop a plan-of-action, and implement and evaluate the nursing intervention.
● Selecting a Focal Point in the Community
Locate a community focal/starting point (for example, neighborhood, church, clinic, school, or other) in the city or county where you live. You can also use the clinical site to which you are assigned as a focal point. Once you select a focal point, you will conduct a survey of the community around the site. Specifically, you will survey a 10-block radius of the facility – 10 blocks north, 10 blocks south, 10 blocks east, and 10 blocks west. If one of the factors you are surveying is NOT within the area being surveyed, (for example, a hospital), note such and state how far away it is, and how people will access it. If you do not see something required in your survey of the community, for example, homeless persons, note that no homeless persons were observed.
● In the description of the core community, identify the geographical boundaries of your focal point. Describe geographic markers for the boundary lines. For example, you would indicate which street, railroad track, creek, and/or other marks the north boundary. Do the same for all four geographic directions from your focal point. Set the scene for the reader in descriptive terms.
Community Windshield Survey
A Community Windshield Survey is conducted from a car and provides a visual, cursory overview of your community. Geographic boundaries are to be noted. Common characteristics are observed, as well as, the rhythm of a community. Data collected during the Windshield Survey will help define community trends, stability of neighborhoods, and conditions that could affect the health of the population. This will provide background and context for working within a community. This data is one component of a complete assessment. Observations will also drive your community diagnoses. In order to compile the best data possible and formulate a complete picture of your community, you may drive in your assigned area a minimum of three occasions at varying times, for example, one weekday morning, one weekday evening, and one weekend day.
● Assignment #1 details of information to be included per section in the following categories:
● Physical Environment
● Services in the Community
● Key Informants
● Analysis of Windshield Survey
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