A nurse in a community health Centre, one is obliged to take care of the communitys health issues at the hospital. However, a community health problem is occasionally detected at times the problem cannot be dealt with in the normal day-to-day activities run in the community health Centre. In such a case, the nurse needs to ask for permission from the community health Centre manager to devote some extra time working with the community outside the daily community health practice routine. However, to convince the manager and other stakeholders such as donors requires a clear assessment of the community (specifically the affected population) to diagnose their problems. The health problem can be solved comprehensively through the community assessment that views the health determinants of the community and identifies the interventions required in the community to restore health. The assessment also pinpoints the health determinants that require changing in the community and utilization of a wide range of strategies to ensure that the community's health-related issues are addressed. The paper is a community assessment and diagnosis of an aggregate population in the community residing in Granum, Alberta.
According to Vollman, Anderson, and McFarlane (2012), community assessment is a strategic process, which involves the art of becoming acquainted with the community. Community assessment is usually started by the nurse in charge of looking into the community's health problems usually at the community health center. The assessment process integrates the community into the process of health inquiry of the problems it faces in terms of health. The community assessment is then followed by the planning, implementation and evaluation of the program's success. In the entire process, right from the assessment, the nurse, and the community act as partners. As such, each of them plays a part, which is equally significant in ensuring the community's health is improved.
Community Assessment requires investigation of many aspects of the community. For instance, the nurse must determine the readiness of the community to receive health interventions, the intervention required in the community and the determinants of the health. After the communitys health problems are deduced, the nurse needs to use an effective strategy to address the health problems. As it stands, no single model can guide the community health practice and. Therefore, the nurse needs to use a combination of different models to achieve the required expectations. An array of interventions from both the nurse and community restores or correct the health problems appropriately.
In community assessment, the nurse does not handle individual clients, as it is the case in the community health Centre. The nurse does not concentrate on the entire community either. Community assessment determines the aggregate in the community that has a common health problem. The aggregate is then taken as the client, in this case, its health determinants assessed, the health interventions determined, followed by planning, implementation and evaluation of the strategies employed.
According to Clark (2003), an aggregate is ideal for assessing the community health needs and responding to them appropriately. An aggregate enables the community health nurse to tackle a common problem collectively and more effectively than when each case is addressed. An aggregate may comprise of the individual with similar characteristics and concerns and who may be unable to come together and address these concerns collectively. An aggregate may be all mothers in a region, the elderly, unemployed youth, or even school-going children. However at times, the aggregates may seem too broad. In such a case, the community health nurse should find a way to break the aggregates into smaller aggregates such as the elderly men with respiratory diseases. A smaller aggregate ensures a successful assessment and subsequent address of the health problems facing the community (Allender & Spradley, 2005).
I work in the Granum community health Centre with several other community health nurses. Over the past month, the number of mothers with children ranging from 0-2 years have been visiting the health Centre has increased significantly. At first, one of my colleagues noted the rise and communicated it to me. Then I decided to keep an eye on the cases of women who came to the community health center and found that it was indeed true. On noting this, I communicated to the other two nurses and told them to observe whether they noted the same trend as my other colleague, and I have noted. The two colleagues also noted having attended to a good number of the young mothers in the health Centre with the number increasing and other mother returning to the community health Centre for medication after a few weeks time.
The aggregate from the community is, however, wide since the total population of women is 2,200 in the region. The aggregate cannot therefore comprise of all women since it will good assessment of all problems. In this case, narrowing the aggregate was necessary. It was, therefore, wise to go back to the records and determine the true demographics of the young women who had been frequenting the community health centers for other purposes apart from routine baby health check-ups. The records showed that the women under study were actually women who brought their children to be treated for illnesses related to hygiene such as diarrhea. Additionally, the records showed that most of the women came from the southern Eastern part of Granum, where there was a higher population than other places in the town. The Southeastern part of Granum holds informal settlements, which might, therefore, point out to the prevalence of hygienic related illnesses in the area. For this reason, the aggregate for the assessment was determined as Breastfeeding mothers of South Eastern Granum.
The aggregate to be assessed was common since all of the breastfeeding mothers brought their children to the community health center since it was the closest to their area of residence. I was also acquainted with most of the aggregate's members who I had attended to earlier on in their various visits to the community health center. According to Clark (2003), the community health nurse should be familiar with the aggregate community. The nurse should also have access to the aggregate community and be able to interact with some members of the community that will ensure that other factors of the assessments are covered comprehensively. In this case, since most members of the aggregate were attended in the community health Centre, they were accessible for assessment. The nurses also indulged the aggregate communication in formal and informal communications during their visits to the community health center.
Choosing a model for Data Assessment
The Assessment of the aggregate community is the first step in the process of solving a community health problem. The assessment is meant to convince the nursing manager of the community health Centre to allow me engage in the activity (solving the community health problem). The Assessment of the community is also important because it gives the stakeholders and different financiers of the program reasons to believe that the program is worth investing in (Vollman, Anderson & McFarlane, 2012). For this reason, it is important for me to ensure that I do the assessment process correctly to make it viable to both the nursing manager and the manager financiers. The model for assessment is dependent on the objectives of the study (Assessment). It is, therefore, important to draw the objectives of the assessment in the aggregate group (Breastfeeding mothers in the South Eastern Granum).
Objectives of the Assessment
Help mothers protect their children from hygienic related illnesses
Educate breastfeeding mothers on the importance of hygiene especially when it comes to their children
Establish donations from donors from the community to come up hygienic conditions in South Eastern Granum for the mothers and their children to live freely from disease
The objectives of the study determine the model to be used in the Assessment of the aggregate. The assessment will use the population health promotion model that seeks to improve the health of the community appropriately. The models give the guidelines on how to improve the health of the community through three critical questions. The model seeks to answer what action should be taken, how the action should be taken, and who should take the action. In answering all the questions, the determinants of health in the community should be considered. The health determinants are important since they give the reasons as to why the community members have the health problem.
Health determinants of the Breastfeeding mothers
Income and social status are a major determinant of health among the breastfeeding women. Most of the women are not employed, and their husbands work as casual laborers leading to reduced income and social status. 57% of the households with breastfeeding mothers have low and sometimes inconstant income. Lower income contributes to lower standards of living.
Education education is an important health determinant among the aggregate. About 60% of the aggregate members do not have a college education, which reduces their knowledge on hygiene.
The physical environment is also a major economic health determinant in the aggregate. Housing in the aggregate members is not well-planned which introduces leakages in sewerage system hence unhygienic environment
Personal health and coping skills are also important determinants of health in the aggregate. An assessment of the people established that 50% of the aggregate members are hygienic in handling food and water. 30% of the members were not consistent in handling food and water while 20% were not sure of the correct way to handle food and water.
The working conditions of the breastfeeding mothers and their spouses are not hygienic which increases the probability of incidences such as food poisoning, which make the babies sick.
The health services provided at the community health center is capable of dealing with individual cases hygiene-related illnesses. However, the community health center is incapable of handling an outbreak of illness such as cholera, which is fatal to both the babies and their parents.
Incidences of hygiene-related illnesses for the babies in South Eastern Granum region have increased. A community diagnosis showed that 1 out of 3 babies in the region has suffered a hygienic related illness such as dysentery and diarrhea. 60% of the babies have had recurrent problems with hygienic-related illnesses and treated the same. In the past year, one two babies have succumbed to cholera as a result of poor hygiene in the region. Hygiene-related illnesses hinder proper growth and development of children and therefore, there is a need to come up with a way to improve the hygiene in the region.
The increase in hygiene-related cases in the South Eastern Granum is as a result of poor housing, which in turn presents poor sanitation and sewerage in the area. Poor sanitation has led to exposed sewerage systems that pose health hazards to the community and more so the aggregate, which comprises of breastfed babies. The community has already shown signs of disease outbreak through the increased cases of hygiene-related illnesses. If the community health problem is not addressed, then the community will continue experiencing such cases and even face a greater risk of fatal illnesses such as cholera.
Some of the members who are well off economically have agreed to contribute...
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