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Community Assessment Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Community Assessment College Essay Examples


Total Pages: 10 Words: 2602 References: 10 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay


A. Community Assessment ? Greek population of Astoria, Queens, N.Y.

1. Introduction: Define the community as your field of study including history and type.
B. Discuss the major dimensions of the community
1. Identify the boundaries of the community under analysis.
2. Discuss the reason for these boundaries, i.e., geographic or physical location.
3. Identify and describe actual health care and other social institution services available in the community.
4. Identify and describe potential or non-traditional health care services available in the community.
C. Use sources of data listed below to identify the major sources of information about the community's health; i.e., physical and psychosocial characterstics, health status.
1. Census Tract
2. Vital Statistics (Demographics)
3. National Center for Health Statistics
4. Local and state health departments and agencies
5. Citizens' Advise Bureau
6. Public Library
D. Use epidermiological data to describe the state of health of your community or aggregate, i.e., example: birth, mortality, morbidity. Identify vulnerable groups and major causes of death rates.

E. Identify an epidemiological study design for researching the community health problem(s).
1. Cross-sectional (prevalence or correlational)
2. Retrospective (case control study)
3. Prospective (longitudinal cohort)
4. Experimental

F. Formulate the aggregate diagnosis to include the four components:
1. An identified health risk;
a) an identified health risk;
b) an aggregate or community that is affected;
c) an etiological or causal statement; and
d) evidence or support for the diagnosis
2. Example of aggregate diagnosis:
P Increased risk of sexually transmitted disease among students at Johnson High School
E related to limited understanding of STD transmission and prevention and high rates of sexually activity
S as demonstrated by an increase in the number of Johnson students reporting indiscrete sexual activities and deficit in sex health education to the school nurse.
Increased risk of sexually transmitted disease among students at Johnson High School related to Limited understanding of STD transmission and prevention and high rates of sexually activity as demonstrated by an increase in the number of students reporting indiscrete sexual activities and deficit in sex education to the school nurse
3. Briefly state how the community nursing diagnoses are validated within the community.
G. Existing Resources
1. Assess and describe existing resources, programs, and policies that might have an impact on any program planned to address the above aggregate diagnosis.
2. Assess the influence the aggregate might have on a planned program. It is important to consider the needs perceived by the aggregate when identifying and prioritizing health needs.
3. Assess agency/organizational efforts devoted to dealing with the problem and their effectiveness.
4. Assess additional resources within the agency/organization that could be devoted to the problem and an estimate of future resources availability.

H. Identification of one major health problem encountered
1. Discussion of the problem encountered
2. Discussion of the resolution of problem encountered.
I. Summary
1. Organization, clarity, and conciseness will be considered when grading.
2. APA style with recent references

This survey is intended to assist in objectively assessing the neighborhood/community. It is recommended that you use the internet to gather further information about your community (demographics, crime statistics, etc.), and include these at the end of this survey.

This tool is designed to assist the nurse traveling around the community in identifying objective data which will help define the community, the trends, stability and changes that will affect the health of the population.


To what extent do the identified boundaries of the catchment reflect the boundaries (e.g., a river, a different terrain), man-made (e.g., a highway, railroad), or economic (e.g., difference in real estate presence, of industrial or commercial units along with residential)? Does the neighborhood have an identity, a name? Is it displayed? Are there unofficial names? Are there sub-communities within the area?

Housing and Zoning

How old are the houses, what style, of what materials are they constructed? Are all the neighborhood houses similar? If not, how would you characterize the differences? Are there single or multi-family homes? What size are the lots are there signs of disrepair(e.g., broken doors, steps, windows)? Are there vacant houses? Are stores open or boarded up? Type of housing: Are new houses being built or older houses renovated? Age, construction, condition, attached or non-attached? Presence of trees and flowers? Do the houses have driveways? Is there graffiti on the walls or fences? Broken windows? Overgrown weeds?

Signs of Decay

Is the neighborhood on the way up or down? Is it alive? How would you decide? Is there trash, abandoned cars, boarded up buildings, ruble, dilapidated sheds, rubble-filled vacant lots, poor drainage, disease vector harborage, etc.? Are the streets clean? Are trash baskets on street corners overflowing? Is there available parking? Are the sidewalks and streets in good repair?

Parks and Recreational Areas

Are there parks and recreational areas in the neighborhood? Is the open space public or private? Who uses it?


What are the neighborhood hangouts? For what groups, at what hours (e.g., school year, candy store, bar, restaurant, park)? Do the ?Commons? have a sense of territoriality or is it open to strangers?


What supermarkets or neighborhood stores are available? How do residents travel to the store? Are there drug stores, laundries, dry cleaners? Any signs of wellness issues that you can observe (e.g. cultural, healthy food ads, etc.). Are there any gyms in the area? Who can you observe entering or leaving the area? Types of local stores. Where is the nearest larger shopping center? Where is the grocery store? Laundromat? Barbers, etc.? Local restaurant and types? Are these places utilized or empty?


How do people get in and out of the neighborhood? What is the condition of the streets? Is there a major highway near the neighborhood? Whom does it serve? Is public transportation available? Is there a ?main street?? Condition of streets, construction?

Service Centers

Are there social agencies, clinics, recreation centers, schools? Are there doctors, dentist, or other health care providers? Is there a hospital in the area? How many churches, houses of worship are in the community (names)? Where is the health department? Name the rehabilitation centers or nursing homes in the community. Are there group homes in the community? AA groups? WIC stations, soup kitchens, shelters? Assisted living or retirement living areas? Libraries and museums, tutoring services, dancing/music schools? How accessible are these services? Are there any active community groups (theater, music, clubs)? Is there a community newspaper or newsletter? Is there a community board (identify)? Where is it located? Where do neighborhood meetings take place?

Street People

If you are traveling during the day, who is on the streets (e.g, women, children, teenagers, community health nurses, collection agents, salesmen)? How are they dressed? Do they gather in groups or walk alone? Do they talk with each other? In your opinion, is the community young and growing, aging, or maintaining? What animals do you see (e.g., strays, pets, watchdogs, and livestock)? What is the local perception of safety in the community? (Ask at least 3-5 persons).

Protective Services

Is there evidence of police and fire protection in the area? Are they nearby? Where is the nearest Post Office?


Are the residents Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, etc.? How are the different racial groups residentially located? Are there culture specific stores?


What churches and church operated schools are in the neighborhood? How many are there? Is there evidence of cultural influence in the community? Do you hear more than language? Are there signs in language other than English? Concerts, free events (i.e. park fairs, etc.)? Is the community an active one? Are there events posted? (for example: Senior citizens? lunch, etc.)


How would you categorize the residents: (a) upper, (b) upper middle, (c) middle, (d) working, (e) lower class? On what do you base this judgment?

Health and Morbidity

Are there evidences of acute or chronic diseases or conditions, of accidents, communicable diseases, alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness? On what do you base this judgment? Are there any wellness programs sponsored by community support systems?


Do you see any political campaign posters? Is there a party headquarters? Is there any evidence of a predominant party affiliation? Who are the local state and city representative (assembyman, senator, councilman? Name them.)

What are your recommendations for your community?

Modified from Madison TM: School of Social Work, Richmond, VA, Virginia Commonwealth University, September 1982.

Excerpt From Essay:

Essay Instructions: Perform a community assessment using the guidelines in Chapter 6 of your textbook (Nies & McEwen). List each of the 6 areas on the assessment- then describe the information pertinent to that area.
1. Connunity Vitality
2. Indicators of Social and economic conditions
3. Health resources
4. Environment condition related to health
5. Social functioning
6. Attitude toward health and healthcare

? Describe your initial impressions of the area (including general impressions and impressions as a registered nurse).
? Do you note any bias in your impressions based on your life experiences? If so, describe a plan to ensure that your bias will not influence your care for members in this community/population.
? Based on your community assessment, determine current and potential issues that may affect the health of this community (illegal aliens, teen-age pregnancy, vandalism, access to transportation, etc.). Include a discussion of vital statistics for this geographic area.
? Based on your assessment of the community and what you have learned about community / public health trends, what recommendations would you offer to members of the community?
? What venue and whom would you present your recommendations? (County Commissioner meeting, Neighborhood Meeting, etc.)
? Include information from the literature for support of your recommendations.

Writing the Assessment Paper:
? Do not use paragraph format
? Utilize a minimum of five credible references.
? Use APA 6th edition revised format

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: Community Assessment

Total Pages: 4 Words: 1129 Bibliography: 7 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: Using the Village of New Paltz, NY - conduct a Community Assessment. Paper should be double-spaced, APA Style, 12pt Arial Font, in Microsoft Word 2003 or above. To demonstrate competency, you must show you can access public data and apply theory to explain structural inequality (if there is any).

The first competency assignment assesses whether you can understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination. To achieve competency you need to provide descriptive data for 9 of the dimensions that Karen Kirst-Ashman describes (Human Behavior in the Macro Social Environment) and also analyze using theory that talks about structural inequality that the data suggests to you. Below are a list of Kirst-Ashman's dimensions of community:
1. Demographics
2. Geography and environmental influences on community
3. Beliefs and attitudes
4. Local Politics
5. Local economy and businesses
6. Income distribution
7. Housing
8. Educational facilities and programs
9. Health & Welfare systems
10. Social control and safety
11. Sources of information and public opinion
12. Summary assessment of community issues

Be aware that if you have a neighborhood where there is actual full equality, full access, you can still look at the structural inequality in terms of whats been done to guarantee greater access of all peoples.

The second competency this assignment taps is your ability to utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

If you are able to use the contents of systems thinking of micro, mezzo, & macro to analyze your neighborhood, the you will receive competent.

You must also use other concepts from systems theory or other theoretical prospective to describe how these elements relate to each other demonstrating your understanding of how systems interact and relate to one another.

Finally, to present your use of conceptual frameworks on advanced competency you want to be able to use theory to describe the system as a whole.
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Title: community assessment applied

Total Pages: 2 Words: 498 Sources: 0 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: You are a public health nurse in the town of Springfield. One of your roles is to provide health education to children who attend the city's middle school. You are aware of the teaching needs of this population based on the developmental level of the children. However, you feel you would be able to better educate students if you learned more about their current health behaviors. Thus, a community assessment is performed of the children attending Springfield Middle School and the following data is to be interpreted, analyzed for significant themes or trends. This analysis should result in discovery of community health problems (needs for action) and community health strengths (abilities). Analyze the findings of the following data that was collected. Look through the data to find out whether you have collected adequate info. to obtain a complete picture of the community. Review the data collected to identify recurrent themes. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the community so that you can draw some conclusions. One of the first things to do is to confirm that your sample population is demographically similar to the
target population. Next, you compare your findings with the national data to look for similarities and differences, so you can draw some conclusions about your population. There are 2 topic areas of data that was collected that will need an interpretation and conclusion. The information is as follows:
Topic Area 1: After School Supervision
National Data
Hours spent outside of school with no adult supervision:
0 hours-25%
1-2 hours-36%
3-5 hours-23%
6-10 hours-10%
11 or more hours-6%

Springfield Middle School Data
Where do you usually go after school?
Home alone-7 (10%)
Home with parent or caregiver-7 (10%)
Home with sibling-8 (11%)
Friend's house-5 (7%)
After-school activity- 21 (30%)
Local hangout with adult supervision-14 (20%)
Local hangout without adult supervision-8 (11%)
Need interpretation and conclusion of the data for this topic area.

Topic Area 2: Participation in Extracurricular Activities at School
National Data
Number of hours spent participating in these activities:
0 hours-30%
1-2 hours-32%
3-5 hours-17%
6-10 hours-13%
11 or more hours-8%

Springfield Middle School Data
Participation in after-school sports or other school-related activities
Yes-40 (57%)
No-30 (43%)
(The following is just some side info.) If yes, what types of activites are you involved in?
Band-20 (29%)
Chorus-22 (31%)
Clubs-16 (23%)
School sports-35 (50%)
Need interpretation and conclusion of the data for this topic area.

The following are 2 EXAMPLES from my instructor of data interpretation and conclusion from another community assessment that may be of help to you:
1.Topic Area:Income
National/State Data
National: In 2005, the median income in among older persons was $21,784 for males and $12,495 for females.
State: The median income for an older person was $14,400

Local Data
Median household income was $27,000 (age 65+)

Interpretation: These data are difficult to interpret because they are broken down into national, state, and local levels.
Conclusion: It may be helpful to investigate this issue further at the community level. It may be worthwhile to contact the U.S. Dept. of Human Services for the county to find out whether more info is available on the income of the older population's utilization of assistance programs such as food stamps and Medicaid.

2. Topic Area: Health Conditions
National/State Data
National: In 2003-2004, the most prevalent health conditions were hypertension (52%), diagnosed arthritis(50%), heart disease(32%), cancer(21%), and diabetes(17%).
State: The leading causes of death among older persons were heart disease(35%), cancer(20%), stroke(8%), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(copd)(6%).

Local Data
Wish that there was more than one doctor in town;may need to wait several days for an available appointment.
May access the emergency room in a neighboring community, because they don't feel that they have any other options.
Concerned about the medical care they receive. Sometimes unsure about why they are taking their current medications that they have been prescribed to them.
Feel as though they are always getting another pill, and that no one actually tries to find out what is really wrong with them,

Interpretation: National and state data reveal that chronic disease is a major concern for this population. Because of the chronic conditions that they experience, older persons may be prescribed multiple medication. They may feel that they are taking medications that are not needed because no one has thoroughly explained why they are taking them. Also, members of this community may be accessing emergency care uneccessarily because they are dissatisfied with the wait at the local doctor's office.
Conclusion: It may be helpful to offer medication counseling for older persons in this community. Also, it may be useeful to educate them about some of the chronic conditions that are common among older persons. Concerns about accessing physician's office and information on use of emergency care should be relayed to the primary care provider in the community.

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