Essay Instructions: OVERVIEW:
In order to practice nursing within a community, you must know the composition and health status of that community. Both quantitative and qualitative data are collected and analyzed as the basis for services to families, groups and community.
Please answer the following questions about the community in which you are practicing. You may compile the results of your inquiries in whatever way you wish and share it with your classmates. The information is to be used for community assessment.
A. General Description
1. Where is the community located?
2. What are the community boundaries?
3. What type of community is it(i.e., rural, urban, geopolitical, emotional)?
4. How much area does the community cover?
5. What is the community population?
6. What type of official community government exists? How does it function? How effective is it?
7. Who are the prominent officials?
8. Who are the unofficial leaders? What leadership style do they employ? How do they derive their power?
9. Are there any particular political affiliations within the community (i.e. strong Republican sentiments)?
10. Are they any prominent topographical features in the area (lakes, rivers, mountains, railroad line, major highway)?11. What are the significant event in the community’s history?
12. What are the prospects for the future of the community?
B. Population Characteristics
1. What is the age composition of the population?
2. What is the sex distribution in the community?
4. Are particular ethnic groups primarily new immigrants or residents of long
standing? What is the racial composition?
5. What is the average income level for the community? How wide is the range in average familyincome? Whatportion of the community population have incomes below poverty level?
6. What is the prevailing educational level in the community? What is the attitude toward education?
7. What are the major religious affiliations in the community? How do religious groups interact? What types of
community service programs are offered by religious groups? How does religion impinge on health?
8. What is the usual employment level in the community? How does the unemployment rate compare with that of the nation? The state? Where do most residents work? Within the community or outside? What are the major
industries in the area? What industries are the major employers? What are the typical occupations of community residents? What health hazards, if any, are presented by local industry.
9. Are there significant patterns of population change?
C. Environmental Characteristics
1. What types of housing are available? Are most housing units owned or rented? What is the average number of persons per dwelling? What are the prevailing property values? What is the typical rent? What is the general condition of housing available? What portion of the available housing is inadequate in terms of sanitation? Safety? What health hazards, if any, are presented by area housing?
2. What is the source of community water supply? How are sewage, sanitation and waste disposal handled?
3. What protective services are available? How adequate are they?
4. What transportation resources exist? How many residents own cars? What other forms of transportation exist? Are bus routes, schedules, etc., adequate for community needs? How costly is transportation? Are there major thoroughfares nearby leading to large metropolitan areas?
5. What communication network exists? What formal communications media
are available? What are the informal modes of communication? What type of
communication takes place with the outside world? What is the relationship
between members of different cultural groups?
6. What insurance factors exist in the community? (flood insurance?)
7. What is rate of drug use and related crimes? What is the overall crime rate? What types are prevalent? What is the homicide rate? Suicide rate?
D. Health Status Indicators
1. What is the annual birth rate?
2. What percent of pregnant women received prenatal care?
3. What is the overall death rate?
4. What is the maternal death rate?
5. What is the infant death rate?
6. What is the neonatal death rate?
7. What are the annual rates for specific causes of death?
8. What are the incidence and prevalence rates for specific diseases, AIDS? Are there differences for female/male. What is the racial distribution? What is the prevalence rate for mental illness in the community?
9. How do morbidity and mortality figures compare with national/state figures?
10. What is the overall immunization rate?
11. How do these rates compare with those of previous years?
12. What is the general nutritional level of community residents? What percentage of the population is overweight? Underweight? What marketing facilities are available? How expensive are food items? What percent of the typical family budget is spent on food? What food supplement programs are available? How well are they utilized?
13. What health services and resources are available? What types of health community personnel are available? What types of health facilities are available: Are personnel and facilities adequate to meet community needs?
Are there preventive, promotional, therapeutic, and rehabilitative services available? Are there services available to meet the needs of all age groups represented in the population? What emergency services are available? What
health education programs are presented? What official and voluntary heath agencies are present in the community? How far away are health services not found in the community?
14. What are the prevailing community attitudes toward health and health care? How are health and illness defined? Are promotion and preventive measures utilized? How are health services financed? What are health programs budget priorities? What portion of the population have health insurance? How well are health services utilized? What are the traditional and alternative health practices? What percent of population is covered by managed care organizations?
II. Analysis of Data
1 What health problems are perceived by the nurse?
(you and your preceptor-- Diabetics, Obesity, TB, )
2. What health problems are perceived by local residents or group?
3. What health problems are perceived by other health professionals and community leaders? (legislators, community activist)
4. What actions is currently being taken to solve these?
5. How have previous problems of a similar nature been solved?
6. Are the resources necessary to solve these problems present in the community?
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