Role of the Community Health Nurse
There are many health challenges in communities today; these include infectious diseases, children’s health, accidents, toxins and injuries. At the same time, inequalities in health such as lack of insurance and lack of access create systemic challenges to health. The role of the community nurse is very important in addressing these challenges. Working thorough diverse settings and with diverse partners, community health nurses help to improve health outcomes for communities. They work in diverse settings including health agencies, home care, schools, and community health centers (Meadows, 2009). Role of the Community Health Nurse
Community health nurses play an important role in the public health settings (Meadows, 2009). They provide comprehensive community health services such as pre and post-natal care, well-child and well-woman clinics, chronic disease clinic, school health and immunization programs. They also participate in surveillance for communicable disease as well as treatment (Government of the Northwest Territories, 2011). They play an important role in epidemic situations such as helping to reach and treat people affected by HIV/AIDS. Community health nurses who work in public health settings serve as first responders and are able to administer immediate care (Meadows, 2009).
In community health centers, they play roles such as injury and disease prevention, population health assessment and health protection (Canadian Public Health Association, 2010). They deliver community health clinics that fit community needs, this can be pre-packaged or designed based on specific community need. They evaluate community health programs and modify them as needed. Community health nurses promote safe and healthy environments throughout the community by assessing, planning, documenting and evaluating care to ensure that an effective coordinated approach is applied in the community. Assessments may include taking x-rays towards making correct diagnosis (Government of the Northwest Territories, 2011).
They play an active role in health promotion through home and community education. They provide knowledge to communities and families over health determinants as well as skills building to live healthier lives. They encourage communities and families to adopt behaviors and attitudes that promote health (Canadian Public Health Association, 2010). Community health nurses facilitate, modify and implement family and patient educational information based on the needs of the client or patient (Government of the Northwest Territories, 2011).
Community health nurses provide direct nursing care to clients and patients applying problem solving approaches. They work in accordance with the guidelines, standards and scope of expanded nursing practice to provide care for patients (Government of the Northwest Territories, 2011). Community health nurses that specialize in home care play an important role through home visits. They provide comprehensive care to patients in their homes. For instance, they help the elderly and people with complex health problems to remain in their homes (Meadows, 2009). Role of the Community Health Nurse
Community health nurses advocate for practice environments that have the necessary level of organization and access to resources that is necessary for competent and ethical delivery of nursing care. They act as a resource for other health care workers such as lay dispensers and home support workers. They promote equity and fairness in care delivery towards assuring that patients receive unbiased treatment and resources that are adequate for their health needs; they collaborate with peers and members of the health care team on advocacy for health care environments that are based on ethical practice and attentive to the well-being of both patients and staff. They provide leadership and coaching to students, peers, and other persons within the health care tea, helping them to develop and improve on their skills levels. Community health nurses develop and continuously evaluate the educational resources that are needed to support patients (Government of the Northwest Territories, 2011).
Role of the Community Health Nurse