Community Assessment

COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT 2 Community Assessment Community assessment is a core function for the public health nurse and involves getting to know the community. It involves identifying the needs of the community, problems in the community, and finding answers and resources to promote and increase the health and well being of the community. The purpose of this paper is to identify vulnerable populations and problems in my community and the importance of finding a solution. Overview of the Community A community is the geographic area from which people reside.

Certain characteristics of a population can be factors in determining the health care and services required by that community. Ethnicity and race, along with age, can impact community health needs and the services needed. Understanding the factors that affect the health of a community will assist with how to improve the health, culture, and the community environment. Analyzing these factors and finding a solution to a particular problem in the community can help to make a healthier place to live, learn, work, and play.

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Paris, Texas is considered the county seat of Lamar County.

It is located in the central time zone of Northeast Texas. It is also located in the area considered tornado alley. It does not have any major interstates running through it and has one major loop around the town. The total population of Paris is 25,171. The community is 94% urban and 6% rural. The population consists of 13,430 females and 11,741 males. The demographic population by race consists of 16,970 white people, 5,881 black people, 374 American Indian, 227 Asian, 6 Native Hawaiian, 874 other, and 839 considered to be of two or more races.

The community population consists of 1,835 persons from 0 to 4 years of age, 4,462 persons 5 to 17 years old, 14,695 persons from 18 COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT 3 to 64 years old, and 4,179 persons 65 years of age or older (Census Viewer, 2010). Paris has an unofficial nickname of Crepe Myrtle City and is known as the second largest Paris in the world. The community is defined by boundaries of land and the abundance of empty land is located outside of the loop which surrounds Paris. The community consists mainly of houses, divided into neighborhoods, but also includes approximately 30 farms and several apartment complexes and condos.

Most houses are new or in very good condition and livable. The most common industries include manufacturing, retail trade, construction, and food service. Common occupations include production supervisors, truck drivers, maintenance operations, and retail sales. The community has one hospital that occupies two current buildings, one on the loop and one located downtown. Paris is home to three public high schools, one private academy, six elementary/middle schools, one college/university, and a public library.

Paris also has a new landmark that was constructed in 1993, a 60 foot replica of the Eiffel Tower with a giant red cowboy hat atop it. Transportation is most commonly by automobile and the only public transportation is by taxi. Paris has a Boys and Girls Club, four parks, downtown fresh produce market, four grocery stores, various retail shops and restaurants. Most residents shop at Walmart or Mirabeau Square. Paris has a more white race with black being the second most prominent race. Baptist is the most common religion with Methodist the second most common.

Major businesses and industries include Sara Lee, Campbell Soup, Kimberly Clark, Turner Pipe, and Daisy Farms. The community has several non profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, CASA, and Veterans Affairs. Most teenagers and friends hang out at the one movie theater located on the loop, Paris Racetrack, or locally owned clubs around town and country music is the most COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT 4 common music listened to. Sports is a huge hobby in the community and you will find most people at local high school games on Friday nights.

Paris consists of several environmental hazards such as houses containing lead based paint, pollen, smoking, waste from Campbell Soup, and the major hazard is from tornadoes. Occupational hazards include construction workers and the abundance of agriculture workers present in the community. Vulnerable Populations Vulnerable populations are those populations that are considered low-income, uninsured, economically disadvantaged, elderly, people with chronic conditions, homeless, racial and ethnic minorities, low-income children, and can also include people who often encounter hardships to accessing healthcare services.

Nurses play a key role in the protection and health of the vulnerable population. Nurses need to be knowledgeable and aware of the different types of abuse and health problems in these populations to ensure that they are receiving the resources and healthcare needed to promote optimal health. Any concerns or indicators of abuse must be reported as soon as possible because they can prevent more harm to the patient (Peate & Pottorton, 2011). Elderly adults in my community are a very vulnerable population. This population is highly dependent on others for their care and health.

This puts the elderly at a risk for mental, physical, or financial abuse, neglect, and poor health. Abuse of those vulnerable adults is an under-reported problem that is constantly growing (Griffith & Tengnah, 2009). Services available in my community to assist this population include Texas Department of Family and Protective Service, Adult Protective Service, Memory Care for Alzheimer’s Dementia patients, Northeast Texas Counsel on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, New Hope Center, Texas Senior Care, and COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT 5 various skilled facilities.

Children are considered a vulnerable population in any community and my community is no different. It is very important to pay close attention to this population because of the lengthening transition to adulthood and how it poses a great challenge to keeping up with the children that require resources and services. It is important to recognize the diverse resources that provide services to these children as they transition into adulthood (Osgood, Foster, & Courtney, 2010).

Paris consists of several services to assist and aide these children such as Paris Advocacy Center, Child Protective Services, CASA for Kids, New Hope Center, and Paris-Lamar County Health Department. Impact on Nursing Public health nurses integrate community involvement and knowledge about the entire population into health and wellness education to promote a healthier community.

Public health nurses care for all populations in the community and are held to a set of standards as in any field of nursing. They have several core functions in the community such as monitoring the spread of disease and watching for environmental hazards, educating the community on how to care for themselves, assisting the community in finding needed resources, lobbying for adequate resources in order to ensure the health and well being of the community (Baldwin, Lyons, & Issel, 2011).

Public health nurses have an impact on nursing and the community in many ways. They can teach and educate vulnerable populations by doing home visits, supporting families following the birth of a child, prenatal education in the community, breastfeeding support, screening for domestic violence, promote health and wellness in the community, follow up on COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT 6 immunization and communicable diseases (Berreth, 2013).

This role has a huge impact on nursing, vulnerable populations, and communities as a whole because the nurse can find infected individuals, administer treatments, educate patients at home if necessary, notify contacts and referrals, and advocate for the patients in the community (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2012). My community does not have a lot of public/community health nurse opportunities. The few job opportunities include school nurse, public health department nurse, WIC, and a few positions at various assisted living facilities.

The vulnerable population has a huge impact on the BSN role in the community because she is in the perfect position to educate and promote health in the population but must also develop trust in this population to be a success. She will require unique knowledge, competency, and skills to advocate and improve the health and conditions of vulnerable populations. Summary Evidence based practice is improving patient outcomes and health by basing practice on interventions and outcomes that seek to improve patient care and health.

Disease, environmental hazards, occupational hazards, and vulnerable populations in the community are very important and the role of the public health nurse involves community assessment and identifying, intervening, and finding a solution to any of these issues that are identified. It is very important to identify these issues as soon as possible and implement the interventions to promote a healthier community. Community assessment is an integral and important aspect of community health nursing.

Identifying vulnerable populations and having the knowledge and cultural skills to identify problems, intervene, and promote wellness in this population is very important to the overall COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT 7 health of the community. Public health nurses are the voice for the community and being competent in this role can make a difference in the health and well being of your community. COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT 8 References Baldwin, K. , Lyons, R. , & Issel, L. (2011). Creating a brand image for public health nursing.

Public Health Nursing, 28(1), 57-67. Retrieved from Walden Library. Berreth, K. (2013). Public health nurses provide preventable programs, promote health, mobilize communities. Alberta RN, 68(4), 20-22. Retrieved from Walden Library. Census Viewer (n. d. ). Paris, Texas Population:Census 2010 and 2000 Interactive Map Demographics, Statistics, Quik Facts. Retrieved from http://censusviewer. com/city/Tx/Paris. Griffith, R. , & Tengnah, C. (2009). The protection of vulnerable adults. British Journal of Community Nursing, 14(6), 262-266.

Retrieved from Walden Library. Osgood, D. , Foster, E. , & Courtney, M. (2010). Vulnerable populations and the transition to adulthood. Future of Children, 20(1), 209-229. Retrieved from Walden Library. Peate, I. , & Potterton, J. (2011). Safeguarding vulnerable adults. British Journal of Healthcare Assistants, 5(1), 8-11. Retrieved from Walden Library. Stanhope, M. , & Lancaster, J. (2012). Public Health Nursing:Population-centered health care in the community. Philadelphia:Mosby Elsevier.

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