As a nurse, your job is not limited to hospitals and clinics. You can also lend your support beyond those white-washed walls. When it comes to a patient’s well-being, the healthcare industry and the public health sector work collaboratively.
In this cooperative way, communities stay healthy, and public health planners prevent common illnesses from escalating to dangerous levels. This is where you can play a significant role.
The community needs help in maintaining and managing their health. Being a nurse gives you a unique position to combine clinical knowledge with public health concepts.
Since the public health sector is under a tremendous burden, you will be a vital asset in ensuring community wellness is achievable. Here’s how you lend a hand as a nurse:
Identify Common Health Associated Risks
Before you launch any plan, it is essential to know what you’re up against. Every population is facing different healthcare issues.
Identification is an elaborate process. As a nurse, you need to find common healthcare problems and list them. You will need to use primary research data to facilitate your findings.
This will ensure you accurately identify health risks. At the same time, while analyzing a community, ensure that you account for its population density, important demographic markers, previous health trends, and the number of cured cases.
Common problems that plague communities include food-borne infections such as cholera, chronic conditions such as diabetes, or health problems like obesity.
The only way you will see Public Health Planning Explained and implemented is through actively participating in community wellness.
After narrowing down on health risks, collect samples from the population through swabs or blood work.
You will need to run tests and study the data before you. The final step involves comparing the numbers and determining the epidemiology of the illness.
Strategizing Patient Care
Working with patients will inform you where the public falls short in looking after themselves. The knowledge you gain will help you gauge what aspect of public planning needs improvement and how to source funds and resources for the community.
For example, diabetes is a common chronic health condition, with one in three Americans showing borderline symptoms. Yet, not enough population has the resources to look after themselves and keep their glucose levels in check.
So, with this information, you can devise a strategy where the diabetic community gets offered primary healthcare to manage their condition on a sliding scale.
You may also suggest providing patients with knowledge of looking after diabetes with the right tools such as a glucose monitor.
Looking after patients will also help you devise treatment programs that better care for the community. If the illness is epidemic, you can get the government on board and push for policies like the COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Educating The Community
The community needs to know how they can keep themselves safe. This is only possible through proper education.
As a nurse, you will address the issue surrounding the community and provide clinical solutions to their problems.
Information on preventive care will help save the community from the financial, emotional, and physical burden of becoming ill. You should discuss the common causes of diseases, how to detect symptoms, when to go to the ER and what medications are safe to use.
For example, in poor communities, you may speak about maternal health. In 2020, about one in every ten infants will be born with fatally low birth weight. By informing mothers, you can save them from the pain of losing a child.
This will include informing them of affordable maternal clinics, guiding them on their dietary needs, and providing nonprofit organizations. You should also educate mothers about their appointments and what to ask on doctor visits.
As a nurse, you may educate the community through different means. You may travel to rural areas, speak in conventions or participate in health-related talk shows.
Documenting Your Work
Documentation is essential since it is the foundation of successful research papers. The WHO and the CDC also depend upon first-hand research to develop healthcare policies.
Documentation is an elaborate process in which you will need to arrange the community into a sample size. This would include ethnicity, age, gender, and socioeconomic background.
You will need to dive into details on the treatment you administered, its duration, and the number of positive outcomes.
After a successful public health intervention, your data will be tabulated and compared with past trends. This informs you how successful your efforts have been compared to others who tackled the issue.
You will also compile a list of signs and symptoms and what treatment worked favorably. Accurate findings like these are crucial in developing and dispatching new medications therapies.
For example, while studying the coronavirus, it was found that 90% of cases of COVID-19 were mild, with only 13% of the population suffering extreme reactions.
With this information, the government introduced policies to keep the people safe.
The public health sector works best in a collaborative manner. Public health professionals need nurses with clinical expertise to work with the population. As a nurse, you will perform an active role in community wellness.
You will need to identify common illnesses, devise treatment routes and educate the population about their health.
You will also need to document your work without which government policies hit a standstill. Therefore, as a nurse, your contribution to healthcare planning is vital.