Role of a Community Health Nurse
Community health nursing is a synthesized health care practice combining nursing and public health applied to preserve and promote the health of vast populations. Community-based care is focused on individuals, families, groups, and communities. In care provision, community nursing utilizes health education, promotion, management, maintenance, coordination, and continuity to meet the care needs of the people (Bigi & Bocci, 2017). Community health nursing majors its care on public wellness rather than the disease itself.
Giving treatment to community members is among the primary roles of community health nurses. They provide therapy at affordable costs to community members suffering from various health-related conditions. The nurse also focuses on preventing occurrences of disease outbreaks. This goal is achieved by interacting with members and questioning their health status. Prevention can also be achieved through educating the community on outbreaks and offering medical equipment such as mosquito nets.
Community health nurses have a duty of educating the people on how to improve health and fight diseases. Through health seminars and medical camps, they interact with locals and educate them on health matters such as risk factors for various illnesses. They are also responsible for ensuring the health of the children is upheld (Bigi & Bocci, 2017). They protect children through immunization and educating them on the role good hygiene plays in health promotion.
Community health nurses have a duty of acting as advocates for the community on health matters. The nurses are mandated to solve the medical crisis the community is facing. Various issues such as poor sanitation, lack of medical facilities, insufficient clean water, and lack of medical personnel negatively affect the health and life of the community. A community health nurse is an advocate of the community in matters of health. They identify the issues affecting members and ensure responsible bodies such as the government address the concerns. Moreover, the nurses have the function of providing solutions to the health issues facing the community. Therefore, they have a duty of studying and researching the issues.
How a community Health Nurse Assists Families of Patients
Families with patients face challenges finding care for their beloved family members, and they are worried most of the time. The community health nurse helps the family to adapt and cope with the situation. The nurse helps the family identify both the patient’s medical and physical needs and how to provide care. Upon placing the required care, the nurse aids the family plan and provides the needed care to heal the patient. The nurses assist the family members in coping with the situation by encouraging and reassuring them.
Barriers Related to Initiation of Home Care Services in Communities
In the quest to initiate home care services in communities, there have been obstacles delaying the process. Community preferences are the primary barrier community health nurses face. The members would prefer being treated in the hospital rather than at home. The hospital-based preference has various underlying contributors, such as the embarrassment of their living conditions (Ogbolu et al., 2018). The nurses also try to avoid home-based care because of the incurring costs they face. Nurses who don’t have allowances to meet their expenditures prefer to offer hospital-based care.
Poor infrastructure and equipment are a barrier to achieving home-based care. The roads used to access the residential homes of the members are in poor conditions making accessibility difficult. Patients who require acute care cannot be treated at home because of inadequate equipment. Medical equipment such as oxygen cylinders and life-sustaining machines lack in the community making home-based care impossible (Ogbolu et al., 2018). Maintaining a patient healing enabling environment and a safe patient environment makes home-based care impossible.
A patient-safe environment compromises a place equipped with enough facilities and qualified medical personnel. A home environment cannot provide the required knowledge and machinery to ensure patient safety. The home conditions such as hazardous sanitation endanger patient safety and will result in a much worse illness. The language barrier, Illiteracy, and cultural barriers affect home-based care negatively. For home-based care to be effective in the community, communication is paramount (Ogbolu et al., 2018). The difference in language and ethnicity differences between nurses and patients causes a communication barrier that inhibits care.
Some cultures which ban the patient from seeking medical assistance when sick also inhibit care provision. In some communities, they consider the medical personnel as enemies because of the cultures they ascribe to. This perception endangers community health nurses forcing them to avoid home-based care. Inadequate community health nursing staff is another barrier facing home-based care provision. Enough staff is required to meet each family’s healthcare needs. The prevailing staff shortage has limited the capacity to reach out to all families.
How Living in Urban Areas Versus Rural Areas Affect Home Care Services
Home care services and community health nursing are affected by geographic characteristics. The difference between rural and urban areas in the health aspects differ in healthcare access and utilization, affordability, distribution, environment, and population. The urban environment presents a favorable environment for home services compared to rural setups (Akbar et al., 2019). The number of qualified staff to offer healthcare is higher in towns making the services more easily accessible than the rural.
Unlike urban centers, rural areas comprise a large population of unemployed members. Unemployment results in poverty, making it difficult for rural members to afford home-based care. Urban residents are more knowledgeable and informed on the advantages of home services, making their preferences higher than those in rural areas (Akbar et al., 2019). The prevailing conditions are making it easy to offer home services in urban areas rather than rural centers.
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Bigi, C., & Bocci, G. (2017). The key role of clinical and community health nurses in pharmacovigilance. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 73(11), 1379-1387. Web.
Ogbolu, Y., Scrandis, D. A., & Fitzpatrick, G. (2018). Barriers and facilitators of care for diverse patients: Nurse leader perspectives and nurse manager implications. Journal of Nursing Management, 26(1), 3-10. Web.