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Identify a community or aggregate you are currently involved with at home (personal life) or at work. Cite some major value, major strengths, and health needs of your community or aggregate. How could a nurse work collaboratively with a community to build on these strengths and facilitate community empowerment?
I am deeply involved with the nursing home that operates in my community. This nursing home offers medical assistance and housing accommodations for senior citizens in need of assistance and over-the-clock care. I work at the home as a volunteer; I dedicate 4 hours of my day every single day to assist the home’s senior citizens in whatever they may need, be it help going to the restroom, giving them their medication, or helping them change into their pajamas. I believe that the work that the nursing home’s staff contributes to my community is extremely important, especially when one considers that “older people need to take special precautions to ensure a safe living environment” (Midland County, n.d., p. 1). This nursing home has operated within the community for some time now, and it is extremely gratifying to see how much the community’s senior citizens (and the community as a whole) value the work being done there.
The community I live in is characterized by its unity, by its solidarity, and by its commitment to assisting its senior citizens. This community values humanity and the right that every person has to live a dignified life. As well, it is important to note that the senior population is significant within our community, and as time passes more people lose the ability to fully tend to their every need. When the nursing home first started it should be noted that it was somewhat complicated because less than 50 percent of the community’s senior citizens knew were to go and procure the nursing services and care they required (Mason, Peak, Krannich, & Sanderson, 2002, p. 5). Today this has changed, and I am proud to state that a nurse can do a lot in terms of helping the community create awareness about the services that the nursing home offers its senior citizens. As well, nurses can assist anybody who wishes to volunteer in the essential skills required to properly nurse a senior citizen and contribute to improving his overall standard of living.
As the school nurse role continues to evolve, there are increasingly more health concerns for the school nurse. Does the locale make a difference in the problems, or are health problems in children and adolescents universal? In some inner-city areas, poor nutrition is a prevalent issue. What do you think are the biggest problems in your areas?
Every day there are greater health risks that must be monitored and treated at schools. Students’ prevalence of chronic diseases increases year after year, and so the need for capable school nurse becomes a top priority for schools around the country; “increasing numbers of students enter schools with chronic health conditions that require management during the school day” (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2008, p. 1052). This, I believe, is a universal problem that affects all students in all schools, and because of this it is becoming more and more important for schools to have school nurses that are both skilled and experienced. These two elements (skill and experience) are extremely important because “school nurses have the breadth of perspective and the depth of experience to qualify as the chief experts at identifying and prioritizing issues to promote child and public health” (Fleming, 2011, p. 12). If a nurse lacks either skill or experience it is highly likely that mistakes will be made in assessing each student’s condition and/or in providing the adequate treatment.
Malnutrition is also a problem that some schools in certain inner-city areas must cope with. This is a serious problem, given that malnutrition hinders students’ education as well as their health. In my area I believe that malnutrition is not a significant problem, but certain chronic diseases are. Asthma and obesity are perhaps the most serious health concerns that school nurses should worry about in my particular area. Unfortunately, asthma cannot be prevented, but obesity can be prevented and corrected through good, healthy, diets. This is something that school nurses in my area should definitely look into, because in order for students to make the most out of their education both their minds and bodies must be healthy.
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