Community Assessment

Chapter 6

Community Assessment

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Defining the Community

Aggregate of people

The “who”

Share personal characteristics and risks

Location in space and time

The “where” and “when”

Physical location frequently delineated by boundaries and influenced by the passage of time

Social system

The “why” and “how”

Interrelationships of aggregates fulfilling community functions

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Diagram of Assessment Parameters

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Figure 6-1

Community Assessment Parameters

Geography

Population

Environment

Industry

Education

Recreations

Religion

Communication

Transportation

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Public services

Political organization

Community development or planning

Disaster programs

Health statistics

Social problems

Health manpower

Health professional organizations

Community services

Healthy Communities

A movement to help community members bring about positive health changes

Interconnectedness between people and the public and private sectors is essential to make changes.

Each community has its unique perspective.

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Assessing the Community

Windshield survey

Gain an understanding of environmental layout

Locate possible areas of environmental concern through “sight, sense, and sound”

Gives nurse an opportunity to observe people and their role in the community

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Windshield Survey

Community vitality

Indicators of social and economic conditions

Health resources

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Environmental conditions related to health

Social functioning

Attitudes toward health and health care

Assessing the Community (Cont.)

Sources of data:

Census data and other census reports

Vital statistics

NCHS survey data

Local, regional, and state government reports

Locally generated data collection

Analysis of demographic information provides descriptive information about the population

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Assessing the Community (Cont.)

Needs assessment

Used to understand the community’s perspective

Interview key community informants

Use community forums, focus groups, or surveys

12 Steps in a Needs Assessment

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Steps in the Needs Assessment Process

Identify aggregate for assessment

Engage the community in planning the assessment

Identify required information

Select method of data gathering

Develop questionnaires or interview questions

Develop procedures for data collection

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Steps in the Needs Assessment Process (Cont.)

Train data collectors

Arrange for a sample representative of the aggregate

Conduct needs assessment

Tabulate and analyze data

Identify needs suggested by data

Develop an action plan

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Nursing Process

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The nursing process can be applied to the community as a client.

Needs assessment

Diagnosing health problems (actual and potential)

Planning

Intervention

Evaluation

Format for Community Health Diagnosis

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Figure 6-3 Redrawn from Muecke MA: Community health diagnosis in nursing, Public Health Nurs 1:23-35, 1984. Used with permission of Blackwell Scientific Publications.

Epidemiological Studies Used Throughout the Nursing Process

Support planning by establishing effectiveness of certain interventions in specific aggregates

Construct benchmarks to gauge achievement of program objectives

Compare data with other rates

Identify objectives of successful programs

Document effectiveness with epidemiological data

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