Public Health nursing has a defined scope of practice and standards just as general nursing and other healthcare related careers. The American Nurses Association has defined the scope and standards in their book, Public Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice. The book discusses six Standards of Practice reflecting the nursing process and ten Standards of Professional Performance addressing professional standards for the field of public health nursing (American Nurses Associate, 2007). One specific standard of practice and standard of professional performance will be explained in detailed.
Standards of Practice
One of the Standards of Practice is assessment. Assessment is evaluating a person, place, or situation and is the initial step in any nursing process. In the assessment standard, the public health nurse assesses the population for any health concerns (American Nurses Association, 2007). This involves collection of data, interpretation of the data, and analysis of the problem. It is essential to know what information gathered is an urgent matter to the population or community. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind ethical, legal, and privacy issues in obtaining data. For example, if information is obtained through surveys or interviews, it is important to notify the participants that the information may be used for publication and consent is necessary.
Collection of data can include a number of methods: surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and observations. It is also important to include socioeconomic considerations, biological, psychological, cultural, and religious issues. This may impact the health status of a community gravely. If the community is a Seventh Day Adventist community such as Loma Linda, they may be a higher risk of protein deficiency considering most are vegetarians. Health status would be affected by this information and must be considered during the collection of data.
Problem analysis in then conducted which “…identify the problem correlates, define as factors contributing to the problem, and explain the relationships between each factor and the problem” (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2007, p 357). Once all the data is collected, problem analysis allows data generation to be utilized to focus on a health concern in the community and risk factors or contributing factors that affect the health status of those individuals.
Application of the assessment standard in public health nursing is the initial and vital step to “…promoting and protecting the health of populations” (American Nurses Association, 2007, p 5). One way to collect health data is to gather information such as statistics of the amount of children who have asthma in Riverside County. It may also be beneficial to compare data with surrounding communities, such as San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, or Orange County. With all the collective data gathered, interpretation of this data would be identifying the trends of...