Public health nursing, also known as community health nursing, promotes and protects people against diseases. Public health nurses use the knowledge and skills of nursing and public health nurses to create health awareness to help prevent infectious diseases and reduce health risks in the community.
In this blog, you will see the different public nursing guides and learn how to differentiate community health and public health. If you are a student studying or want to join a nursing health program, you must fully understand the meaning of public health nursing. Here, you will learn the correct definition of public nursing health and how you can handle all your assignments related to public health nursing.
What is public health nursing?
Public health nursing is a practice that will help you promote and protect the health of different people. You must use your public health sciences and nursing knowledge to achieve this. As a public health nurse, you must focus on society’s health, promoting public health, preventing diseases, and creating awareness.
Many public health nurses contain the most significant section of the professional public health labour force and work in various critical roles. As a public health nurse, you must work with affected persons, families, and the community to define the health setup that affects the community or society. When you join a public health nursing program, you will be required to work in many settings, such as; community health, schools, homes, health departments, and much more.
To make significant contributions to public health, you must have quality knowledge and skills as a public health nurse. This clinical knowledge will help you have a unique relationship with the people you serve and enable you to implement quality health programs and policies to meet society’s needs. In this article, you will get help from professionals with a quality clinical nursing background and in-depth knowledge of public health nursing to provide you with a sound basis for public health leadership.
Difference between public health nursing and community health nursing
Generally, community health nursing and public health nursing share the same goal, which makes some of their efforts similar. For instance, experts in both fields primarily create health education programs. The significant difference between these two fields is based on their specific focus; for example, community health nursing focuses on the overall causes of a population’s physical and mental health, while public nursing health focuses on the scientific process of preventing dangerous infectious diseases.
Another difference between community health and public health nursing is where the experts tend to work. In the United States, many public health experts fall under the federal departments. Many public health nurses work in offices and medical laboratories with hospitals, schools, and other state health departments. Community health nursing experts work on local scales, from state and county jobs, especially to local hospitals and dispensaries.
Major professions in public and community health nursing
As a student who wants to join a public health nursing program, you might wonder which careers are in public and community health nursing programs. In this blog, we have gathered significant occupations in public and community health nursing programs. If you have an interest in public health and community health nursing programs, the following are the main jobs:
- Public health engineer
- Medical Author
- Hospital administration
- Health program coordinator
- Public and community health mentor
As a public and community nursing health student, you will have many options, and you can work in various public health-related establishments. Some of the most common public health and community health nursing professions you can work on are listed in this blog to help you choose the program you are interested in.
The role of epidemiology in public health nursing
Epidemiology is the main component in preventing diseases and promoting the health of the people in the community. Epidemiology helps you to quantify things such as injuries, disability, and many more health-related issues. As a public health nurse, you must ensure that people live healthily and prevent infectious diseases that might affect the population and community at large.
There are five significant tasks of epidemiology in public health nursing. This practice includes; field investigation, public health surveillance, evaluation, analytical studies, and linkages. In public health nursing epidemiology, you will cover several topics, such as;
- Infectious diseases epidemiology
- Cardiovascular epidemiology
- Clinical epidemiology
- Occupational epidemiology
- Cancer Epidemiology
- How to prevent cancer
- Epidemiology of ageing
- Genetic epidemiology
- Psychiatric epidemiology
- Pediatric epidemiology
- Nutritional epidemiology
- Statistical genetics
- Epidemiologic methods and many more public health-related topics
Public health nursing: roles and responsibilities
All public health nurses have major roles and responsibilities. Your role as a public health nurse is to promote public health awareness in the community. You will be required to focus on helping people at higher risk access the quality health care they need.
As public health nurse, your goal is to help prevent all infectious diseases and to reduce the health risks at the population health level through community and public health nursing evidence for practice programs. The following are some of the roles and responsibilities of a public health nurse, they include;
- Managing the budgets of public health nursing programs
- Assessing the health trends in the most affected communities
- Developing a quality relationship with affected individuals and tracking their health progress
- Keep a record and analyze medical data
- Delivering quality healthcare
- Creating awareness of the risk of infectious diseases
- Monitoring the patient’s health status and any changes in the condition
- Referring patients to more advanced health providers
The history and evolution of public health nursing
The history and evolution of public health nursing started in the Philippines. In 1557 a man named Friar Juan Clemente started a medical dispensary for the indigent. In 1805 Dr.Francisco de Balmis introduced the first smallpox vaccination.
The first medical team appointed in 1876 started working as provincial health officers. As the year went by, public health officers graduated from universities. In 1999 the health sector reformed the agenda of launching public health nursing; this has helped direct the government towards advanced public health nursing and laid the foundations for population health in public health nursing.
Global public health nursing
You need to understand what is global public health nursing. Generally, global public health nursing is defined as an area for study, research, and practice that prioritizes improving health and achieving health equality for all people globally. Global public health aims to achieve quality public health results globally.
To understand global health, you must distinguish it from public health. Public health focuses on the country and a community population, while global health covers all international areas beyond the country’s borders. The following are some global health issues; they include:
- Noncommunicable diseases
- Pandemics such as Ebola, Covid 19
- Environmental factors such as flooding, droughts, and storms
- Political factors
- Food sourcing and supply
Public health nursing process definition
The public health nursing process is defined as a rational method of providing high-quality nursing care to prevent infectious diseases and promote community health. Public health nursing has an organized structure that helps health experts to apply interpersonal skills. You will refer to this orderly, systematic manner of determining the patient’s problem as a public health nursing process.
As a public health nursing expert, you need to identify the major issue with your patient and come up with a solution to solve the problem. You also need to evaluate the effectiveness of your plan in resolving the problem you identified in your patient. There are some different key concepts that you will come across in the public health process. These stages include;
- The assessment
- Results/ nursing care plan
- Evaluation and solution
Importance of public health nursing process
Using the health nursing process will help you think critically and become more creative in problem-solving. The public health process helps you sharpen your abilities in decision-making related to clinical practices. Following this process, your nursing care quality will improve, improving patient satisfaction.
Below are some of the importance of the public health nursing process. The primary importance of the health process includes the following;
- It helps to identify the patient and community health care needs.
- It helps you to determine the health priorities
- The public health process helps you to establish the health goals and the expected results
- The public health nursing process will help you to differentiate your health practice from other health care experts
- The public health nursing process forms a basis in the form of diagnosis, the nursing care plan, the application of the plan, and the evaluation
- It helps to establish quality nursing care
- The public health nursing process will help you improve the population’s health by creating health awareness
How ethical principles apply to public health nursing
As a public health nursing student, it is important to know how ethical principles apply to public health nursing. Public health nurses mainly advocate for patients and find a balance in delivering quality health care. As a public health nurse or student, you should treat your patients fairly and respectfully.
In public health nursing, five ethical principles are very important. They include;
Public health nursing is used in every career for professional practice, such as preventing infectious diseases and creating awareness. By reading this article, you will fully understand the importance and processes of public health nursing and how it relates to other concepts.
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