The History of Public Health and the Role of the Community/Public Health Nurse

1136 Words Dec 1st, 2013 5 Pages
Running head: PUBLIC HEALTH AND ROLE OF THE COMMUNITY HEALTH NURSE

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PUBLIC HEALTH AND ROLE OF THE COMMUNITY HEALTH NURSE

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The History of Public Health and the Role of the Community/Public Health Nurse
When considering the evolution of healthcare and the role of the nurse in the United
States, many people might first consider this in the context of the hospital setting. While the history of acute care is an important area to consider, it is imperative that equal attention be given to the history of public health and the role played by the nurse in this segment of the healthcare continuum. The purpose of this paper is to outline the history of the public health nurse and to specifically look at the role of nursing in
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PUBLIC HEALTH AND ROLE OF THE COMMUNITY HEALTH NURSE

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Historically, public health nurses have worked to improve the quality of life of vulnerable populations by striving to optimize health and social conditions. The population targeted by this profession is still consistent with this premise in the 21st century. Public health nurses in this day and age still work with vulnerable groups, but also with the general public. In public health nursing today, “high-risk, vulnerable populations are often the focus of care and may include the frail elderly, homeless individuals, sedentary individuals, smokers, teen mothers, and those at risk for a specific disease” (Kulbok, Thatcher, Park, & Meszaros, 2012, para 3)
Impact on Nursing Practice
The role of the community or public health nurse in regards to hospice care is the position to be elaborated upon for this assignment. Generally, in order for a patient to qualify for healthcare coverage for hospice care, they must have a life expectancy of six months or less.
Traditionally, people have considered patients with cancer to be the primary recipients of hospice care, but most any terminal disease process should qualify for this in home end of life care if the patient’s needs can be adequately met. There are also hospice care facilities where the patient is either transferred to a unit specified for this level of care, or a patient

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