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The medical field comprises of different types of nurses. For example, there are in-home nurses, whose duties are to supervise individual patients within a hospital or community setup, or emergency nurses, who deal with critically ill or injured patients. Another type of nurse in the public health field, who is analyzed in this paper, is the public health nurse, who is a registered nurse with specialized training mainly on community health services (Philibin, Griffiths, Horan, & Begley, 2010). Apart from the normal provision of standards, registered nurses function within their care facility or hospitals. Public health nurses often undertake to travel to patients’ places of residence, community centers, schools or even workplaces. The nurses work with the available local resources whereby they articulate concerns over community health to various policy makers and local health planners (Nixon, 2015).
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A public health nurse does not work for a single specific organization but is involved in different organizations and institutions. The organizations include the state or country departments of public health, correctional facilities within a given community, schools, businesses, and the other occupational health facilities within a given area (Philibin, Griffiths, Horan, & Begley, 2010). While in most circumstances a nurse will only take care of one atient, a public health nurse often targets the entire population. The aspect of working with the whole community enables them to educate the young, the old, the illiterate, and the educated about public health issues in order to improve community safety and health as well as further increase access to health care. Thus, public health practice is mostly population-based, and the aspect of public health nursing largely focuses on the entire sub-populations that share similar health characteristics or concerns (Keller, Strohschein, Hoagberg, &Schaffer, 2004).
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There are several roles and duties undertaken by public health nurses that make them qualified as specialized public health field nurses. The first duty of a public health nurse in every context is to help with the encouragement of the adoption of public health beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes, which mainly contributes to the overall population health (Nixon, 2015). The aspect is to be achieved through community-based actions, public policies advocacy, and public participations. In addition, public health nurses are involved in risk reduction of certain infectious disease outbreaks within the public through investigation, early identification, preventive measures, and creating activities for the public that aim at promoting safe behaviors (Nixon, 2015).
The aspect of public health nursing may be moostly practiced by a group of public health nurses or just by one public nurse. In both instances, it is important to note that the two sets are all directly engaged in interdisciplinary processes and activities that form the core of functions of the public health, which include assurance, assessment, and policy development (Keller, Strohschein, Hoagberg, &Schaffer, 2004). The given strategies or interventions by public health nurses may often be targeted at multiple different levels, but, in most cases, it mainly depends on the levels where it is possible to attain the most effective outcome. The strategies include those that are aimed at entire population families, groups or individuals.
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The primary focus of any public health nurse is often on health education. Based on their training, they provide the public with desirable and useful information on how to efficiently protect health (Nixon, 2015). In their day-to-day presentation at community groups, schools, and the other centers, public health nurses often explain the aspect of having proper nutrition, demonstrate safety practices that are effective for the public, and create awareness on how to care for the disabled within the family context. Their primary goal is mostly to make information regarding health a task that is easy to understand so that the public can have proper control over their overall well-being (Nixon, 2015).
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