Health needs of a suburban community: a nursing assessment approach

Journal Name: 
J Community Health Nurs
Community health nursing can play an important role in conducting community needs assessments that provide critical data upon which programming, planning, and evaluation should be based. The community health services developed for any given community should be planned with the specific needs of the community residents in mind. A community needs survey is one method that should be periodically employed to ascertain the specific needs and concerns of community residents. Nursing conceptual models developed by CHNs are very appropriate to the assessment of all aspects of community life related to health and well-being. Comprehensive community needs surveys should include assessment of environmental, psychosocial, and physiological aspects of health as well as indicators of health-related behaviors in the population. The Omaha classification system adapted for this study provides a broad conceptual framework that facilitates the development of comprehensive programs of assessment. Public health services are in a state of crisis in many states. Traditional program offerings may no longer be the key to providing the types of services most needed by some communities. Analysis of data on problems related to personal and family well-being in one upper middle class suburban community indicate a need for health promotion and services focused on many of the psychosocial aspects of health. The stress experienced by younger community residents appears to be related to issues of parenting and balancing the dual roles required at work and home. Families of elders are also confronted by issues concerning the decreasing independence of these individuals and the need to find additional support services for them. Community health services must be designed that take these factors into account. Professional nurses can provide the leadership necessary to assess health needs and current public health practices in these communities and to recommend and implement programs appropriate to the needs of the present and the goals of the future
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