Community Health Setting

Choose a community setting: either school health, occupational health, forensic/
correctional nursing, faith community or Home Health/ Hospice.
In a 3–5 page paper in APA format, write on the importance of this community setting.
Include:
Brief history of the topic
Community
National statistics
Ethical implications
Cultural issues
Importance in the community
The nurse’s role
Include at least two scholarly references besides your text.

Community Health Setting
The topic

The communities’ health is surrounded by numerous challenges. In urban settings, it is
difficult to manage infectious diseases. To adequately cater for children’s health, there should be
a focus on preventable diseases, injuries, and accidents. Vulnerable groups are challenged by
unequal insurance coverage and health care access. Regardless of these challenges, the
community nurse should ensure improved health outcomes. Community health nurses’ role in
offering care in varied settings such as schools, churches, homeless shelters, jails, and organized
events is attributable to their willingness and adaptability.
Correctional nursing community

A correctional nursing community refers to a setting where people who are confined
within the criminal justice system receive care. As noted by Peternelj-Taylor (2004), correctional
forensic nurses are the principal health care providers in settings such as juvenile detention
centers, halfway houses, correctional centers, healing lodges, youth custody facilities, prisons,
and jails. Basically, counties and cities manage jails and they detain people who have been
arrested and are awaiting trial for their offenses. Furthermore, they may be serving a sentence

COMMUNITY HEALTH SETTING 2
that is not more than two years. People who have already been convicted of various crimes and
the federal government or state can manage them are held in prisons, which solely depends on
the kind of offense. Sentences and pre-trial youths are held in juvenile detention centers. Youths
whose offenses are serious may be held in adult facilities.
National statistics

Prisons and jails have high prevalence of mental health, health, and substance abuse
challenges. The most common infectious diseases in these facilities include tuberculosis, STDs,
HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis. Chronic diseases include stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease,
diabetes, cancer, asthma, and arthritis. A majority of the inmates also commit suicide due to
stress.

Ethical implications

It is worth noting that the patient is fundamental as far as professional nursing practice in
the jails, prisons, and juvenile centers is concerned. His incarceration should not be a basis of
how health care is provided. In the correctional setting, the intrinsic value of the patient is
crucial. Practicing in this setting while remaining true and attaining professional nursing values
creates professional, legal, and ethical issues for the correctional nurses.
On a daily basis, the correctional nurse has to make decisions regarding safe care delivery
and patient advocacy. Droes (1994) asserts that ethical principles include respect for people,
fidelity, beneficence, veracity, justice, and nonmaleficence. The nurse has to balance between
compassion and care and ensuring safe boundaries. The nurse should have a keen concern for
access, effectiveness, and quality care. A correctional nurse should also ensure that the patient
dies with comfort and dignity in cases of end-of-life care.
Cultural issues

COMMUNITY HEALTH SETTING 3
A correctional nurse should always remain consistent, fair, and firm so as to ensure
incorporation of the cultural preferences in the correctional setting. If the nurse fails to address
language, culture, and ethnicity, health disparities are exacerbated and quality of care minimized.
Since nurses and inmates cannot choose who to deal with, conflicts, misunderstandings, and
challenges are inevitable (Droes, 1994). These can be addressed through effective
communication. The role of self-awareness and cultural competency in the correctional setting
cannot be understated. Comprehending how illness is perceived in various cultural settings helps
the nurse to fashion care depending on different individuals.
Significance in the community

According to Brodie (2001), every person has a right to access and quality healthcare.
The needs of inmates go beyond health care provision. Treating them justly goes a long way in
promoting their self-identity, which is vital for correcting their behavior. The correctional nurse
should be ready to acts as a custodian and care provider and practice cultural competence so as
meet the varied needs of the inmates.

The role of the nurse

Usually, correctional nurses are first health care professionals to be consulted whenever
an inmate requires health care. The nurse in this setting should assume a multiple dual role as a
custodian and care provider. The correctional nurse should conduct a thorough assessment so as
to identify the appropriate care requirements. This could imply that the nurse can offer direct
care or arrange for an appointment with an advanced practitioner or physician. There is a need
for close collaboration between corrections officers and correctional nurses in cases where
emergency is necessary in housing units or inmates require monitoring following their medical
conditions. Correctional nurses are challenged to ensure maximum and efficient health care in a

COMMUNITY HEALTH SETTING 4
setting whose design and mission is entirely different; safety and security to the public. Hence,
creativity is exceptionally vital considering that the resources are also insufficient (Peternelj-
Taylor, 2004).
Care context and the length of time the patient stays in the prison or jail are the key
determinants of nursing care. Generally, there is a higher turn-over in jails where the inmates
have recently been secluded from the normal living environment. This indicates that correctional
nurses should focus more on alcohol and drug withdrawal, give attention to emergent and urgent
conditions, and consider the possibility of communicable diseases. In the prison nursing setting,
the nurse and inmate interact for a longer period and, therefore, chronic diseases can be managed
and the environment is more stable for provision of health care. Considering that the community
is closed, the nurse should frequently assess infectious diseases. Some of the process that are
unique to correctional nurses include chronic care clinic, intake screening, administration of
medications, and nursing sick call.

COMMUNITY HEALTH SETTING 5

References

Brodie, J. S. (2001). Caring: The essence of correctional nursing. Tennessee nurse/Tennessee
Nurses Association, 64(2), 10.
Droes, N. S. (1994). Correctional nursing practice. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 11(4),
201-210.
Peternelj-Taylor, C. (2004). An exploration of othering in forensic psychiatric and correctional
nursing. CJNR (Canadian Journal of Nursing Research), 36(4), 130-146.

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