For community health nurses to be able to plan effective health services for a community, it is important for them to understand a community, understand any health-related issues in the community and the resources available, as well as the gaps in those resources.
For this assignment, you will apply the skills necessary to understand a community by completing a windshield survey of a community of your choice. A windshield survey is so named because it is often conducted from a car (though it can also be completed on foot, bike, or public transportation) and provides a visual overview of the conditions and trends that exist in the community that could affect the health of the population.
When completing your windshield survey, keep in mind that the community you survey will be used as a starting point for your other assignments throughout the course. Use the Windshield Survey Template located in the Resources area to conduct an assessment of your community. You will determine what constitutes your community, but you should try to limit your survey to an area of no more than 1–2 square miles. Note: Be sure to know the area you are surveying. Your safety is important to us. We suggest that you bring a friend with you. Scan the area for potential safety issues. Never put yourself or anyone else in potential danger. Do not bring anything of value with you if you choose to conduct the survey outside of a car.
Next, identify one or more key health care issues in the community. These issues could encompass anything from providing appropriate services for an aging population to dealing with an increase in incidence of a specific disease.
After your health care issues have been identified, locate and interview two key informants. Key informants are people who are knowledgeable about the problems in their community. For example, if your identified health care issue was an increase in teen pregnancies, a school nurse could be one of your key informants. If your identified health care issue is an increase in type 2 diabetes, you could interview a person with consistent contact with a variety of community members—for example, someone like a minister or a health care professional in a community center. Keep your interview questions focused on the identified problem from the informant’s perspective.
While completing your Windshield Survey keep in mind the following:
•Use the Windshield Survey Template attached to assignment
•How will you describe the boundaries, environment, and culture of the community?
•How will you describe the health care services in the community?
•How will you describe the health care issues of the community?
•What assets does the community possess with regards to providing health care services during a crisis?
•What are potential obstacles in the community with regards to providing health care services during a crisis?
•How will you relate the information from your interviews about community health issues to your own observations of the community?
When you submit your assignment it should contain or follow requirements below:
•Windshield Survey Template.
•Interview questions and responses.
•Your notes on how the responses of the key informants matches or differs from your observations of the community.
•Times New Roman font, 12 pt.
You will submit your Windshield Survey as an assignment in this unit, and as a portion of your final project in Unit 9.