Overview of Community Assessment
A community assessment provides the basis and rationale for clinical interventions in Population/Community Health Nursing. Community Health Nurse sasses the community by using the nursing process. Nurses gather subjective and objective data, cluster the data into meaningful information, prioritize community health needs, develop Community Health Nursing Diagnoses, create interventions to address those identified needs, and evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention implemented. In order to gain a complete assessment of the community, several kinds of data are needed:
Assignment One: Windshield Survey and Interview with Two Key Members of the Community
Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to determine and document resources that are available and have a positive input into members of your selected community. Completion of the windshield survey will provide input data into the community assessment. Make certain that you address the 16 areas for potential resources for members of your community. Note closely any disparities, lack of access, and possible community members’ lack of knowledge with the resources available.
• To familiarize the student with the influence of the community to members of the community.
• To assist the student with noting demographic data related to the physical appearance of the community, available resources, work sites, and people.
• To identify resources that come into the community that can support the community members
• To assist with identifying possible needs for members of the community
• To advance student’s perception of the public health nursing process of assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation of a community and the impact on the members of the community.
Windshield Survey: This is a first look at a community through a car’s windshield. The windshield survey is sometimes referred to as a familiarization survey because it helps establish to understand the community and the impact on community members. The windshield survey can also provide demographics about the community. The windshield survey is an initial step to a more comprehensive community assessment by raising awareness of issues for further exploration.
Observers are asked to use their senses (sight, hearing, and smell) to learn about a community as they drive, walk around, or use public transportation to get around the community. When driving through the community focus on the inputs that the community has to the members of the community. During the process, make observations about the physical and social environments and the natural and built environments in the community.
As you drive, ride, or walk through the community, pay careful attention to as many characteristics of the community as possible. Include pictures or videos as part of your survey. Make sure that you are only taking photos of people in public places. Be sensitive to the privacy of others; avoid taking pictures of people, particularly those who are vulnerable, where they could be identified.
The final submission of the windshield survey needs to be a formal written paper with complete full sentences. You can include pictures and describe the resources not just the names of the places. You can paste pictures directly into the document and upload supporting videos under the assignment link in Blackboard.
As you make observations keep in mind how available the resources are the members of the community.
o Organizations or businesses that provide support to the community (ex: libraries, clinics, thriving local businesses)
o Family and Services: (ex: youth centers, churches, Head Start)
o Signs of Decay (Is the area well maintained or in disrepair? Is there garbage and liter in the streets and home lawns? Are there trashed/abandoned cars, places for rodents or other wildlife to hide, vacant lots?)
o Parks and Recreational Access Parks and Recreational Areas (Are there play areas for children and adults? Are they safe and maintained? Is there green space? Are there areas of opportunities for exercise?)
o Common Areas (Where do people collect for social gatherings, where do they “hang out”? Are these areas for groups or are they open to all? Are there signs posted?)
o Stores (what stores -grocery, retail, drug, etc. are in the area? How do residents travel to them? Are they locally owned or chain stores?)
o Restaurants (What options are there for eating out? How many are chain restaurants?)
o Transportation (How do most people get around the area? Is there public transportation? If so, what kind and does it appear to be used? Who uses it? What is the condition of the streets, roads, highways?)
o Service Centers (What services are available in the community – health care, social services, schools, employment offices etc.?)
o People in the Community (Who is in the area? during the day? What evidence is thereof particular “classes” of people – upper, middle, working, lower?)
o Industries and Worksites (What are the major industries located in the area? What types of occupations are evident?)
o Protective Services (Where are fire and police stations located? Is there evidence of police and fire protection in the area? Are these services in a convenient location to the family?)
o Ethnicity (What is the predominant ethnic group? Are there residents from a variety of ethnic backgrounds or is the community mostly one group? Which one? Are there stores, restaurants, churches, schools, or languages that indicate an ethnic group(s)?)
o Religion (What churches and church-run schools are in the area (denomination)? How many are there of each denomination?)
o Health and Morbidity (Is there evidence of any health problems such as drug/alcohol abuse, communicable or chronic diseases, mental illness (etc.)?)
o Politics (Is there evidence of political activity? Are there any signs that indicate a predominant political party (parties) or concern(s)?
Key Member Interviews:
This portion of the assessment will give you an idea of how people in the community see the community they live in. (i.e. police or fireman, schoolteacher or librarian, and business owner or store clerk/manager.)