NURS 6710 Week 11 Prevention and Management of Public Health Emergencies Essay Assignment

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NURS 6710 Week 11 Prevention and Management of Public Health Emergencies Essay Assignment

“Public health nurses have a skill set that serves their community well in disaster to include health education and disease screening, mass clinic expertise, an ability to provide essential public health services, community resource referral and liaison work, population advocacy, psychological first aid, public health triage, and rapid needs assessment.” (Stanhope & Lancaster, p. 511)

Public health emergencies are another area in which the public health nurses’ distinguished skill set is needed. Like the topic of health promotion and disease prevention covered last week, the goal in preventing and managing public health emergencies is health for all. This week, you will focus on the vital contributions of the public health nurse during times of emergency.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze the role of the public health nurse in preventing and managing public health emergencies
  • Assess contributions of public health nurses

Multiple natural and man-made disasters have occurred throughout history. These events represent community emergencies when they are large enough to have a major impact on community functioning. When such events exceed the community’s capacity to manage them, they are called disasters. Because of the nature of these events and their impact on the people living in the affected communities, organized efforts must be employed to plan for, manage, and recover from the impact. Planning for, preventing, and responding to public health needs during times of emergencies and disasters has long been a role of public health nurses.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina demolished many U.S. communities in the southern Gulf of Mexico region, especially in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Imagine you are transported back in time and are practicing as a public health nurse with the New Orleans health department during the weeks leading up to, during, and following this disaster.

Group 1: Planning Surveillance Phase

Group 2: Acute Phase

Group 3: Recovery Phase

Note: The Instructor will assign students to one of the three groups/phases for this Assignment.

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources. Pay close attention to this week’s readings that discuss the nurse’s roles during public health emergencies and disasters in one of the following categories: Planning/Surveillance Phase, Acute Phase, Recovery Phase.
  • Review and consider the disaster scenario provided in the Discussion introduction from the perspective of the role you have been assigned.

By Day 3

Post an analysis of your assigned phase and provide an explanation of the role, responsibilities, and actions of a public health nurse in responding to the threat during that specific phase. Take into consideration any special community aggregates that might need extra support during times of crisis.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues who were assigned the other two phases by offering a new suggestion for actions that might have been beneficial during that time.

Assignment: Reflection Paper

Presented with a specific health issue, a nurse whose role focuses on delivery of care to individuals and a public health nurse whose role focuses on population health would likely respond with a different set of questions, and engage in a different set of actions, although, with some overlap. At this point in the course, how would you define the distinguishing characteristics and skills of a public health nurse? For this Assignment, you will reflect on your evolving knowledge in the specialty practice area of public health nursing in general and in the context of a specific health indicator.

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Reflect on the content of the course as it relates to your understanding of the role of the public health nurse.

The Assignment:

Write a 1-page paper that addresses the following questions:

After engaging with the content of the course, how has your vision of your role as a public health nurse changed based on your initial reflection for the health issue described in Week 1? What additional skills or expertise can you now identify that you bring to the table in asserting your role as a public health nurse?

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment.

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