Community health nurses are usually faced with tremendous responsibilities that go beyond their areas of jurisdiction. However, they have to perform those duties for them to create meaning in their service to the communities that they serve (Paquin, 2011). Many a times, the community health nurses find themselves in the middle of issues related to health matters but having strings to the social justice in the communities in which they work. This being the case, they therefore find that they have to get involved in the social lives of the people for them to be able offer appropriate services.
Community Health Nurse's Role in Advocating for Social Justice for Vulnerable Populations and in Eliminating Health Disparities
For vulnerable populations such as children and women in the society, the role of the community health nurse is to provide or report vital information that put the health of the vulnerable populations at risk. This involves reporting to the relevant legal authorities all cases of child abuse such as rape and corporal punishment that infringes on the rights of children and puts them at risk of contracting serious diseases (Paquin, 2011). For vulnerable populations which have been marginalized for example, the role of the health nurse in advocating for social justice can involve preparing reports to the relevant authorities to seek support of the health facilities and also lobbying for the funding of the health services in the areas in which they work to be able to boost the health service in those communities.
In regard to the elimination of the health disparities, the community health nurse provides health care services to the community in which he or she works to make sure that the people in the community get access to the health care services just as other citizens in other areas of the nation. This also involves offering health care services to all regardless of their religious, regional or political affiliations and also regardless of their age and gender. The role of the nurse is therefore in short to ensure that all the members of the community in which they work have equal access to health care services such as information on how to stay healthy and medication (Rosenthal et al 2011).
The Future of Community Health Care and Role of Community Health Nurses
As the years go by, a lot in the nursing profession changes and consequently, the community health care and the community health nurses roles also change. Looking at the trends in the community health care, the future holds more responsibilities for community health care nurses. Some administrative roles are likely to get added to the normal jurisdiction of the community health care. This is already evident is some community health facilities where the community health nurses play administrative roles of ensuring that the health of the vulnerable populations such as women and children is upheld by the communities in which they work (Rosenthal et al 2011).
Many governments are looking at possibilities of devolving health services to the lower units of government such as counties. This is likely to transform community health care into a more sophisticated profession because of the fact that facilities that will be set aside for community health care will be well equipped and will therefore require community health nurses to have the skills and knowledge to be able to use those equipments (Blais, 2015). The community health care and the role of the community health nurses are likely to move to a higher level which is likely to have more roles for the community health nurses such as performance of administrative tasks part from offering health care.
Blais, K. (2015). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives. Prentice Hall.
Paquin, S. (2011). Social justice advocacy in nursing: what is it? How do we get there? Creative Nursing, 17(2), 63-67.
Rosenthal, E. L., Wiggins, N., Ingram, M., Mayfield-Johnson, S., & De Zapien, J. G. (2011). Community health workers then and now: an overview of national studies aimed at defining the field. The Journal of ambulatory care management, 34(3), 247-259.
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