Community Nursing in Action: Managing and Preventing an Infectious Disease Outbreak - Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1833 Words
Date:  2024-01-24


Community nursing is an essential element that enhances a nurse's ability to assess the various health problems within a community and identify the appropriate community diagnosis (Cassini et al., 2018). Most individuals in a community may fail to access health services; hence, community nurses need to diversify such services to the people in the community(Tarnowski et al., 2017). Therefore, community nursing's role is to enhance healthy communities by creating a healthy environment and promoting health services access. A community health nurse achieves such objectives through health education and treatment provision (Tarnowski et al., 2017). Community health nursing also involves preventive programs at the community level.

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Communicable diseases within the community pose a health threat to the population within the affected community. Infectious diseases are the type of diseases that can be transferred from one person to the next through various ways(Tarnowski et al., 2017). These diseases' modes of transmission include contact with blood or bodily fluids, airborne transmission, and insect bites (Cassini et al., 2018). The various infectious diseases that exist include Hepatitis A and B, Ebola, flu, and Hantavirus. The most recent infectious disease that has affected many countries globally is Covid-19(Tarnowski et al., 2017). This disease is transmitted through respiratory droplets, and which may be contacted when someone sneezes or coughs. Hand hygiene is one of the most plausible methods of prevention of the disease(Cassini et al., 2018).

Owing to the impact of various communicable diseases, it is essential to enhance safety standards that prevent the spread of the disease. Prevention at the community level is the most efficient way to stop the occurrence of a pandemic (Tarnowski et al., 2017). Therefore, infectious disease control is an essential aspect of community health nursing that may enhance the health within the community, the country, and even global health(Cassini et al., 2018). The paper aims to illustrate the control of communicable diseases by assessing a case scenario within the community.

Case Study

Prickle is a small community whose population consists of culturally and linguistically diverse citizens. An LPN was put in charge of the community to ensure the provision of services occasionally. The LPN occasionally visits the community via mobile clinics to offer various services to the community. The LPN offers treatment to the community while carrying out community diagnosis. Also, the LPN nurse in most cases always gives health education on random issues within the community. The LPN also identifies the various problems within the community and reports the various results to a multi-collaboration team for action.

The community's education level is low, and most people live communally, with most of their items being shared. The nearest health facility in the community is 25km away from the residential. Most roads within this locality are impassable, especially during the rainy and winter periods. There is a small drug store setup that only offers over-the-counter drugs within the community and has no laboratory services. An LPN visits the community every two months to identify emerging health issues. The LPN also educates the community on various health matters and carries out some treatment programs.

Prickle is quite crowded and has an open market setup where most of the individuals interact. It is common to find citizens of all ages within the marketplace interacting, especially during the weekends. As a result, there is continuous contact among the various people in the market irrespective of any potential communicable illnesses. The uptake of immunization services within the community is low. This can be attributed to a lack of immunization services within the community, limiting children's ability in society. Once in a while, mobile clinics are brought to the community to offer maternal and child health services to community members.

In the recent past, most community members have reported having passed dark urine, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. At first, the symptoms were specific to only a small part of the community, with only members of one family reporting to have the symptoms. However, most of the locals reported that the joint pains were not alleviated by the various analgesics available in the community's drug store. The cases continued to rise, thus overwhelming the staff at the drugstore.

The drug store staff report that most people have been returning for refills of the drugs after failing to benefit from previous prescriptions. Some children have been reported to have lost lives, which can be related to the high fevers reported to be among the disease's common symptoms. On further examination of the population, it is determined that vomiting episodes are commonly observed in the elderly and infants. This can, therefore, be related to the low immunity in the geriatric and neonatal population. There is, therefore, a further need to carry out a community assessment to identify the cause of the disease.

A LPN was sent to the village to assess the community's issues and identify the various health problems and possible solutions. On arrival to the community, the LPN realized that most of the community members who had shown signs of illness had been isolated from the rest of the members and felt a significant stigma towards them. On further assessment, the nurse realized that the disease's onset was from one family that had traveled to a nearby community that had recently had an outbreak of shigellosis. The younger child in the family had passed on due to diarrhea and vomiting episodes that resulted in dehydration.

The result of the assessment indicated that there was poor hygiene among the members of the community. The close association with the market could have resulted in the rise in illness cases within the community. The nurse ordered for a mobile clinic to be set up in the community to carry out various tests and cater to the patient's needs. Stool analysis confirmed that there was an outbreak of shigellosis within the community. Patients who had suffered severe disease symptoms were taken to the hospital for admission and further management.

Purpose of the Case Study

The case study aims the illustrate the various roles that an LPN plays in the management of diseases within a community unit. It also aims to outline the various interventions when managing a patient at a primary level of care. The role of public health is also emphasized in the case study.

Case Study Analysis

Problem 1: Poor Access to Health Facilities

The priority problem identified in the case study is inaccessibility to the health facility. Most residents within the community report that no available health facilities are citing a single drug store within the community. Poor access to health services is one of the main problems experienced at the community level (Tarnowski et al., 2017). It may result in poor health-seeking behavior as most community members may consider the distance to the preferred health facility as a challenge (Cassini et al., 2018). The poor roads, coupled with the community members' long-distance reports, are evidence of inadequate health acquisition. Some even report low immunization and maternal health coverage, which may pose a threat to community members' health (Riccardo et al., 2018).

The spread of shigellosis was contributed by the lack of proper health amenities within the communities. Knowledge deficit was yet another factor that could have increased in the infection cases (Cassini et al., 2018). The community did not realize that they were suffering from an infectious disease that needed a high hygiene level to prevent infection. For instance, irrespective of the continued infections, community members kept on meeting in the marketplaces. Thus, it is evident that there was no sensitization of the community on the importance of hand hygiene in the prevention of the disease (Cassini et al., 2018). The gap in health education can also be related to inadequate health facilities and health personnel. Inadequate health education and the lack of health facilities contribute to the priority problem in the community (Cassini et al., 2018).

Primary Care

One of the first interventions is to create a treatment plan for patients. The patients present with varying symptoms, some of which are severe, while others may be mild. The LPN should triage the patients into various groups to identify the critical patients that need emergency treatment (Riccardo et al., 2018). One of the patients includes children presenting with dehydration and fevers; such patients are likely to suffer from hypovolemic shock and hypothermia. Therefore it is efficient for the nurse to carry out the potential first aid requirements and send the patient for further management in a more advanced facility(Cassini et al., 2018).. Another treatment plan may involve separating the infected patients from the uninfected to prevent continued exposure to the disease, causing organisms (Cassini et al., 2018).

After creating a treatment plan, it is essential to source the various medications and instruments that may help treat the patients. Treatment of the patients may involve identifying the priority nursing diagnosis to enhance a comprehensive approach to the health of the patient (Cassini et al., 2018). This can be achieved by assessing the patients to identify the patient's symptoms. Creating the various interventions with the desired goal should then be started, and the appropriate intervention implemented to enhance the continuity of care(Riccardo et al., 2018). Evaluation of the implemented intervention should then be done to ensure the effectiveness of patient care (Cassini et al., 2018).

Secondary Care

Another possible solution to the problem is to notify the public health nurse of the community's disease outbreak. Once notified, the public health nurse may send a group of health professionals that could aid in managing the patient. One aspect of the management of an outbreak is the importance of teamwork (Tarnowski et al., 2017). More health resources will be disseminated to the community, which may enhance the care of the patients. Another importance of involving the public health team is that it will enhance the outbreak's multidisciplinary management (Cassini et al., 2018). There will be resources set up within the community to promote health delivery. Also, more medical workers will be sent to the locality to enhance health service delivery.

The LPN acts as the patient’s advocate (Tarnowski et al., 2017). The LPN, in this case, represents the issues raised during the community assessment they carried out. The community in the case study, for instance, has a large number of illiterate members. This affects the ability of the community to voice the various problems encountered within the community (Cassini et al., 2018). However, with the health of the LPN, the various shortcomings can be corrected (Riccardo et al., 2018). Thus, the nurse's role is to carry out this mandate through a patient-centered approach that ensures that the patient's well-being is considered (Tarnowski et al., 2017). Proper utilization of public health services could ensure that the health of the community is improved.

Tertiary Care

As an advocate, the LPN should also rally for the improvement of infrastructure within the community (Riccardo et al., 2018). The development of roads and the construction of health facilities could play a significant role in the promotion of health (Cassini et al., 2018). The nurse could also advocate for the introduction of mobile clinics occasionally to enhance the...

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Community Nursing in Action: Managing and Preventing an Infectious Disease Outbreak - Paper Example. (2024, Jan 24). Retrieved from

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