Discussion prompt: Focused Nursing Field Experience, Social Media Campaign for my community; focus on nursing diagnosis statement; focus on COVID 19.
(B) Community Health Nursing Diagnosis Statement
Increased risk of COVID-19 infection among the elderly population related to deficient knowledge as evidenced by an increased incidence of the disease in Forsyth County.
(B1) Health Inequity/Disparity
Health inequality and healthcare disparities are differences in health status or the distribution of resources between different populations arising from social conditions like work, age, or places where people live. There are a number of factors like the level of education, income, ethnicity, and gender among many others that are observed to lead to health disparities. In Forsyth County, North Carolina, the increased number of COVID-19 cases have led to a huge economic burden across populations including several deaths. The elderly population is among the most affected groups in the County. The latest statistics indicate an average infection rate of 134 people per day with about 16 deaths on average (The New York Times, 2021). Approximately 58% of the total population have been vaccinated of which 86% represent the elderly aged 65 years and above.
There is an increasing surge of COVID-19 cases in the County according to recent reports. The increased cases are attributed to challenges with vaccination and a lack of adequate education among the affected individuals. For instance, most people have not received the booster shots for the disease despite receiving the first doses. Forsyth has had a total of 55,718 cases of COVID-19 and 592 related deaths during the pandemic. The County’s cases have averaged 8.8% over the past two weeks compared to 5.1% in November (The New York Times, 2021). The majority of the people in the area are resistant to mask-wearing guidelines and social distancing is a challenge to many. The elderly in particular are affected by the disease because the majority have other illnesses that make it difficult to control the disease. The majority of the people hospitalized are unvaccinated and those vaccinated have not received booster shots. There is a need to increase awareness of COVID-19 vaccination to reduce the number of cases in the region.
(B1a) Primary community and Prevention Resources
The prevention of COVID-19 requires understanding facts about the disease and taking necessary precautions. In my community, I found the county health department to be rich in information about the disease and preventive measures. The department describes materials for the lay audience including highlights on how individuals with conditions like asthma can help prevent the disease. I observed that there were guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces and homes. The new updates on the county website include FDA updates on hand sanitizers that can be used for disinfection. Additionally, collaboration with the NC occupational safety and health education and research center provides online training and webinars for worker protection. The Green and healthy homes initiative is a state resource that provides programs to the people focusing on adjusting homes while continuing serving high-risk families during the COVID- 19 crisis.
COVID-19 vaccination remains the main focus for preventing an increase in the number of cases in the county. During my survey, I noticed that Forsyth public health continues to offer COVID shots across the community. There have been 137 community vaccination events so far and the exercise continues throughout the festive period (Forsyth County, 2021). The department is also offering vaccination appointments that can be made online or through direct phone calls to the public health department. I also saw posters across city pharmacies indicating places for vaccination and several churches also had the same posters. I saw posters encouraging people to practice handwashing, social distance, and wearing masks. Social distance stickers in several places in the town served to remind people of the prevention of the disease.
(B1b) Underlying Causes
The increased number of COVID- 19 cases in Forsyth is related to a lack of education among the elderly. Most individuals do not have access to educational resources that are provided through online platforms. Despite the reduced number of deaths in the region, there is a gap in the number of people with perfect education about prevention and control of the disease. For instance, the vaccination rates are improving day by day but still, only 70% of the elderly have been fully vaccinated. Reports from the hospitals indicate that most hospitalized elderly individuals have co-morbid conditions while many others have not received their second doses of the vaccine. At the local community level, very few individuals are observed to practice hand hygiene, social distancing, and wearing masks.
(B2) Evidence-Based Practice
Strategies for the prevention and management of COVID- 19 are based on preliminary data as more evidence emerges. Reports indicate that high-risk groups like the elderly and those with serious underlying medical conditions need to take precautions (Nicola et al., 2020). The first recommended approach to controlling the disease is limiting human-to-human transmission. Social distancing must be practiced to avoid or to reduce contact between personnel. It is observed that a 2-meter distance in public places or at work has helped to reduce contacts by over 50% including contacts at the workplace (Nicola et al., 2020).
The second supported measure for preventing the disease involves the use of face masks and hand washing. These measures have reduced the risks of getting or spreading the disease by 55% with the use of masks being a more effective measure (Nicola et al., 2020). Masks are recommended for not fully vaccinated, fully vaccinated, and in an area with high transmission, and fully vaccinated with a weakened immune system. Another evidence-based recommendation is vaccination using various vaccines for the disease. Studies indicate that vaccination can be an effective measure for preventing the disease but its impact varies depending on the effectiveness and coverage (Alagoz et al., 2021). Those opting for this option must receive all the required doses to acquire full immunity
(B2a) Identification of Data
The coronavirus disease pandemic has caused devastating loss of life and disrupted healthcare systems and daily life globally. Forsyth county is among the regions that have recorded high incidences of the disease and significant deaths in the past two years. As of December 2021, there have been 55,718 COVID- 19 cases in the County claiming about 592 lives (Forsyth County, 2021). So far this year, the disease has caused 367 COVID-related deaths compared with 225 in 2020. Although the control of the disease is better today, the number of cases is increasing daily with a steady mortality rate due to improved treatment approaches. Recent reports from the DHHS show that the average positive test rate has increased from 5.1% in November to 7.4% in December (Forsyth County, 2021). The increased number of cases indicates that a large number of people are not following the guidelines and recommendations for COVID- 19 prevention.
(C1) Social Media Campaign Objective
The objective of this campaign is to increase the knowledge on COVID-19 preventive measures, particularly vaccination among the elderly in Forsyth County. The target of the campaign is to decrease the COVID- 19 cases by 10% over the next 3 months.
(C2) Social Marketing Interventions
Social marketing is a systematic approach used to bring behavioral changes among populations in sustainable and cost-effective ways (Smailhodzic et al., 2016). The first intervention will involve communicating to the community the burden of the disease and its impact on the people. The use of written information and statistics from the County health department will serve to convince individuals that action is needed to prevent the further spread of the disease. The second intervention will be crucial in providing information about vaccination in the area and how to book or access vaccination points across the County. Increasing awareness about vaccination is among the interventions that will help decrease the COVID- 19 cases among the elderly and the entire population of Forsyth County.
(C3) Description of Social Media Platform
The social media platform that will be suitable across all populations is Facebook. Facebook is a platform that is user-friendly and accessed by thousands of residents in Forsyth County. The platform easily allows members to create and share posts that will form as a means of communication with others (Smailhodzic et al., 2016). Daily posts about the number of cases in the county will serve to inform people about the threat posed by the disease. The platform will also be used to communicate vaccination routines and community programs available to support the prevention of the disease. Additionally, the site will be used to answer any questions about the disease and reassure those that are afraid of getting the available vaccines.
(C3a) Benefits of Social Media Platform
One of the benefits of using Facebook is that many people including the elderly have knowledge on how to access information. Facebook is among the oldest social media platforms that target all populations and it is user-friendly making it applicable for this campaign. Secondly, the platform allows for the personalization of content through the creation of web pages for specific content (Smailhodzic et al., 2016). For instance, materials about COVID-19 prevention and information about vaccination will be posted on the created page. Individuals will be encouraged to subscribe and get instant notifications when new content is posted. Additionally, live broadcasts and video links can be included in the platform to create variety.
(C4) Benefit to Target Population
The target population for this campaign is the elderly from Forsyth county. The social media campaign will help to improve access to essential information about the disease and its preventive measures. The platform will provide links to local and national data that could communicate the impact of the disease to the people. The platform will educate the elderly on ways to prevent the disease and action areas that could be important to maintain individual health. More importantly, the platform will inform the elderly about the vaccination campaigns and centers where they would get vaccinated. The question and answer sessions will also serve to ensure all questions are correctly addressed.
(D) Best Practices for Social Media
In a generation most likely to seek health information online, social media is playing a critical role in healthcare decisions. To effectively social media platforms, providers must select the link that is most useful and accessible by the target population. The idea behind this best practice is to reduce barriers to accessing information and maximize the benefits to the recipients (Smailhodzic et al., 2016). The second principle involves diversifying the platform which includes using a variety of platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Most users are likely to be having secondary platforms that can be used to maximize opportunities. While utilizing these platforms, it is important to vary the content mix to optimize audience actions. Including photos, videos, and external links can be important to capture the attention of many people.
(E1) Stakeholder Roles and Responsibilities
The key stakeholder I choose to engage in the social marketing campaign is the Forsyth County Department of Public Health (FCDPH). The department’s mission is to prevent disease and promote a healthy community through community engagement, education, regulation, and partnerships. The department is in charge of COVID- 19 vaccination campaigns in the region alongside ensuring that COVID- 19 prevention guidelines are implemented. With the assistance of the department, it will be possible to reach more audiences through their social media platforms. The department will help in communicating the impact of the disease to the people and the importance of vaccination. The department will provide daily updates about the disease and share statistics through the selected media. Lastly, this stakeholder will assist in answering questions about the disease, especially questions focusing on the use of vaccines.
(E2) Potential Public and Private Partnerships
Collaborating with the Forsyth County Department of Public Health will be crucial to this campaign. The department is in charge of organizing COVID19 awareness campaigns in the community and mass vaccinations in public places in the county. Partnership with the FCDPH will ensure that more people are targeted and the use of their social media platforms will engage more people. A potential private partnership will involve the local pharmacies that offer COVID- 19 preventive services like vaccination. Partnership with the local pharmacies will ensure more people are targeted and those accessing their services get information about COVID-19 prevention and vaccination.
The implementation of the social media campaign will be done over a 3 months period. The first week will involve the organization of resources and laying out a plan for the whole campaign process. Week two will involve the recruitment of volunteers and communication of the plan with the key stakeholders. The FCDPH and the selected local private partners will be contacted to seek their support for the campaign. Week three and four will involve discussions with the key stakeholders and formulation of the budget to be used during the campaign. Week five and six will focus on designing the Facebook page for the campaign and educating volunteers about the materials for increasing awareness. From week seven to week ten, posting of the videos, photos, and links will take place. The selected team will coordinate with the FCDPH and private partners to identify the most important information to include in the posts. The last week of the campaign will involve data collection, analysis, and communication of results.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign, the COVID-19 cases will be compared with the baseline data collected at the beginning of the campaign. The data will indicate whether the campaign increased awareness of the preventive measures among the selected population. Another mechanism will involve comparing the number of vaccinated individuals at the end of the campaign with baseline data. An increased number of the elderly population vaccinated will indicate the success of the exercise. An online filled questionnaire focusing on the effectiveness of the media campaign will be administered to get the response from the participants.
(E5) Cost of Implementing the Campaign
The direct costs that will be associated with the campaign will include the purchase of educational materials for volunteers and other stakeholders. There will be costs associated with designing the website, posting content, and editing videos alongside online support mechanisms. An IT expert will be required to oversee these activities. Indirect costs will involve organizing meetings, reaching out to stakeholders, and communicating results. Overall, minimal capital will be required to plan and maintain the campaign until its completion.
(F) Reflection on Social Media Marketing
Community health nurses can utilize social media marketing to share important information about population health. The nurse can use available platforms like Facebook and Twitter to increase awareness of diseases and available treatment or prevention options in the community (Burton et al., 2016). The nurse can also use these platforms to address issues of concern among populations and refer the people to relevant authorities where they can get help. For example, the nurse can tag the County health department when discussing COVID-19 and ask for explanations regarding vaccination and why it is important to the people.
(F1) Reflection on Future Nursing Practice
In my future nursing practice, I will use social media to communicate health issues that affect the public and their preventive measures. I intend to use social media to present facts about diseases like COVID- 19 to enlighten the community who mostly make decisions based on misconceptions (Burton et al., 2016). I will make sure to engage the people in discussions and invite stakeholders from local authorities to discuss matters of healthcare importance. I believe social media campaigns play an important role in healthcare decisions and providing accurate information is key to proper decision making.
Alagoz, O., Sethi, A. K., Patterson, B. W., Churpek, M., Alhanaee, G., Scaria, E., & Safdar, N. (2021). The impact of vaccination to control COVID-19 burden in the United States: A simulation modeling approach. MedRxiv : The Preprint Server for Health Sciences, 2021.03.22.21254131.
Burton, C. W., McLemore, M. R., Perry, L., Carrick, J., & Shattell, M. (2016). Social media awareness and implications in nursing leadership. Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice, 17(4), 187–197. https://doi.org/10.1177/1527154417698143
Forsyth County. (2021). Forsyth County COVID- 19 updates: Forsyth public health continues to offer COVID shots after 137 community vaccination events. https://www.co.forsyth.nc.us/PublicHealth/article.aspx?NewsID=26595
Nicola, M., O’Neill, N., Sohrabi, C., Khan, M., Agha, M., & Agha, R. (2020). Evidence based management guideline for the COVID-19 pandemic – Review article. International Journal of Surgery (London, England), 77, 206–216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2020.04.001
Smailhodzic, E., Hooijsma, W., Boonstra, A., & Langley, D. J. (2016). Social media use in healthcare: A systematic review of effects on patients and on their relationship with healthcare professionals. BMC Health Services Research, 16(1), 442. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-016-1691-0
The New York Times. (2021). Tracking Coronavirus in Forsyth County, N.C. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/forsyth-north-carolina-covidcases.html
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