How to write an essay on community Health and Population-Focused Nursing

How to write an essay on community Health and Population-Focused Nursing

A community health assessment is foundational to the promotion and improvement of the health of communities. In today’s changing and complex healthcare system, addressing the health of the people right from the community can aid in realizing positive health outcomes. During the assessment, the health of the people is described, factors contributing to health challenges identified, and available resources to address the challenges are identified. The relevance of the community assessment is to identify available resources and ensure they are directed toward where they can make the greatest and most timely impact. This task focuses on the virtual community of Sentinel City and utilizes various assessment tools to identify the health challenges of the community, available resources, and measures to address the community problems.

  1. Needs Assessment Summary

Demographic Assessment

Sentinel city is a fairly large community made up of four neighborhoods; Nightingale Square, Acer Tech Center, Casper Park District, and Industrial Heights. Overall, the city contains a population of 663,862 people distributed unevenly across the four neighborhoods. The city’s population consists of 7.4% individuals under 5 years, 21.7% under 18 years, and 10.5% adults aged 65 years and older (Sentinel U, 2021). Racially, the White alone make up 80% followed by Black/African American, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asians, and Native Hawaiian respectively (Sentinel U, 2021). The community has a median household income of $49, 091 with 18.9% of the people living below the poverty level (Sentinel U, 2021).

There are many observable differences in terms of the number of people, racial distribution, and income levels across the four neighborhoods. Casper Park District demonstrates superiority in the number of occupants with 352,643 followed by Acer Tech Center, Nightingale Square, and Industrial heights respectively. The level of income also varies across the neighborhoods where Nightingale Square has the highest median household income ($269,550) followed by Acer Tech center ($168,390), Casper Park District ($80,134), and Industrial Heights ($24,672) (Sentinel U, 2021). Regarding the aspect of health insurance, Industrial Heights has the highest number of uninsured individuals (37.5%) followed by Casper Park District (22.7%), Acer Tech Center (1.5%), and Nightingale Square (0.7%) (Sentinel U, 2021).

Neighborhood/Community Safety Inventory

During the assessment, I observed different types of safety hazards in the community. I could observe broken sidewalks that remained unattended during the walk including some broken buildings in disrepair. There was pollution in the streets especially in the Industrial Heights as a result of industrial activity. Stray animals could be observed in the streets with most seen around garbage bins. Large amounts of garbage were piled on the streets with rats running into buildings. There were boarded-up windows on buildings, graffiti, abandoned and broken cars, and a lot of dirt in the streets.

Another aspect of safety assessed was the use of drugs and criminal-related activities that are common in urban areas. I observed that 36% of the people reported using alcohol, 24% using tobacco, 12% using marijuana, 5% using cocaine, 10% using methamphetamine, and 18% reported abuse of prescribed drugs (Sentinel U, 2021). The presence of broke cars in the streets with some burning highlighted the level of unrest in some areas. Because of the crime rates and the large population in the city, accessibility to healthcare especially emergency services is crucial. I observed that the emergency response time was 7.46 minutes, fire department 6.33 minutes, and advanced life support 7.54 minutes (Sentinel U, 2021). Criminal activities common in the city included robbery, rape, and gang-related murder. Reports from the police department showed 20 homicides, 100 aggravated assaults, 40 robberies, and 38 simple assaults observed in the recent past.

Windshield Survey

Sentinel city is a large community consisting of four diverse neighborhoods. During the windshield survey, I observed large multi-level and multi-resident buildings. There was no individual dwelling space in front or behind the houses indicating the scarcity of space in the city probably due to overpopulation. I could see graffiti in most houses especially in Industrial Park with no visible solar panels or windmills. Building s were more affluent in high-income areas like Nightingale Square compared to other parts and there was adequate spacing between houses. Moving around the city I observed several parks used for recreation services. Although they were well-utilized, some were poorly maintained and the nature of their appearance made it difficult to provide adequate security at night.

Movement around the city involved different modes of transportation. The majority of the people waked around while others utilized buses and personal means of transportation. The presence of sidewalks allowed people to walk around or use bicycles to access different city points. Regarding the aspect of healthcare, I noticed different healthcare centers and clinics offering services to the people. Examples include ABC Daycare in Casper Park District, Batter Health Clinic, and the public health department in Nightingale Square.

Population Health Scavenger Hunt

The first aspect assessed was the presence of recreational centers and services offered. There were swimming lessons, adult fitness, and city sporting activities going on in parks and other centers. The city’s healthcare system fairly offered services to the people including nursing home care, senior transportation, and meals on wheels among many others. The city hall services included adoption assistance, stay-at-home programs, child poverty, and subsidy benefits to help in saving costs. Better Health clinic was observed to offer numerous health services including pregnancy testing and counseling, basic fertility, child care services, cancer screening, and other preventive health services (Sentinel U, 2021). The soup kitchen offered 40,000 meals per month to the homeless and other poor individuals. The housing project was available to provide affordable housing projects for individuals with median household income less than $40,000, especially people from Industrial Heights.

Data Analysis: Interpretation of Data

Sentinel city is faced with different health challenges that can be described in line with the social determinants of health. Demographically, the city contains a lot of people distributed across the four neighborhoods. Overpopulation in the city explains the reason why housing is a challenge and the lack of spaces in front or behind most houses in the city. The presence of multi-level buildings shows how the city is dealing with the challenge of housing as the affordable housing project strives to improve on this challenge. During the windshield survey, I observed that most areas contained wastes that could be a potential source of diseases to the people, especially in poor areas like Industrial heights. The presence of rodents like rats running into houses and stray animals like dogs and cats is a potential source of diseases to the community. Additionally, there were sources of air and water pollution in the city that could result in disease outbreaks. Although areas like Nightingale Square and Casper park District had fairly hygienic neighborhoods, there were spillages from the industries in Industrial Heights that caused water pollution.

The second aspect observed in the city that is a potential source of health problems is high rates of crime and drug abuse. During the windshield survey, there was a vehicle on fire in the streets indicating the level of violence in some areas. The reports from the police department showed over 20 homicides and 100 aggravated assaults in the city (Sentinel U, 2021). Most parks did not seem to have adequate security measures like lighting to allow a safe stay for people at night. Apart from violence, the majority of the people were observed to use alcohol and other drugs like tobacco and marijuana that could cause different health problems. However, I was pleased with the EMS response times across all neighborhoods to deal with critical situations like accidents.

Sentinel City contains diverse populations that are faced with different health problems. Just like any other area, the burden of chronic diseases is a major challenge to the people in the city. Walking around the city, I could tell the challenge of overweight and obesity across all populations. Mot individuals utilized sidewalks to run and cycle while others did exercises in the parks. Statistics from the health department and Better Health Clinic also summed up the burden of various diseases in the community. For example, the city had a crude death rate of 693.9 with cardiovascular diseases and cancer being the leading causes of death (Sentinel U, 2021). The rate of vaccination among common diseases differed depending on the socioeconomic status of individuals. For instance, high-income areas like Nightingale Square have high rates of vaccination rates (94%) compared to low-income neighborhoods like Industrial heights with 78% (Sentinel U, 2021). This challenge could be a result of a lack of health insurance and education among the residents.

Access to healthcare services is an important determinant of health for communities. Sentinel city is well equipped with healthcare centers across the four neighborhoods offering diverse services to the people. During the review of records from the health department and Better Health Clinic, I observed the increasing rate of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy in the city. For example, 92% of adults were diagnosed with hepatitis B while 71% of adolescents aged 15-24 years had Chlamydia infection. Other diseases like HIV and syphilis were also among the STIs affecting adolescents and adults in the city. These diseases can be attributed to the increased use of drugs, high poverty levels that affect healthcare-seeking behavior, and lack of necessary education among community members.

  1. Community Diagnosis

Three Problem Areas

The first challenge observed is the low level of disease prevention through immunizations. The Healthy People 2020 goal is to increase immunization rates and reduce preventable infectious diseases (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), 2022b). High-income areas like Nightingale Square have high immunization rates (94%) compared to their counterparts (78%). Increasing the level of immunizations will help in attaining healthier children and decrease the burden of diseases like hepatitis and pneumonia.

The second challenge is the increasing level of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, hepatitis B, and syphilis. The Healthy People 2020 goal for this problem is o promote healthy sexual behaviors, strengthen community capacity, and increase access to quality services to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and their complications (ODPHP, 2022c). Better Health Clinic indicates that 92% of adults were diagnosed with hepatitis B while 71% of adolescents aged 15-24 years had Chlamydia infection (Sentinel U, 2021). The other healthcare challenge in the community is pregnancy among adolescents which has increased. The Healthy People 2020 goal is to reduce pregnancies among adolescents aged 15 to 17 years and those between 18 to 19 years (ODPHP, 2022a). The increased use of drugs in the city could be a potential contributor to this health problem. Additionally, most institutions in the community do not have student health education that could educate teens about contraceptives, birth control, and abstinence measures.

Discussion of Community Resources 

One of the problems that I would like to address is the increasing rate of STIs in the community. Better Health Clinic is the first available resource to help in managing this healthcare problem. The former community health center offers services like contraceptive services, sexually transmitted disease screening, and treatment of these diseases (Sentinel U, 2021). Another community resource is ABC Daycare which also offers a variety of health services that can be tailored towards STIs prevention. Screening services in the facility can be used to identify diseases like syphilis and chlamydia. Lastly, using media stations like Radio Buzz 96.5 FM can spread the message across populations about the rate of STIs and available resources that people can use to improve their health.

Primary Prevention Topic

The primary prevention topic that relates to the challenge of STIs in Sentinel city is reproductive and sexual health. Diseases like Syphilis, chlamydia, HIV and hepatitis B identified in the community are transmitted sexually making this topic relevant to the health of the people.

  1. Application of Assessment Strategies

Assessment of Sentinel City has improved my understanding of the application of various community assessment tools. In future assessments, I will ensure to use tools like windshield survey and population health scavenger hunt to identify community health resources. Secondly, I will actively engage community members and local institutions to ensure the collection of adequate data. A strategy like effective communication was crucial to obtain data from Better Health and the police department making it an important tool for future assessments.


Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2022a). Family planning. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2022b). Immunization and infectious diseases. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2022c). Sexually transmitted diseases. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Sentinel U. (2021). Sentinel City (Version [Computer software].

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