Community nurses or district nurses are those assigned mostly in health centers. They address the needs of patients in their homes, patients who are out of the hospital, and patients who are confined in clinics after undergoing surgery. They also foster healthy relationships with the whole community for the betterment of their role.
Having a nursing degree doesn’t only limit you to the responsibilities mentioned above. According to Bradley University, there are various positions that nurses can undertake that are not only related to the health and medical field per se, but those which also involve policy and decision making. This makes nurses an integral part of the community.
Roles of Community Nurses
Nurses can be involved in many activities and tasks. In particular, community nurses are responsible for the following roles:
1) They can Promote Awareness of Health Issues
- They can help promote responsible sexual health for all community members, especially for those individuals who are above 18. They are also responsible for the distribution of condoms and pregnancy tests.
- They can educate the whole community about the bad effects of substance abuse and to prevent youngsters from being influenced to try substance abuse.
- They can educate children and mothers about getting the right nutrition to ensure a healthier life and to avoid cases of malnutrition in the community.
- They can educate the whole community about the bad effects of smoking both for young people and adults.
- They can help teach about sexually transmitted diseases and infections to help prevent more occurrences.
- They can educate the whole community about the bad effects of smoking for young people.
- They can educate teens about the hazards of being pregnant at an early age and to further avoid cases of teenage pregnancy in the community.
2) They Can be the Community’s Spokesperson for Health-Related Concerns
A community nurse can collect medical data from patients of the community (with permission) and provide them to government officials to further improve health facilities, medical equipment and medicine stocks for the whole community.
Community nurses can also serve as a voice for the whole community to get better health services from government officials, non-government organizations and other medical professionals. This collected data will serve as basis for the government in providing the right services or goods for the betterment of the whole community.
3) They Can Aid in Emergencies and Save Lives
Community nurses can take records for temperature control, especially for patients with fever and viral ailments. They can also take blood pressure for patients with high blood pressure and other related diseases, and respiration assistance for patients with breathing problems or emergency needs. Along with this:
- They can provide assistance to patients with injected drugs for the treatment of their respective illnesses and to ensure proper dosage and use of medications.
- They can assist resident doctors in any medical situation or emergency, and taking note of doctor’s orders to provide quality health care for all patients.
- They can provide assistance to patients with physical injuries, especially with the dressing and cleaning of wounds to ensure faster healing and recuperation.
- They can ensure that patients with prescribed IV drugs are well taken care of.
- They can provide assistance for obese patients to ensure that they’ll have a healthier weight and help them to have an optimum lifestyle.
- They can assist elderly people to live healthily and monitor their health status.
- They can assist sickly individuals who are diagnosed with terminal ailments and provide them comfort as they live their remaining days of life.
Community nurses provide assistance in trimming down hospital admissions. Hence it gives more space and room for the hospital for crucial cases or patients. They also stop prolonged admission times especially for critical cases or patients.
Patients assisted by community nurses feel more comfortable in their own space since the community nurse fosters trust and respect mutually for the patients and themselves. As compared to patients admitted in a medical institution or facility, these patients will accept healthcare from different nurses over the time they’re admitted to the medical institution or facility.
Hope the information listed above has shed light on why becoming a community nurse is important. May it serve as a helpful basis for reflective insights for everyone involved in the community in one way or another.