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17.1 Assessment Tools and Application to Practice

CHA is the first step of the nursing process for populations and communities. It uses a systematic, collaborative approach to gather primary and secondary data to comprehensively describe the community. It uses frameworks, models, and tools to guide community assessment. The process defines people, place, and community systems using a variety of primary and secondary data sources that include quanatitative and qualitative data. Throughout the assessment process, collaboration with the community and multiple partners ensures that community needs for health promotion and disease prevention are met.

17.2 Assessment of Individual and Community Needs for Health Education

Analysis of community health assessment data is the second step of the community nursing process using a team approach to organize and synthesize collected data. The team compares local data to previous assessments and other local community, state, and national data. The team organizes the data to describe the problem, whom it effects, where it occurs, and when it occurs. The team creates a list of no more than 12 community health problems to consider for intervention. Further analysis of the identifed health problems includes answering why and how the problem is occuring. The team gathers information to help answer those questions and prioritize the problems. Information includes community strengths and resources, at-risk populations, health disparities and inequities, and the consequences of not intervening.

17.3 Analyzing Population Health Data and Identifying Patterns

Most community health programs use education as a strategy for health promotion and disease prevention. Health literacy and other factors that influence learning and knowledge acquisition should be assessed at the community level within the CHA and at the individual and aggregate levels when planning for interventions. Tools are available to assist in assessment of personal and organizational health literacy. Learning theories and health promotion models guide assessment and planning for education and learning. Factors that influence or hinder learning acquisition should also be considered during assessment of health education needs and when planning for education.

17.4 Formulating a Nursing Community Diagnosis and Plan of Care

The third step of the community nursing process is planning. At the beginning of this step, the team prioritizes identified health needs using methods described in the chosen CHA and community health improvement framework, model, or tool and determined by the team. The chosen health priorities are ones in which intervention would make the most impact, utlize community resources, and meet the community’s needs. The community nursing diagnosis provides an explanation of the health need, aggregate, and factors that influence the health need. The CHIP is the nursing care plan for the community. It is developed in collaboration with community members and organizations to be used as a guide for community health intervention and programming.

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