Initially, I thought that public health nurses were involved in the development and establishment of policies aimed at enhancing public health awareness. I thought that their role ended with the application of their professional knowledge in the determination of best policies of enhancing care provision in the community. Besides, I believed public health nurses taught health practices such as the maintenance of hygiene and other measures that would help prevent epidemics. The implementation of most pragmatic changes within the community was a role that nurses left to other care providers who were more involved with the patients.
Recently, I realized that the roles of nurses transcend the basic ones that the general public knows about. These professionals are health care providers who are dedicated to the integration of community knowledge and involvement in the enhancing care provision (Philbin, Griffiths and Byrne 745). Their involvement in community development helps in providing care and advice necessary for addressing health care issues affecting the general health of the community. Their services cover individuals, families, and the community as a whole. The categorization of the targeted population within the community makes it easier for nurses to know how to reach the targeted population and approaches that are likely to be effective in addressing concerns. Working together, rather than individually enhances the effectiveness of the services that nurses offer, but that does not mean that nurses cannot make a positive difference individually (Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services 4).
A significant section of the general public is not aware of the extent of the roles of public health nurses. The role of these professionals that are commonly acknowledged is caring for patients and promoting healthy habits. However, these nurses also promote health in the community through various initiatives.
Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services. “Role of Public Health Nurses,” 2018. https://health.mo.gov/living/lpha/phnursing/phnroles.php. Accessed 22 October 2018
Philbin, C. A. N., et al. “The role of the public health nurse in a changing society.” Journal of Advanced Nursing vol. 66, no.4, 2010, pp. 743-752