Community Report Essay Example

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    Nursing
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    Assignment
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
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16Community Assessment Report for Alice Spring, Australia

Community Assessment Report for Alice Spring, Australia

Community Assessment Report for Alice Spring, Australia

Community Profile

The Community Core

Alice Springs is the third largest town located in the Northern Territory of Australia. The original inhabitants refer to the area as Mparntwe especially the Arrernte who have lived within the Central Australian Desert. The surveyor William Whitefield gave the name Alice after Alice. Currently, the area has a population of 27,972 constituting of 8.7% of the territory population. The town is at equidistant with Darwin and Adelaide. Since 2013, the town has experienced decline in population. In 2006, some of the largest ancestry groups within the city were the Australians, English, Irish, Scottish, German, Italians, and the Australian Aboriginal. Even though the majority of the residents were born in Australia, the most common places of birth for the immigrants include United Kingdom, New Zealand, United States of America, and the Philippines (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017). There are small immigrants practicing foreign cultures such as Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, and Chinese ethnic groups with the obvious impacts including opening of restaurants that serve traditional cuisines. The city started as a service town to the pastoral industry; however, the introduction of rail line increased its productivity and economy (Victorian Government, 2017). The largest employer is the Northern Territory Government that has employed 7.5%, 6.6% in education, and 3.7% in the hospital industry.

Table 1: Population Growth of Alice Springs

Community Report

The Community Sub-Systems

The Department of Education and Training is responsible education activities. The town has 19 public and private schools catering for both the locals and international students. The total number amounts to 3,843 of students in the learning institutions: 2,187 students attend primary education while 1,656 in secondary schools. The town has a focal point, Todd Mall that hosts numerous several events including Aboriginal art galleries and community events (Bishop & Scott, 2001). The locals enjoy meeting within the Konjo Park for BBQ and hold Desert Mob Art Show that brings art collectors and lovers from across the globe. Leisure and entertainment activities involve hiking and driving in terrains. The town is located within Adelaide-Darwin rail, which offers the easiest mode of access. The train arrives in the town twice a week; it also enjoys express coach services. Stuart Highways is the territory’s important road that runs north from Adelaide to Darwin through the town. The town also enjoys direct flights: Qantas and Virgin Australia.

The Indigenous Australians continue living in the socioeconomically disadvantaged conditions reflected in their life expectancy 17 years less compared to the non-Indigenous Australians (Saranto, Jylhä, & Kinnunen, 2015). Within the Northern Territory, the major contributors of increased death rates are considered non-communicable disease including cardiovascular diseases, malignancy, and diabetes but not the infectious diseases (Department of Health, 2011). 60% of the deaths in the city are associated with infections. The findings on the health of Alice Spring residents indicate that there is large burden of infectious diseases among the Indigenous people within Central Australia with common diseases being parasitic infection, chronic hepatitis B infection, and invasive fungal infection. The mortality rate for the non-Indigenous patients is 0.35 per 1000 population. There are many people who are vulnerable to influenza virus; as a result, various healthcare providers implemented FluCAN surveillance system to fill the gap that exists between the long-running, already existing surveillance systems based within the community and primary care, and the extent of mortality statistics. Australia has a National Immunization Program that has assisted in reducing the severity of communicable diseases (Mavodza, 2017). Nonetheless, reports from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that the imported and locally acquired diseases among the immigrants unvaccinated in the previous years reveal the need of ensuring continued surveillance of the vaccination program. The most disadvantaged are the poor without adequate finances to access quality care and uneducated.

Table 2: Alice Sping Religious Make-Up

Community Report 1

Community Perception in Fostering Health and Wellbeing

According to the local communities, they are vulnerable to various infections and communicable diseases due to their inadequate levels of education and understanding of various causative agents. In some areas, access to quality healthcare is an issue (Smith, Emmett & Woods, 2008). Despite the accessibility to quality healthcare being a goal in the millennium development goals (MDGs), some residents of Alice Springs are yet to realize such goals. However, with disparity in income and affordability of quality healthcare, most locals still think that their ignorance is the major cause of their vulnerability. Therefore, it is important that the government and various healthcare partners promote laws and regulations that aim to promote quality healthcare and enhance the resilience of the locals (Association of State and Territorial Health, 2014). Promotion activities need to involve doing various things that aim to prevent diseases and enhance understanding of the locals on the diseases that affect their health and wellbeing. These promotion activities would offer solutions to numerous health challenges experienced by the locals through developing their knowledge, skills, community actions, ensuring existence of supportive environment, and advocating for health services and healthy public policy (Mooney & Edwards, 2001).

Deciding on Priorities for Actions

The town management has been able to set health promotion activities to assist the local communities increase control and enhance their wellbeing and health. The government took a holistic approach in viewing health issues; as a result, it employs a participatory approach that focus on determining and addressing health problems and conditions (Hamner, Wilder & Byrd, 2007). These practices include behavioral, social, economic, and economic conditions that contribute to poor health, wellbeing, and illnesses through enhancing social statuses, working conditions, education, employment, and income levels. Moreover, the government set its priority on promoting health through building on existing strengths and assets to improve the healthcare sector and utilization of various complementary methods to promote health and wellbeing at various levels: individual, population, and community (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2013). Another important area of priority for health is encouraging the use of care plan, which includes different strategies meant to improve and promote health, and potential problems that are identifiable and addressable. For example, if the problem for the patient is infection, then the goal would be to prevent such infection through educating the patient on the best healthcare practices.

Like any other city in Australia, the resident of Alice Springs are vulnerable to various health issues including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, respiratory diseases, and lifestyle health issues. Cardiovascular diseases are associated heart and blood vessels and is considered the largest cause high mortality rates among the females as it accounts for more than 37% (Dey, Wang, Menzies, & Macartney, 2012). However, most deaths are premature considering that they occur among women whose ages are less than 84 years, which stands for the current life expectancy among women. Diabetes is another health issue. According to the National Health Survey report, the number of Australian women living with diabetes has been on the rise. The common diabetes is the preventable Type 2, which accounts for 88% of the total diabetes infections. Its poor management might result in cardiovascular disease, kidney failures, peripheral vascular disease, blindness, and limb amputation (Crimmons, 2014). Cases of increased Type 2 diabetes has been linked to higher body mass index with the current statistics indicate that higher rates are among the Australians born overseas. Cancer is another health issue that causes death among the Australians that contributes to 29% of all the deaths and 26% of deaths that occur on women. Based on priority, lunch, breast, and colorectal cancer are the major types of dreadful cancers in Australia. In the last two decades, the overall age-standardized for the death rates for cancer has fallen to 16%. The common respiratory diseases that have remained an issue in Australia are asthma and obstructive pulmonary disease especially among the women. With enhanced technology and changes in consumption, the lifestyle has changed which to some extent increased vulnerability of the locals to disease. Poor health choices are considered the genesis of health issues, which needs medical solution (Australian Medical Association, 2014). As a result, there is need for the government to implement public health interventions to promote prevention management practices.

Planning a public health and health care program

The current health objective is to improve the health of the population and reduce the current inequalities while emphasizing on the prevention and targeting people vulnerable to various health issues. In this case, health priority issue chosen is diabetes (Mabbott, 2008). Most people are vulnerable to diabetes complications since they do not understand risks factors that increase their levels of vulnerability. Numerous research has been undertaken on health promotion methods and models and applied in the clinical practice. In this case, the aim is to reduce the number of people vulnerable to diabetes through application of various elements in Beattie’s health promotion model: personal counseling, health persuasion, legislative actions, and community development (Health Service Executive, 2013). Based on the model, when action plans are in place within the community that meet these elements in an effective manner, then all the promotional strategies would lead to the development of required behaviors and improved patient outcomes. Through applying the health persuasion element, it would be evidence that providing people with evidence regarding the manner in which their behaviors influence their health outcome then it would be easy to alter their attitudes. For example, providing the diabetes with information regarding the likelihood of their behavior contributing to their physical development, which in turn alter their beliefs regarding the consequences of their actions.

It is important to also consider community development in the promotional strategy through focusing more on developing strategies that aim to promote healthy living through targeting individuals within the community suffering from diabetes rather than on one-to-one basis within clinical setting. Through community development, the promotional strategy chosen would involve placing the adverts and posters regarding the causes and effects of diabetes (Craig & Smyth, 2002). Previously undertaken research recommends that intensive support needs to be undertaken in groups through focusing on coping skills, social support, and training. There is need to emphasize on community participation within the healthcare promotion and education strategies for the diabetes which would be beneficial through assisting individuals and promoting healthier living style (Einsiedel, Fernandes, & Woodman, 2008). Moreover, promotion of healthier living methodologies within the community would the beneficial to the patients as it would increase the level of awareness to the existence of such programs and the effects associated with lifestyle choices on the health of individuals.

Implementing the planned activities

To achieve the required success in the aforementioned dimensions of healthcare promotions, there is need to develop and implement an action plan that includes a focused approach for provision of education to those considered to suffer from diabetes (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2013). The focus on this approach is to use partnership within the community level to assist individuals with health issues to improve their wellbeing. In this case, CPNI framework will be used to ensure that health promotion strategies provide the required information to the patients. It is important to note that nursing students often participate in community practice nursing intervention (CPNI) while collaborating and under supervision with the preceptor (Pillsbury, Quinn & McIntyre, 2015). CPNI framework was adapted from the Public Health Nursing Model and Competency Standards for the Community Health. The adoption of these models assist in understanding the application of CPNI in a broader sense while providing home care, delegated medical treatment, observations, and incorporating various intervention strategies at individual levels. The model highlights the guide to what is expected from the student and validate the community role of the nurses in delivering quality care within their communities.

When considering health promotion in relation to the role of nurses in diabetes cessation and offering advice to the patients, then it is a positive concept in that while availing information with support, the patients are able to make informed decisions, which in turn creates an empowerment and element of self control (Davies, 2006). The nurses are better placed to drive such notion through empowerment when offering accurate information and knowledgeable advice. This assists to develop personal skills and self-esteem. All the community members need to be involved in the model. An important element in health promotion is health education that aims to change the behavior of people through providing them with the skills and knowledge needed for making healthier decisions and enabling them to their full potential. Based on the findings of Healthy Lives Healthy People, community plays important role in delivering the objectives of health promotion (Castledine, 2007). The locals have a wealth of information regarding the status of health issues affecting them. However, for achievement of the outlined aims, a collaborative partnership with various players within the health, civil society, and nutrition sectors would be appropriate. This will ensure that the promotion accommodates various aspects of factors responsible for the health issues and integration of the views of those affected.

Evaluation of health outcomes

It is critical to have methods for assessing the affectivity of health promotions and educational strategies employed. Even though community based cessation intervention are hard to assess and evaluate, they are considered cost effective methods to improve health on a larger scale (Christensen & Hewitt-Taylor, 2006). One of the community based approach that might be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy is the World Diabetes Day which is a worldwide campaign that aims to increase the level of awareness to the effects of diabetes on the overall health and to assist in promoting the efforts of those engaged in healthy eating habits and lifestyle. On success of the strategy, the number of people considered vulnerable to the diabetes would decline considering that they would have a lot of knowledge on ways of preventing and controlling the disease (Keleher, Murphy & MacDougall, 2007). Since the strategy aims to promote the health of the local communities, it would be important to effectively and adequately involve them in all steps (Bennett, 2010). This would involve seeking the attention of the healthcare professionals who come into contact with them on regular basis (Earle & Open University, 2007). Other methods of engaging the communities is through putting them in groups to discuss health issues, enabling two way communication, and allowing them to share their perceptions on the best practices on ways of preventing and controlling the disease. The model used in this health promotion is community-based intervention that is effective among the general practitioners (GP) it is only effective to few patients (Department of Health, 2006). Hence, other intervention methods should be integrated properly to assist in reducing the number of affected people.

Reflection

Health promotions activities seem to influence in assisting people comply with healthier living behaviors. Through the health promotion models and various community based interventions, health promotion strategies would be effective if used in the correct setting and applicable at the right time through professional and effective influence (Johnson, 2016). While assessing the strengths, weaknesses, and needs of the community, I realized that resources are critical in achieving the objectives. Some of the challenges associated with community assessment include difficulty in maintaining open, comfortable, and relaxed environment and influences from social constraints such as gender disparities, power dynamics, and cultural norms. The major difficulty am likely to experience while undertaking the initiative include inadequate cooperation from the local communities, discrepancies in the available data, and participation of few people to the exclusion of other people (Lucas & Lloyd, 2005). The completion of this task has improved my skills on ways to deal with the local communities while collecting information, channels of acquiring health information, and methods of dealing with shortcomings while dealing with communities. Through the study, I also understood the dynamics of diseases that affect the Australians and associated impacts on the health and wellbeing of the locals.

References

Association of State and Territorial Health. (2014). Successes and Challenges in Community Health Improvement: Stories from Early Collaborations. Retrieved May 25, 2017, from http://www.astho.org/Successes-and-Challenges-in-Community-Health-Improvement-Issue-Brief/

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Alice Springs (T) : Region Data Summary. Retrieved May 25, 2017, from http://stat.abs.gov.au/itt/r.jsp?RegionSummary&region=70200&dataset=ABS_REGIONAL_LGA&geoconcept=REGION&datasetASGS=ABS_REGIONAL_ASGS&datasetLGA=ABS_REGIONAL_LGA&regionLGA=REGION&regionASGS=REGION

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2013). Leading types of ill health (AIHW). Retrieved May 25, 2017, from http://www.aihw.gov.au/australias-health/2014/ill-health/

Australian Medical Association. (2014). The five most pressing health priorities in 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2017, from https://ama.com.au/ausmed/five-most-pressing-health-priorities-2014

Bennett, P. (2010). Risk communication and public health. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bishop, V., & Scott, I. (2001). Challenges in clinical practice: Professional developments in nursing. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave.

Castledine, G. (2007). Don’t use the term ‘health promotion’ to promote health. British Journal of Nursing, 16(6), 375.

Christensen, M., & Hewitt-Taylor, J. (2006). Empowerment in nursing: paternalism or maternalism? British Journal of Nursing, 15(13), 695-699.

Craig, J. V., & Smyth, R. L. (2002). The evidence-based practice manual for nurses. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

Crimmons, K. (2014). Stop blaming GPs and employ more nurses. Nursing Standard, 28(51), 28-28.

Davies, K. (2006). What is effective intervention? – using theories of health promotion. British Journal of Nursing, 15(5), 248-251.

Department of Health. (2006). Our Health, Our Care, Our Community: Investing in the future of community hospitals and services. London: The stationary Office.

Department of Health. (2011). Improving Outcomes: a strategy for cancer. London: The Stationary Office.

Dey, A., Wang, H., Menzies, R., & Macartney, K. (2012). Changes in hospitalisations for acute gastroenteritis in Australia after the national rotavirus vaccination program. The Medical Journal of Australia, 197(8), 453-457.

Earle, S., & Open University. (2007). Theory and research in promoting public health. London: SAGE Publications.

Einsiedel, L. J., Fernandes, L. A., & Woodman, R. J. (2008). Racial disparities in infection-related mortality at Alice Springs Hospital, Central Australia, 2000–2005. The Medical Journal of Australia, 188(10), 568-571.

Hamner, J. B., Wilder, B., & Byrd, L. (2007). Lessons learned: Integrating a service learning community-based partnership into the curriculum. Nursing Outlook, 55(2), 106-110.

Health Service Executive. (2013). The Health Promotion Strategic Framework. Retrieved May 25, 2017, from http://www.healthpromotion.ie/hp-files/docs/HPSF_HSE.pdf

Johnson, G. (2016). Preparing New Nurses for Practice-Focus Areas. International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare, 14(5), 12-21.

Keleher, H., Murphy, B., & MacDougall, C. (2007). Understanding health promotion. South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Lucas, K., & Lloyd, B. B. (2005). Health promotion: Evidence and experience. London: SAGE.

Mabbott, I. (2008). Watson’s Clinical Nursing and Related Sciences – Seventh editionWatson’s Clinical Nursing and Related Sciences – Seventh edition. Nursing Standard, 22(45), 30-37.

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Mooney, L. A., & Edwards, B. (2001). Experiential Learning in Sociology: Service Learning and Other Community-Based Learning Initiatives. Teaching Sociology, 29(2), 181-202.

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Pillsbury, A., Quinn, H., & McIntyre, P. (2015). Australian Vaccine Preventable Disease Epidemiological Review Series: Pertussis 2006–2012. Communicable Diseases Intelligence.

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Smith, L., Emmett, H., & Woods, M. (2008). Experiential learning driving community based nursing curriculum. Retrieved May 25, 2017, from http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=901

Victorian Government. (2017). What is Health Promotion Programs & Initiatives | VicHealth. Retrieved May 25, 2017, from https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/about/health-promotion