When assessing a community, a nurse must consider various factors that contribute to its overall well-being. The geopolitical space of a community includes its boundaries, geographical features, vegetation, and climate. These elements play a crucial role in determining the health outcomes and quality of life for the community members (GCU, 2018). On the other hand, the phenomenological place focuses on the psychological aspects of a community, such as its culture, education, beliefs, values, history, and economics. By conducting a comprehensive assessment, nurses can identify the needs of the community and address any barriers that may hinder their health (GCU, 2018).
The nursing process is a systematic approach that guides nursing practice in various settings, including community health. It involves assessing the needs of the community, identifying health issues, planning appropriate interventions, implementing the interventions, and evaluating the outcomes (GCU, 2018). In the school setting, for instance, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) requires hearing and vision screenings to identify students at risk for auditory and visual deficits, which can potentially affect their learning process. The ODH sets guidelines for which grades should undergo routine screenings, what equipment should be used, what specific vision tests are necessary, and the criteria for referral and follow-up recommendations (Children’s Hearing & Vision Program, 2022). This example illustrates how the nursing process is applied in a community health setting to address the needs of the population.
Assessing the geopolitical and phenomenological aspects of a community is crucial for understanding its unique challenges and determining the best course of action to improve health outcomes. It requires a combination of research, critical thinking, and reflection to develop effective interventions. By considering the geographical features, boundaries, and climate, nurses can identify environmental factors that may contribute to health issues, such as pollution or limited access to healthcare services. Additionally, understanding the cultural, educational, and socioeconomic factors helps nurses develop culturally sensitive interventions that are tailored to the needs and beliefs of the community (GCU, 2018).
One recent research study conducted by The Ohio State University examined the impact of community gardens on the health of urban populations. The study found that community gardens not only provided fresh produce but also created a sense of belonging, promoted physical activity, and improved mental health outcomes (Warhurst, 2017). This research highlights the importance of considering both the geopolitical and phenomenological aspects of a community and how they can intersect to promote health.
Another recent study published in the Journal of Community Health Nursing explored the role of community health nurses in addressing social determinants of health. The study emphasized the need for nurses to engage in critical reflection and advocacy to address the underlying factors that contribute to health disparities in communities (Aldrich et al., 2019). This research underscores the importance of incorporating critical thinking and reflection into community health nursing practice to address the broader social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health outcomes.
In conclusion, assessing a community requires considering both the geopolitical and phenomenological aspects of the community. By understanding the geographical features, boundaries, climate, culture, education, beliefs, values, history, and economics, nurses can identify the unique needs and barriers that impact the health of the community. The nursing process serves as a framework for addressing these needs through comprehensive assessments, planning interventions, implementing strategies, and evaluating outcomes. By incorporating research, critical thinking, and reflection, nurses can develop effective interventions that are tailored to the specific needs of the community.