A community can be defined as a group of people living in a particular area or those that share a common characteristic. However, the aspect of a community involves more than the above two facets. It also consists of the connection between the intangible human and nonhuman relationship in an area. In healthcare, the inclusion of the community aspect and the local healthcare system is very successful in the planning, governance, and provision of better services (Forbes & Watt, 2015). The World Health Organization defines community engagement as the relationship development process between stakeholders towards addressing health-related issues and promoting general wellbeing. In specific, this paper analyzes the risks of drug abuse at Hamilton South Middle School (HSMS) since every child in the community has to pass through school when transforming from children to young adults. As such, school plays a crucial role in the children’s development process. The data was collected by interviewing the school nurse and conducting further interviews at St. Vincent hospital at Fishers.
It refers to the systematic surveys done from a moving car. The method is used when the area to be surveyed is particularly large, and the aspects being observed can be seen from the road. In most cases, it is used to observe the more specific facets of the community’s physical, social, and economic characters. It is advisable to survey during those hours when the community is most active. Depending on the size of the area to be surveyed, the study can be conducted by one or several people.
When collecting data, the surveyor must think creatively and critically on the individual who can best provide the information. Before conducting the windshield survey, it is best to contact an agency to find specific information about a community. Some of these resources include the American Factfinder, which provides information on housing, economic, and geographical area of an area based on United States Census results. Additionally, the state has quick facts that make it easy to find businesses and people in the area. The data is also based on the United States Census (Hebert-Beirne, Felner, Castañeda, & Cohen, 2017). Generally, all this information can be obtained from the US census bureau. These are some of the best ways to collect accurate information about a specific community without straining.
Information from Government Agencies
Government agencies have access to all kinds of information that the ordinary person cannot access. One instance is the National Center of Health and Statistics, an agency run by the Center for Disease Control that serves as the best source of information concerning the health of Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is another government agency that has a lot of data concerning the nation’s healthcare. The organization has incorporated a search engine on its website that makes it easy to find information (Mark & Toulopoulou, 2015). States also have individual improvement programs all of which aim towards achieving the federal government’s plan. These programs contain data which can be very useful when conducting community health assessments.
There are several ways of generating data. Observing the people and their actions is one of the basic ways of doing so. Windshield surveys, as explained above, is one way of doing this. The surveyor could also conduct one-on-one interview of the community members. Surveys are another common way of collecting and generating data. This purpose is achieved by selecting a sample population and subjecting them to the various survey methods. Some examples include questionnaires, interviews, among others (Pennel, McLeroy, Burdine, & Matarrita-Cascante, 2015). Finally, the use of focus groups is helpful when conducting community assessments since the researcher gets the data straight from the personal account of the sample population.
Once the community assessment data has been collected, it has to be analyzed for similarities or patterns based on which conclusions can be drawn. Additionally, the difference in the data must be identified, and solutions should be developed to bridge the differences (Schifferdecker et al., 2016). After that, these findings are used to draw a general conclusion regarding the community assessment objective. Thus, if the assessment is aimed to analyze the effects of the environment on healthcare, then the findings from the observed and collected data will help determine the areas of the community that need improvement. Interpretation of data, therefore, helps in determining the parts of the community that need improvement. Additionally, appropriate recommendations must be provided on how to curb the shortcomings.
The success of any community assessment program is directly dependent on the planning process and guidance during development. Therefore, it is important for researchers to work closely with community members. The reason being that the former are more informed on the various aspects of the area and ways to get accurate data. A lot of time and energy has to be dedicated to the process, and the team conducting the assessment must follow the developed plan to certify everything is covered.
Community assessment is an organized, systematic effort to find out more about a targeted population within a community. It helps health educators and community members in understanding the demographics, needs, behavior policies, and resources in communities. The process is mostly useful in efforts to improve healthcare among families, individuals, and communities, in general. The outcome of this exercise is a community profile.
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Forbes, H., & Watt, E. (2015). Jarvis’s physical examination and health assessment. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Hebert-Beirne, J., Felner, J. K., Castañeda, Y., & Cohen, S. (2017). Enhancing themes and strengths assessment: Leveraging academic-led qualitative inquiry in community health assessment to uncover roots of community health inequities. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 23(4), 370–379. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PHH.0000000000000478
Mark, W., & Toulopoulou, T. (2015). Psychometric properties of “community assessment of psychic experiences”: Review and meta-analyses. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 42(1), 34–44. https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbv088
Pennel, C. L., McLeroy, K. R., Burdine, J. N., & Matarrita-Cascante, D. (2015). Nonprofit hospitals’ approach to community health needs assessment. American Journal of Public Health, 105(3), e103–e113. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2014.302286
Schifferdecker, K. E., Bazos, D. A., Sutherland, K. A., LaFave, L. R. A., Fedrizzi, R., & Hoebeke, J. (2016). A review of tools to assist hospitals in meeting community health assessment and implementation strategy requirements. Journal of Healthcare Management/American College of Healthcare Executives, 61(1), 44–56. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4830260/pdf/nihms774216.pdf