NEIGHBORHOOD/COMMUNITY SAFETY INVENTORY

Description: This tool can be used to assess physical and psychosocial safety hazards in a given client’s neighborhood or in a community at large. The tool assesses elements of the physical environmental, psychological, and social dimensions of health in the dimensions model. The inventory promotes identification of safety problems in the neighborhood or community and planning of nursing interventions to resolve identified problems.
Appropriate populations: Any neighborhood or community. May also be used to assess the neighborhood in which a specific individual client or family lives.
Data sources and data collection strategies: Personal observation of the neighborhood and interviews with residents and key informants are excellent means of obtaining information about neighborhood or community safety. Examples of key informants include local police and fire personnel, business and industry leaders, community officials, local disaster planning groups, department of transportation officials, and insurance company representatives. Review of police, fire, and insurance records may also be a source of important environmental safety information.
Use of information: Information derived using the tool can be used to educate individual clients regarding elimination or avoidance of safety hazards. Information may also be helpful in planning community safety education programs, in initiating disaster planning efforts, or to support political activity to enhance neighborhood or community safety. Finally, neighborhood safety information may assist the nurse to take precautions to promote his or her own safety while working in the area. Using information derived from the inventory, the community health nurse develops nursing diagnoses related to safety problems and plans interventions for those problems. Frequently, the interventions needed will require collaboration with other agencies and individuals, but may be initiated by the nurse.

NEIGHBORHOOD/COMMUNITY SAFETY INVENTORY
Neighborhood or community assessed:

_______________________________________
Safety Hazards in the Natural Environment
What is the extent of air pollution? What pollutants are involved? _____________________________________________________________________________________
What is the extent of water pollution? What pollutants are involved? _______________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________
What is the extent of natural radiation in the area? ________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________
Are there other environmental pollutants in the area? _____________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________
Do local weather conditions pose health hazards? ________________________________________________________
Are there drowning hazards (e.g., lakes, rivers) in the area? ___________________________________________________
Do wild animals in the area serve as reservoirs for disease? ________________________________________________
Do stray animals pose a safety or health hazard in the neighborhood? _______________________________________
What poisonous plants or plant allergens grow in the area? ________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________

DISASTER ASSESSMENT AND PLANNING GUIDE

Description: This tool is intended to assist community health nurses and other community members to assess the level of disaster preparedness in the community and to plan for effective disaster response. The assessment component of the tool is based on the six dimensions of health in the dimensions model and reflects biophysical, psychological, physical environmental, sociocultural, behavioral, and health system factors influencing disasters and community response to them. Community health nurses and others assessing community disaster preparedness may want to begin the assessment with the Community Disaster Preparedness Checklist (p. 121) to identify areas in which more in-depth assessment is required and then use this tool to direct that in-depth assessment.
Appropriate populations: May be used to assess and plan for disaster preparedness at the community level. May also be used to develop disaster plans for specific health care agencies and institutions or other groups within the community (e.g., schools). Some of the questions also address assessment after a disaster event has occurred.
Data sources and data collection strategies: Sources of data for community disaster assessment and planning may include community historical records, official government documents, existing disaster plans of community agencies and organizations, and interviews with key individuals within the community. Additional sources of data may include local businesses and industries, schools, health departments, civil defense/disaster agencies, and the local chapter of the American Red Cross. Information on community resources may also be available from social and civic organizations and clubs. Area maps and personal observation by the community health nurse and others may also provide important information. Because disaster planning should be a community-wide endeavor, community health nurses will be only one group involved in obtaining assessment data and developing a community disaster plan. Community health nurses, however, may create the impetus for disaster planning and/or coordinate data collection and interpretation and disaster response planning.
Use of information: Data obtained using the tool will be used to identify community disaster potential and to plan means of preventing disasters from occurring or mitigating their adverse effects on the community. Assessment data should be used to develop a general plan of community disaster response that would fit many types of disaster events. Assessment data may also serve as an impetus for educating the general public regarding disaster preparedness.

DISASTER ASSESSMENT AND PLANNING GUIDE

Assessment

Biophysical Considerations

What is the age composition of the population(s) most likely to be affected by a disaster? ___________________
________________________________________________________________________________________
Are there special health needs present in the age group(s) identified? ____________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________
What is the ethnic/racial composition of the population(s) most likely to be affected by a disaster? What effects, if any, will ethnicity have on response to a disaster? _____________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________
What is the extent of injury anticipated as a result of a disaster? What types of injuries are most likely to occur? ________________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________
What chronic health problems are prevalent among the population(s) most likely to be affected by a disaster?

Community and Population Health
Windshield Survey
Directions:
This assessment is a foundational exercise for you to learn about your environment and
explore where you live. Take some time to intentionally explore your county. Look at your
county as the home and the place of work for the county residents.
While driving through your community, stop for coffee or have lunch in a neighborhood.
Find a place to eat where you can sit down as part of the community. You may want to walk
around your community as well so that you can explore it from both a driving perspective
and a walking perspective.
Once you have observed the area, write about your impressions of the county in your notes.
Reflect on any surprises and whether the county looks different to you now after taking the
time to note the various elements. What would you like to learn more about related to your
topic and population of interest? You may want to sketch a map related to your topic area
for future reference when writing your community description.
Take notes on the county using the following questions as a guide. These questions are only
to provide guidance; you may discover other areas that you want to note. Include your
findings in the community description section of your paper. You will use this information to
complete task 1 for your “Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing” course.
Collecting this data will help you define your population of interest and prepare for your
practicum experience. You may also want to reference these results in the resources and
partners section of your paper.
ELEMENT DESCRIPTION:
Housing and Commercial Buildings:
 How old are the houses and buildings in the community?
 What materials are the homes and buildings constructed from?
 Are all the houses similar in age and architecture?
 How would you characterize their differences?
 Are the houses detached or connected to each other?
 Are there solar panels? Windmills?
 Do the houses have space in front or behind them?
 What is the general condition of the houses and buildings?
 Are there signs of disrepair (e.g., broken doors or windows, leaks, missing locks)?
 Are there signs of neighborhood pride, such as well-tended yards?
 Is there central heating, modern plumbing, air conditioning?
Open space:
 Is the county primarily rural, suburban, urban, or a mix? How much open space is
there?
 What is the quality of the space (i.e., lush green parks or rubble-filled lots)?
 What is the lot size of the houses, lawns, and flower boxes?
 Do you see trees on the streets or a green island in the center of the streets?
 Is the open space public or private? Who uses this space?
Boundaries:
 What signs are there of where neighborhoods begin and end?
 Are the boundaries natural (a river, a different terrain); physical (a highway, a
railroad); or economic (differences in real estate or presence of industrial or
commercial units along with residential)?
 Do the neighborhoods have an identity or a name? Do you see them displayed? Are
there unofficial names?
“Commons”:
 What are the neighborhood hangouts (e.g., schoolyard, convenience store, bar,
restaurant, park, 24-hour drugstore)?
 What groups of people tend to gather at these hangouts?
 At what time do they typically meet?
 Does the commons area have a sense of territoriality, or is it open to everyone?
Transportation:
 How do people get in and out of the neighborhoods (e.g., car, bus, bike, walking)?
 Are the streets and roads conducive to good transportation and bicycle use and also
to community life?
 Are there major highways running through the county? Who do these highways
serve?
 How frequently is public transportation available?
 Are gas stations available?
 Are there train stations or light rail stations?
Service centers:
 Do you see social agencies, clients, recreation centers, signs of activity at the
schools?
 Are there offices of doctors, dentists, and other such services?
 Are there parks? Are these parks in use?
Stores:
 Where do residents shop (e.g., shopping centers, neighborhood stores, outdoor
markets)?
 How do they travel?
People out and about:
 If you are traveling during the day, who do you see on the street (e.g., an occasional
passerby, a father with a baby)?
 Do you see anyone you would not expect?
 Can you spot the purpose of those that you see, such as a door-to-door salesperson
or a postal worker?
 Is the dress of those you see representative or unexpected?
 What animals do you see (e.g., stray cats, pedigreed pets, watchdogs, birds, wild
life)?
Signs of community vibrancy:
 Is this neighborhood on the way up or down?
 Is it alive?
 How would you decide?
 Do you see any of the following: street vendors, trash, abandoned cars, political
posters, neighborhood-meeting posters, real estate signs, abandoned houses, mixed
zoning usage, people tending their yards, sidewalks in good repair?
Race:
 Are the residents primarily Caucasian, African-American, Asian, of another group, or
is the area integrated?
Ethnicity:
 Are there indications of ethnicity (e.g., food stores, churches, private schools,
information or signs in a language other than English)?
Religion:
 Of what religion are the residents?
 Do you see evidence of heterogeneity or homogeneity?
 What denominations are the churches, temples, and mosques?
 Do you see evidence of these religious facilities being used other than on days of
worship?
Health:
 Do you see evidence of acute or of chronic diseases or conditions?
 Do you see evidence of accidents, communicable morbidity diseases, alcoholism,
drug addiction, mental illness, etc.?
 How far it is to the nearest hospital? To the nearest clinic?
Politics:
 Do you see any political campaign posters?
 Is there a headquarters present?
 Do you see evidence of a predominant party affiliation?
Media:
 Do you see indications of television use such as satellite dishes?
 What magazines and newspapers do residents read?
 What media do you see being sold in the stores?
 What form of media seems most important to the residents (e.g., radio, television,
print, online)?
 What languages are represented in the various forms of media?
Physical Environment:
 Are there indications of an excess of certain types of activities, such as stores that
sell alcohol or fast food restaurants?
 What sorts of billboards are displayed and what do they indicate?
 Are there many cell phone towers or is cell phone access limited?
Adapted from Anderson, E.T., & McFarlane J.M. (1988). Community as client: Application of
the nursing process. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott.

7-Approved Topic List: Choosing Your Field Project Topic with a Primary Prevention Focus

Note: You may not log any work on your field project until you are enrolled in Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing Field Experience/Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing Clinical and have selected your topic.

What is a Primary Prevention?
The Community Health Nursing practicum requires a field project. The project focuses on primary prevention. Primary prevention is the prevention of disease, injury, disability or premature death before they occur.

First Steps in Choosing a Field Project Topic
First, consider what might be an issue of public health concern in your own community. The pertinent questions to consider are:
• What is the biggest contributor to disease (morbidity) and premature death (mortality) in your community?
• What are the controversial community health concerns discussed in your local newspaper?
• What do you believe people in your community are most concerned about related to health?
• What is generating the most visits to the emergency room or hospital admission in your community?
• What do you believe is reducing the quality of life in your community?

Possible Topic Areas to Choose for Field Project
Access to Healthcare
• access to mental health services
• access to dental health services
• access to health services
Alcohol and Drug Use
• responsible alcohol consumption
• prevention of drug abuse, including
– IV drug use
– prescription drug use
Child Health
• prevention of neonatal mortality
• prevention of unintentional childhood injuries, including:
– sudden unexpected infant death (SUID)
– poisoning
– drowning
– motor vehicle related (child safety seat and seat belt use)
– sports related
– pedestrian related
• prevention of child abuse
• promotion of vaccination
Disabled
• promotion of health and well-being, including
– access to disability related services and devices,
– limit barriers to participating in home, work, school, or community activities
Disaster Preparedness
• prevention of adverse health consequences caused by natural and human caused disasters
HIV/AIDS
• prevention of HIV/AIDS, including
– sexual transmission
– prenatal transmission
– IV drug use transmission
Oral Health
• prevention of dental caries
Overweight and Obesity
• prevention of overweight and obesity through healthy nutrition and physical activity
Physical Environment
• promotion of healthy physical environment, including
– air quality
– land quality
– water quality
Seniors
• prevention of falls
• prevention of social isolation
• promotion of vaccination
Social Environment
• safe, affordable, quality housing (prevention of homelessness)
Tobacco
• prevention of tobacco use
• prevention of smoking
Unintentional Injuries
• prevention of workplace injuries
• prevention of motor vehicle related death/injuries
– prevention of pedestrian injury and death (includes bicyclists)
Violence
• prevention of domestic violence/intimate partner violence
• prevention of dating violence
• prevention of gang violence
• prevention of bullying/cyber-bullying
• prevention of suicide/depression
Women’s and Maternal Health
• prevention of unintended pregnancies
• lack of breastfeeding/promotion of breastfeeding
• promotion of vaccination

Resources to Start Your Topic Choice Process
• Task Force on Community Preventive Services
• Healthy People 2020

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