Community Hence they can develop actions that

Community health assessment can be defined as the process that describes the
status of health of the population. Through the process, the practitioner identifies
the risk factors that lead to illness. Hence they can develop actions that will
help address the illnesses. Community
health assessment is a developmental process, which is amended over time to add
value to health of the community. It uses the information
to plan for community health care in the
future. Community health assessment is significant because it helps nurses or
health workers and practitioners to design
and deliver adequate care to the community. It also allows equity in
principle application, which is social justice virtue in the community. Through community health assessment,
nurses are capable of allocating scarce resources in areas where they are
needed most for increased health benefits.

The concept of health is used in a holistic model throughout this
paper. This helps emphasize the cultural,
social, behavioral and economic factors that influence the health of a
community (“Healthy People 2020”, 2018). Some of the factors that
affect health include the environment as a whole that is the physical and social environment. The other elements include the family genetics, lifestyle,
and poverty. The success of community
health assessment, therefore, demands the
involvement of the population and other professionals, who are in the health sector. This will consolidate efforts towards achieving
improved health for the community. A comprehensive community health assessment
demands community interactions with health practitioners.

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 The
processes involved in the assessment include profiling, prioritization,
planning, implementation and evaluation of the health outcomes. Profiling consists of the collection of crucial relevant
data that gives the health worker an insight into
the state of population health needs. Therefore it is essential to obtain the right information for the success of the entire process. This is because the data collected at this stage determines the result of the process (“Use the Data |
Exploring the Data”, 2018). The features of a population define the health status of the community, and thus, it is of paramount importance to
state the characteristics of the people
of interest. The data which is essential
in health assessment is defined by
features of the community of interest.

Profiling the population requires the
nurse or medical practitioner to have the elements that describe the population of interest. Some features that
define a community include geography,
which the area covered by the society,
demographics, distribution of age and gender (WHO, 2011). The other
characteristics include ethnicity, population trends, religion, occupation and
literacy levels. Mainly, the location or geography of interest will coincide
with the area where a medical practitioner is working. The topography can comprise of a village, whose
boundaries are distinct or a town. The geography
is useful in helping the nurse to understand the person included in the
community.

The demographics are another feature, which is significant in community health
assessment. It should include all the people in that particular community from
birth through death. The aspect of age distribution is critical because it
helps in determining health needs for different populations within a community.
Most profiling divides a community into
young people from different age brackets,
adults and the elderly (“Healthy People 2020”, 2018). At this
juncture, it is important to segregate the population further into male and
female using the gender characteristic. The community health needs take different
patterns because different gender has
different needs. When one is looking at specific health needs, gender is a crucial feature to consider.

It is important to consider ethnic groups
within a community so that the nurse gives more attention to the vulnerable
groups. This is because different ethnicity is
faced with various problems that need to be
addressed differently. The members of the society who are grouped as minority seem to be marginalized
thus, understanding these groups will help health workers to develop strategies
that address the problems of these vulnerable groups (WHO, 2011). The
population trends are crucial because they are indicators of the population
needs.

Community health assessment seeks to
understand the status of a population’s health. The information about the
health status of a community can be obtained
by recognizing individual views about
their health. The other method to understand the health status is through
documented health status, health surveys and the knowledge of the community
health workers and health agencies. The measures of population health include
mortality data, morbidity data, behavior measures, quality of life.

Mortality data of a population describes
the patterns of death in relation to
gender, causes of death, age and class. This data measures epidemiology so that
the nurse can understand disease infestation within a population. The source of
this information is from the number of registered deaths either locally,
regionally or nationally (“CDC – NCHS – National Center for Health
Statistics”, 2018). Morbidity data is the type of information about the
illness types, their incidences, and
prevalence in the community. This data can be
obtained from health facility records and health survey records. The
information collected through these methods is crucial because it is a measure
of health activity. It reflects illnesses within the population.

Behavior measures are the indicators of
health in a community. Some behaviors like smoking lead to ill health. Therefore, when a
significant portion of the population is
smoking, it is evidence that the
population has a high potential for illnesses.
For infants, the habit of mothers breastfeeding
is an indication of good health for the population children. Community health
can also be affected by local factors like work, income levels, environment, resources,
social cohesion, and destabilizing factors. Every community possesses resources that support life and
wellbeing of the community. The resources are
represented as formal services or natural
networks. Profiling the extent of how these resources
are used in the community is paramount in population health assessment.

The level of population that has jobs is
fundamental when it comes to health issues. Work affects health positively or
negatively. Some job types cause diseases
like silicosis, which affects people working in mines (“CDC – NCHS –
National Center for Health Statistics”, 2018). Understanding the work that
the population is doing will help plan for potential illnesses that may affect
the people. The number of income people is earning influences their health because it
is and an indicator
if one is eating healthy foods or can afford to pay for health services.

Upon profiling the community data, the
next step in community health assessment is analyzing that data so that
planning and implementation of health services or interventions are put in place. According to (“Use the
Data | Exploring the Data”, 2018), the process needs continuous updating
for efficacy and reflection of the health
status of the community at any given time. Planning helps give priority to the
most vulnerable groups within a community. It helps in becoming more creative
in addressing illnesses, involving the community, developing health promotion
and prevention measures in the future. Taking action based on the situation on
the ground helps in developing intervention measures that are guided by set
goals.

In summing up this essay, different populations
across the world demand specific health attention. Thus community health
assessment is crucial in identifying the particular
needs of the population. The process of
community health assessment helps practitioners and policymakers to identify the needs of the population so that they use the health care resources to improve
the health of the community.