Catholic Hospice’s Community Health Nurses

Ana de Castanedo

The main learning objective of the clinical experience at Catholic Hospice is targeted at demonstrating the role of community health nurses in family-centered care. Community health nurses focus on broader goals of improving health outcomes of not individual patients but communities in general (“Becoming a community health nurse,” n.d.). To reach the outlined objective, the following schedule has been designed:

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  • Day 1: Getting to know the facility, key personnel, and performing the overall assessment of the situation;
  • Days 2-3: Assisting a community health nurse that works in the facility (providing treatment and advice to community members);
  • Days 4-6: Focusing on a specific community health problem (prevention of falls in the elderly that live with their families);
  • Day 7: Analyzing experiences and determining whether the objective has been met.

One placement issue that occurred this week was associated with the lack of cooperation from other healthcare providers at the facility. During the first several days, the majority of nurses at Catholic Hospice were unwelcoming and did not offer advice or assistance because of distrust. However, after getting to know me, their attitudes improved.

Exploring the role of community health nurses in family-centered care is associated with establishing trusting relationships between patients and their families that live in a specific community (Dening & Hibberd, 2016). Therefore, this objective is linked to advocacy, effective communication, and the education of patients within the community. Also, community nurses can help families to get to know each other and share their experiences regarding dealing with a specific health problem. In this case, the prevention of falls in elderly patients that live with their children at home is an excellent opportunity for families to bond.


The specific objective of the clinical experience is associated with analyzing the role of a community nurse with regards to addressing the health outcomes of underserved patients. Because every community has groups of individuals whose health and wellbeing has been neglected, exploring the role of a community nurse with regards to this aspect is a beneficial approach to nursing practice. The schedule for the week was as follows:

  • Days 1-2: Interviewing patients in the facility about their access to high-quality health care;
  • Day 3: Interviewing nurses’ attitudes towards the lack of attention to underserved communities;
  • Days 4-6: Focusing on the issue of childhood mortality in single-parent African-American and Latin American families;
  • Day 7: Developing a general action plan for addressing the issue of childhood mortality in underserved families within the community.

No specific placement issues have been identified. Both patients and the staff took an interest in the issue associated with underserved members of the community and provided their assistance during the interviews.

The identified objective of improving the health outcomes of underserved members of the community is of importance because it will subsequently contribute to the reduction of health disparities (Vanderbilt, Dail, & Jaberi, 2015). Health disparities are highly problematic, and the work of separate community health nurses is not enough for eliminating them. Community health nurses from different facilities should encourage interprofessional collaboration as a tool for dealing with adverse health outcomes in underserved patients. Professionals from different fields of expertise (e.g., community nurses, minority advocates, policymakers, etc.) should collaborate and develop a comprehensive action plan for providing high-quality health care to patients whose social and financial statuses prevent them from accessing it.


Becoming a community health nurse. (n.d.). Web.

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Dening, K., & Hibberd, P. (2016). Exploring the community nurse role in family-centered care for patients with dementia. British Journal of Community Nursing, 21(4), 198-202.

Vanderbilt, A., Dail, M., & Jaberi, P. (2015). Reducing health disparities in underserved communities via interprofessional collaboration across healthcare professionals. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 6, 205-208.

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