Community health nursing is an integral part of providing care to patients in different set-ups. This nursing discipline incorporates evidence-based research and other established scientific approaches to deliver quality and timely care to patients. The assigned community setting for this assignment is a home hospice. The primary role of a community health nurse (CHN) in this setting is to provide direct care to patients suffering from terminal illnesses.
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The form of care rendered in this setting includes pain management and symptom control. Additionally, CHNs coordinate spiritual and psychosocial support for patients and their families. The vulnerable populations served in this setting are patients suffering from a terminal illness and their family members living in a designated household where care takes place. The purpose of this paper is to discuss community health nursing to understand some of the CHNs’ roles in a home hospice setting and the associated professional organization.
As mentioned in the introduction, the assigned community setting for this paper is home hospice where terminally ill patients receive end-of-life care. Hospice care is designed to allow such patients to die at home rather than in a hospital set-up. The vulnerable populations in this setting are terminally ill patients and their family members. In this case, CHNs provide direct care to the said patients, specifically by managing pain and other symptoms that might present.
The primary goal of hospice care is not to treat but to manage symptoms and offer patient support so that the involved persons may face death with dignity (Hickish & Roberts, 2019). In most cases, excruciating life-long pain characterizes terminal illnesses and thus pain management is the first role of a CHN working in a home hospice. Part of providing direct care to patients involves creating care plans for all the involved caregivers to follow.
Additionally, such nurses provide the necessary support to patients and their family members. Each person has a unique perspective and understanding of end-of-life matters, thus CHNs are trained to make a thorough cultural assessment to understand the underlying issues and offer care that has been tailored to meet individual needs. Another role of CHN in this setting is to organize for spiritual support for patients and their families. Spiritual care plays a central role in managing end-of-life health conditions and CNHs coordinate with the relevant priests, chaplains, or spiritual advisors to address such needs. CHNs thus act as the communication bridge between patients and all other involved parties in hospice care.
Health Promotion Nursing Intervention
The goal of hospice care is to ensure that patients get the best nursing care and die with dignity. In this case, CHNs could implement strategies to anticipate, treat, and prevent suffering for the patients and their family members. Some of the involved measures include advancing a holistic approach to care by addressing the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of patients and their families. Providing for physical needs would include pain management for the patients. Psychological care would entail spending time with the patients and talking about whatever topic that comes up to ensure that the patient does not live in solitude.
Hospice care requires interdisciplinary nursing practices whereby CHNs collaborate with other professionals in the course of delivering care to terminally ill patients. CHNs collaborate with physicians, other caregivers, family members, and spiritual advisors to promote health interventions in hospices. Each one of the mentioned parties plays a central role in ensuring that the involved patients get quality and timely care.
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For instance, spiritual advisors offer spiritual support, which plays a central role in giving hope and support to dying patients and their family members (Gijsberts, Liefbroer, Otten, & Olsman, 2019). Similarly, physicians are needed to guide CHNs where necessary in the course of delivering care services in home hospices.
Professional Nursing Organization
CHNs can join the Association of Community Health Nursing Educators (ACHNE), which is one of the professional organizations associated with this area of nursing. According to ACHNE (2020), its mission is to “advance population health through quality community/ public health nursing education, research and service” (para. 3). The organization provides a platform for all individuals committed to promoting community and public health through practice, education, and research.
Members elect volunteer leaders who are tasked with running the organization by “providing networking through the quarterly newsletter and membership directory, and providing educational opportunities through publications and the annual Spring Institute” (ACHNE, 2020, para. 1).
The organization’s membership is divided into different categories with active members paying an annual fee of $150, institutional members $850 (for colleges or universities), transitional member $99, students $75, and retired members $90 (ACHNE, 2020). Members enjoy full voting privileges and they can hold office among other benefits. The board of directors is composed of the president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, chair of membership committee, and representatives from south, north, west, and Midwest each serving a two-year term.
The setting selected for this assignment is a home hospice where the primary role of CHNs is to offer care and support to terminally ill patients and their families to ensure that they face death with dignity. Some of the health promotion interventions that CHNs could implement in this setting include offering direct care to manage pain and collaborating with other teams, such as spiritual advisors, caregivers, and physicians for holistic care outcomes. CHNs could join the ACHNE as part of promoting quality public and community health through education, research, and practice.
ACHNE. (2020). About ACHNE. Web.
Gijsberts, M., Liefbroer, A. I., Otten, R., & Olsman, E. (2019). Spiritual care in palliative care: A systematic review of the recent European literature. Medical Sciences, 7(25), 1-21. Web.
Hickish, D., & Roberts, D. (2019). The nurse-led model of hospice care. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 25(3), 143-149. Web.