Public Healthcare Nursing

Healthcare is not only about treating diseases and administering medications. With the knowledge we have today, healthcare is becoming more of a preventative medicine than an after the fact treatment. Public health nursing is becoming one of the more popular ways to educate whole communities and to improve the neighborhoods overall safety and health.

Preventative medicine has been around since the ancient times, and is referenced frequently in Greek mythology. Though for many centuries healthcare was viewed as caring for those who were already sick, public health nursing has helped to bring preventative care back into the spotlight. Public health nursing, or PNH, really emerged with Florence Nightengale when nursing became a bonafide occupation. Caring for the sick and the poor soon led to programs like the Lillian Wald Henry Street Settlement in New York City, where the nurses went on to educate the patients as well as organizations on preventative techniques and practices.

As a public health nurse, you are able to work with diverse populations, often in somewhat downtrodden settings that can range from a school, to a worksite, to a neighborhood. The goal is to make the community a safer place by helping people learn about health issues and increasing their access to healthcare. There are many duties that a public health nurse will tackle in the course of a job, but the main ones are:

– Pinpointing health risks unique to particular communities
– Unveiling and monitoring health trends
– Propose health-related interventions that are accessible and affordable
– Work with the government and authorities at the federal, state and local level to give poor communities greater access to health services
– Create health education campaigns and offer disease prevention like screenings and immunizations
– Find a way to offer health care services to at risk and vulnerable communities
– Educate populations about imminent health risks and prevention practices

Education is definitely the key focus of a public health nurse. They will give presentations in assisted care centers, in schools, at community centers, and to any local group that will take the time to listen. Of course, most of the information being given is available online or in a library, but the goal is to make it accessible and understandable, in an effort to encourage people to take control of their health and future.

In many poor or rural communities, public health nurses will find themselves not only giving immunizations, but providing pre-natal care. They should be educated and trained enough to respond to almost any health issue. A public health nurse can expect to make somewhere in the range of $53,000 a year and to have a myriad of job options. The outlook for this part of the healthcare industry is definitely growing. Though this is not the highest paying nursing job out there, it is definitely one of the most rewarding and allows you to work directly with an entire community of people. In a hospital, you would only be able to work with certain patients, and only for short periods of time. The ability to form lasting bonds is something that draws many to PHN. What kind of imp