COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT 6
Acommunity assessment refers to a strategy for analyzing and getting aclear image of a particular community. It helps a person identify theproblems affecting the area as well as addressing them. In additionone identifies the area assets that lead to competence and confidenceamong the residents (Oldenettel et al., 2010). It also provides anopportunity to identify the risks that the community face andresources employed to address them. Assessing the community helpsdevelop strategies that can bring about change. Windshield assessmentis one of the methods used in assessing community health. Theapproach involves a systematic observation made either from a movingvehicle or when walking depending on the area assessed. Walkingsurveys are better when one needs to better understand issues thatcannot be analyzed when viewed in a moving vehicle (Kelly et al.,2013). The assessment was based on a small town that I live.
Tobetter understand the community I live, demographic information iscrucial in the survey. The first survey is on the population size ofthe area. I observed that there is an increase in population ascompared to five tears ago. The percentage increase could be nearly5%. I also observed that the ratio of men to women was imbalance.Women occupied more than 60% of the whole community (Kelly et al.,2013). The other demographic data collected was age. The median ageis approximately 34 years with the exception of the two colleges inthe area. They occupy approximately 8% of the population withstudents aged between 18 and 26 years. Different race and ethnicgroups reside in the area with majority identifying themselves aswhite. It means that different languages are spoken but most of themspeak English. Further, the family size was also a concern. Over 60%are nuclear families and the remaining percentage represents theextended and single parent family.
Vitalstatistics refers to information about human life and the diseasesaffecting a particular community. It shows the birth, stillbirths,deaths and marriage rates in a certain area. The reasons forrecording and reporting such information is for personal filing,maintaining a balanced population and legal purposes (Hunt, 2009).The number of births in the community has increased over the years.Majority of the people I interviewed attributed the increase inbirths with the number college students in the area. Most of thebirths are from mothers aged between 20 and 25 years who are collegestudents. In addition, these births are from unmarried mothers. Thesurvey showed that Cancer and heart diseases are the leading cause ofdeath for both male and female in the area.
Environmentalissues refer to complications caused by changes in the habitat due tohuman interference (Oldenettel et al., 2010). They have negativeeffects that interfere with the well being of the living organisms inthe surrounding area. The increased population of the area hasresulted to high unemployment levels that in turn give rise to theftand other crimes. The area is not far from the Big City and hencetraffic jam has been a disturbing issue. Noise pollution has asignificant impact on the lives of people in the community. It comesfrom a nearby airport and large industries surrounding the area.These problems endanger the health of residents in the area as wellas destroying the ecosystem.
Occupationalhealth hazards refers to conditions that develop when one is exposedto physical or disease-causing bacteria and viruses at work stationsand affects his well being. The health of every worker depends on therisks associated with the work and can lead to accidents, hearingloss, cancers and respiratory problems (Corn, 2012). The town isgrowing at a steady rate and there is a lot of infrastructuredevelopment in progress. Majority of the youth are labourers atdifferent construction sites and programs exposing them tooccupational health hazards. During the windshield survey I was ableto identify numerous people with conditions that were absent before.Some developed hearing problems while others have stress relateddisorders and cancers.
Vulnerablepopulations refers to people or a group of people with conditionsthat prevent them accessing resources like healthcare systems due totheir geographic, ethnic, mental and economic characteristic amongothers (Corn, 2012). I identified numerous vulnerable populations inthe community. They include pregnant women, older people, childrenand people with complicated health problems. Parts of the communitycomprise of families who are not wealthy and hence the poor housingand malnutrition contributes to vulnerability. Other assets includephysical structures. There are churches, schools, social clubs, parksand hospitals among others.
Resourcesin the community
Communityresources refer to things in a particular area that can be used toimprove the life of people. They are also known as community assets.There are numerous resources identified in the area I live. The firstresource is people (Hunt, 2009). Every member in the community is anasset to the community. They include members of church who spread thegospel and people who risk their life to ensure security of the areaare considered community assets. Community services are alsoconsidered community assets. They include public transportationsystems and educational centers for children. In addition, there arealso numerous organizations that provide employment as well asfinancing youth projects. Every member in the community has uniqueskills and talents that can in one way or the other contributetowards the community. All these activities lead to communityimprovement.
Pertinentinformation about the community
Duringmy windshield survey I observed the housing characteristics of thecommunity. The area is developing which means that most people havepurchased land to build owner units. The percentage of rentaloccupied units is approximately 20%. Further, the economic feature ofthe community is a great concern (Wurzbach, 2011). The communitypractices agriculture in small scale farming and retail business.They supply their produce to the community market. The community hasmore than 60 % of the people employed in white collar jobs while therest work in farms and industries. The area is densely populated andit is mainly caused by college students and the infrastructuredevelopment in the area.
Corn,J. K. (2012). Responseto occupational health hazards: A historical perspective.New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Hunt,R. (2009). Introductionto community-based nursing.Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.
Kelly,P. J., Ruiz-Janecko, Y., & Guttmacher, S. (2013). Community-basedhealth interventions. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass.
Oldenettel,D., Wordes, M., & United States. (2010). Thecommunity assessment center concept. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs,Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Wurzbach,M. E. (2011). Communityhealth education and promotion: A guide to program design andevaluation.Gaithersburg, Md: Aspen Publishers.