The History of Public Health and the Role of the Community/Public Health Nurse

1148 Words Dec 18th, 2013 5 Pages
Running head: PUBLIC HEALTH AND ROLE OF THE COMMUNITY HEALTH NURSE

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PUBLIC HEALTH AND ROLE OF THE COMMUNITY HEALTH NURSE

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The History of Public Health and the Role of the Community/Public Health Nurse
When considering the evolution of healthcare and the role of the nurse in the United
States, many people might first consider this in the context of the hospital setting. While the history of acute care is an important area to consider, it is imperative that equal attention be given to the history of public health and the role played by the nurse in this segment of the healthcare continuum. The purpose of this paper is to outline the history of the public health nurse and to specifically look at the role of nursing in
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For the purposes of this assignment, the focus is being kept on hospice in the home setting.
Hospice care delivered in the community is either primary care or secondary care, depending on the specific situation. The patient’s primary physician might refer the patient to the hospice care team who may then take over the primary care role. Another scenario is that a hospice team could be consulted to assist with care, yet the primary physician would remain responsible for the routine decisions about patient care (Weckmann, 2008). The primary care

PUBLIC HEALTH AND ROLE OF THE COMMUNITY HEALTH NURSE

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provider, be it hospice care physician or primary care physician, must strive diligently to communicate clearly with the patient and family about desires and expectations for end of life care. There are may be ethical dilemmas that arise in the hospice setting that could be worked through more easily if the patient’s wishes are made clear. The decision to provide hydration and or nutrition parenterally or enterally when a patient cannot eat or drink for themselves can often pose a dilemma. At what point should this life prolonging sustenance be stopped? At what point is this ordinary humane care, and when does it become an extraordinary measure that prolongs life and therefore perpetuates discomfort. The home hospice nurse can play a vital role in assuring that this issue is addressed as early and thoroughly as

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