Community Clinicals The primary goal of a community nurse is to assess the   needs and assets of the local city systems and make recommendations on strengthening them. During clinicals and in community class, you will be instructed on how to collaborate on health care programs and promote health. As a public health nurse you will provide access to health care to many who patients who or may not normally be able to afford medical care. Your patients include poor, uninsured and populations from culturally and economically diverse backgrounds. If your patient needs treatment or an immunization, but can't afford the cost of a health care facility, you may be called on to administer these services. Not only will you treat patients, you will also be connecting them with other necessary health services they may require. Your nursing career in public health can lead to several different working environments, including a patient's home, community center and workplace. Nursing school prepares students for this by having contracts or agreements with certain facilities and sends the students there for clinicals. Each school has a set amount of hours a student must complete. These hours must be completed every semester or towards the end or nursing school. Before the first semester begins, you should have already purchased your community uniform, which are mostly khakis & a polo shirt with the school name or logo on it. Usually first semester community clinicals are just visiting a local senior center that you will be required to participate in their activities. Second semester may be visiting a nursing home where you will be assigned a patient that you will care for. This will probably be your first hands on physical assessment with someone other than your lab partner. Third semester is where you will probably start clinicals at a homeless shelter or clinic. During all of these community clinicals, you will be assigned to a group. The students are usually grouped based upon the area they reside in. Unfortunately you cannot choose who is in your group and not everyone pulls their own weight. While composing a power point slide and paper, everyone has to participate but you may find yourself writing someone else’s part also. One school in Jacksonville, FL requires students to come up with a teaching plan and poster for diabetic patients at a local shelter. These clinicals usually take up a lot of time that most students already don’t have. This is why time management is important in nursing school. References AllNursingSchools. (2010). Become A Public Health Nurse. Retrieved from: http://www.allnursingschools.com/faqs/community-health-nurse

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