Negative Environmental Influence Health Story

You are the Population Health Nurse:

1)  Identify and elaborate on at least two (2) historical figues that  became important to the development of Public Health Nursing and explain  why.

2) Relate the epidemiological processes to the current COVID-19 pandemic

3)  Identify a negative environmental influence health story, (ex. the  water supply in Flint, Michigan ONLY- use a different environmental  influence) or global warming extreme heat; extreme weather rains ,  flooding etc. .  Explain how individuals, families, and/ or communities  have been affected? Now discuss measures needed to foster a health  promoting environment.

negative environmental influence health story

  1. Two historical figures who became important to the development of Public Health Nursing are Florence Nightingale and Lillian Wald.

a) Florence Nightingale: Florence Nightingale, known as the founder of modern nursing, made significant contributions to public health nursing. During the Crimean War in the 1850s, Nightingale and her team of nurses revolutionized nursing practices by implementing sanitary measures and improving the overall environment for patients. She emphasized the importance of cleanliness, proper nutrition, and adequate ventilation in healthcare settings. Nightingale’s statistical analysis and use of data to demonstrate the impact of hygiene on patient outcomes laid the foundation for evidence-based nursing practice and shaped the field of public health nursing.

b) Lillian Wald: Lillian Wald was a prominent figure in public health nursing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She founded the Henry Street Settlement in New York City in 1893, which provided healthcare and social services to impoverished communities. Wald recognized the link between social conditions and health outcomes, advocating for the importance of addressing social determinants of health. Through her work, Wald pioneered the concept of community-based nursing and advocated for healthcare access, health education, and improved living conditions for underserved populations. She also established the Visiting Nurse Service, which brought healthcare directly to people’s homes, promoting preventive care and early intervention.

These two figures played pivotal roles in shaping the field of public health nursing by emphasizing the importance of sanitation, hygiene, and addressing social determinants of health. Their contributions laid the groundwork for the principles and practices that continue to guide public health nursing today.

  1. The epidemiological processes relate to the current COVID-19 pandemic in several ways:

a) Transmission Dynamics: Epidemiology helps us understand how diseases spread within populations. In the case of COVID-19, epidemiological studies have identified that the primary mode of transmission is through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or breathes. Additionally, it has been recognized that the virus can also spread by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the face.

b) Case Identification and Surveillance: Epidemiologists have been instrumental in establishing case definitions, diagnostic criteria, and testing strategies to identify COVID-19 cases. Through surveillance systems, they track the number of cases, monitor trends, and identify clusters or outbreaks. This information helps public health officials make informed decisions about control measures, resource allocation, and public health interventions.

c) Risk Factors and Vulnerable Populations: Epidemiology helps identify risk factors associated with disease severity and vulnerable populations. Studies have shown that older adults, individuals with underlying health conditions, and certain racial and ethnic groups are at higher risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. Understanding these risk factors allows for targeted interventions and public health messaging to protect those most vulnerable.

d) Outbreak Investigation and Control: Epidemiologists investigate outbreaks by identifying the source of infection, tracing contacts, and implementing control measures. During the COVID-19 pandemic, contact tracing has been crucial in breaking chains of transmission and preventing further spread of the virus. Epidemiologists also evaluate the effectiveness of interventions such as vaccination campaigns, mask mandates, and physical distancing measures.

Epidemiological processes play a crucial role in understanding, tracking, and controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. By applying epidemiological principles, public health officials can make informed decisions to mitigate the spread of the virus, protect vulnerable populations, and guide public health interventions.

  1. Negative Environmental Influence Health Story: Extreme Weather Events and Flooding

Extreme weather events and flooding have significant negative impacts on individuals, families, and communities. These events can result in physical injuries, loss of life, displacement, destruction of infrastructure, contamination of water sources, and the spread of waterborne diseases. Let’s explore the effects and the measures needed to foster a health-promoting environment.

Effects on individuals, families, and communities:

  • Physical and psychological trauma: Extreme weather events and flooding can cause injuries, psychological distress, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among individuals directly affected.
  • Displacement and homelessness: People may be forced to evacuate their homes and seek temporary shelter, leading to overcrowded conditions and increased risk of infectious diseases.
  • Water contamination: Floodwaters can contaminate water sources, leading to the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and hepatitis A.
  • Infrastructure damage: Floods can damage critical infrastructure like hospitals, clinics, and sewage systems, disrupting healthcare services and increasing health risks.
  • Disruption of healthcare access: Extreme weather events can interrupt the delivery of healthcare services, making it challenging for individuals with chronic conditions to access necessary care and medications.

Measures needed to foster a health-promoting environment:

  1. Preparedness and early warning systems: Developing robust early warning systems and disaster preparedness plans can help communities respond effectively to extreme weather events and minimize health impacts. This includes educating the public about emergency procedures, evacuation routes, and creating communication channels for disseminating vital information.
  2. Infrastructure resilience: Investing in resilient infrastructure, such as flood-resistant buildings, improved drainage systems, and adequate sewage management, can mitigate the damage caused by extreme weather events. Strong infrastructure helps protect individuals, maintain access to healthcare services, and minimize water contamination.
  3. Health services continuity: Ensuring the continuity of healthcare services during and after extreme weather events is crucial. This includes establishing emergency medical facilities, organizing mobile health clinics, and ensuring the availability of essential medications and medical supplies.
  4. Community engagement and education: Engaging communities in disaster preparedness efforts and providing education on safety measures, hygiene practices, and the risks associated with extreme weather events can empower individuals and families to protect themselves and their communities.
  5. Climate change mitigation: Addressing the root causes of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable practices is vital for long-term environmental and public health. This involves transitioning to renewable energy sources, promoting energy efficiency, and advocating for policies that support climate action.

By implementing these measures, individuals, families, and communities can better prepare for and respond to extreme weather events and mitigate their health impacts. Creating a health-promoting environment involves collaboration between governments, healthcare systems, community organizations, and individuals to build resilience and protect the well-being of all.

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