Community and Public Health Nursing Study

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 4
Words: 863
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College

Case Study Summary

Wayne is a public health/community nurse who lives in South Texas. During the summer, Wayne’s community experienced uncontrollable wildfires that devastated the area. Because he lived in the area, Wayne was called upon to help triage and care for victims of the fires. Many of the wildfire victims were Wayne’s family, personal friends, and work colleagues’ priority recovery goal for this population

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When the most critically ill residents are transported to the hospital Wayne’s task is to provide comfortable conditions for the people who need recovery. Thus, Wayne’s priority recovery goal is to minimize the deaths and further injuries of the population while rescuing victims and providing the necessary medical care. Having coped with the triage, Wayne can see the full picture and provide help for persons with casualties of a different character. To minimize the deaths and provide relief for injured people, it is necessary to concentrate on providing first aid (Hughes & Maurer, 2013).

Wayne should plan his actions concerning overcoming the psychological effects of the disaster and caring for people with injuries. All the injured persons should receive medical care to avoid further harm (Corcoran & Spargo, 2013). After classifying the victims and dividing them into categories, Wayne can guarantee the appropriate care for the injured and ill people due to their physical and psychological state.

Along with professional medical care, the victims should be provided with emotional support (Richard, Beaudet, & Gendron, 2010). Thus, it is Wayne’s task to keep families together, to diagnose the victims suffering from shock and pay more attention to people with the obvious and hidden signs of stress (Beitsch, Brooks, & Grigg, 2006). The next step is the provision of water and food as the ways of the victims’ adaptation (Browne et al., 2010).

Victims that are more likely than others need crisis intervention

Despite the fact all the victims should receive the appropriate care and support, there is the category of people who need crisis intervention as quick as possible. Wayne should concentrate on the cases when people have lost the members of their families and relatives. Those people whose relatives have died require immediate psychological help and emotional support to prevent intense stress and apathy. These people can suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder for a long period, and the nurse’s effective actions can help to overcome the problematic situation (Falk-Rafael & Betker, 2012; Kulbok et al., 2012).

The next category is the people who are seriously injured. Those victims who suffer from shock are hospitalized, but there are also people with serious traumas who need not only medical but also psychological help provided by the nurse. These persons should be relieved. Suffering from psychological stress, the victims can feel chest pains, have problems with breathing and be disoriented. That is why, Wayne should provide the necessary help along with speaking to the victims to decrease the consequences of stress which can be expressed in the form of anger or hysterics (Anderson & McFarlane, 2008).

People with psychiatric disorders and those who suffer from panic behaviors should be provided with help and isolated from the other victims not to provoke further stress. Those people who have lost their homes should be also discussed as belonging to the crisis group of victims. From this point, many victims require the necessary help and emotional support immediately to minimize the harmful effects of the disaster on the people’s psychological state (Underwood, Mowat, & Meagher-Stewart, 2009).

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Major health concerns after a disaster and the way they may affect the community

The major health concerns are associated with the physical and psychological state of victims after a disaster. For instance, those people who have lost their homes need additional food and water provision along with shelter. Much attention should be paid to providing the necessary nutrition for the victims because of their possible physical and psychological exhaustion (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2008). If the provision of the shelters and food for a long period is the task of the authorities, Wayne’s task is to provide immediate help to minimize the negative effects on the people’s health (Avila & Smith, 2003; Joly, Polyak, & Davis, 2007).

Thus, the major health concerns are the people’s physical state as a result of casualties, the lack of water and nutrition for those people who have lost their homes, the necessity of psychological help for those people who have lost their relatives and were seriously injured or suffered from shock. These problems can affect the community because of the decline and negative changes in people’s physical and psychological states. It is possible to respond to these medical concerns while participating in community programs and providing help for people suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder or learning how to live after being seriously injured (Hill, Butterfield, & Kuntz, 2010; Issel & Bekemeier, 2010).

The help to victims and the focus on recovery cannot be discussed as a single action (Sistrom & Hale, 2006). To cope with all the negative consequences of the disaster for the people’s health, it is necessary to provide prolonged medical and psychological assistance, and Wayne can participate actively in the process because of realizing the aspects of the case.


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Corcoran, N., & Spargo, D. (2013). Keeping up to date with public health practice. Community Practitioner, 86(1), 32-34.

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Hughes, C. & Maurer, F. A. (2013). Chapter 22. Disaster Management: Caring for Communities in an Emergency. In F. A. Maurer & C. M. Smith (Eds.), Community/Public Health nursing practice: Health for families and populations (pp. 552-574). St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier Saunders.

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Richard, L., Beaudet, N., & Gendron, S. (2010). Community and public health nursing practice: two new studies sound the alarm. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 101(1), 106-115.

Sistrom, M., & Hale, P. (2006). Outbreak investigations: Community participation and the role of community and public health nurses. Public Health Nursing, 23(3), 256–263.

Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2008). Public health nursing. St Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.

Underwood, J. M., Mowat, D., & Meagher-Stewart, D. (2009). Building community and public health nursing capacity: a synthesis report of the National Community Health Nursing Study. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 100(5), 1-11.