The final paper covers the main activities and functions that were integrated by the public health professional while working on the HIV prevention campaign. The target population selected for the project was young adults in Chicago, Illinois. The reason for choosing that group was that is included some of the most vulnerable individuals whose health behavior put them at risk of developing HIV. The paper is divided into four parts, each one consisting of the synthesis of the public health nurse’s functions at different stages of the project.
The first chapter contains the analysis of the assessment function, and it covers such aspects as monitoring the target population’s health and diagnosing the effects of the healthcare issue on their health. The second part is focused on the policy development function, and it includes approaches to the program’s establishment and assessment. The next chapter covers the peculiarities of the assurance function, such as law enforcement practices. The fourth part includes the systems management approach analysis along with interprofessional collaboration, research, and systems thinking. Each of the chapters of the final report is supported by current evidence and pertinent data that the public health professional used while working on the HIV prevention campaign.
The present report summarizes the integration of the public health professional’s functions applied in the process of preparing, implementing, and analyzing the HIV prevention campaign. The target population selected for the program was composed of young adults living in Chicago, Illinois. The health problem is highly significant since there exists no successful treatment method for it. Therefore, it is vital to investigate the most viable approaches to preventing HIV.
The paper contains four large parts, each one covering a separate set of skills employed by the public health nurse while working on the campaign. The abstract offers a brief overview of the paper. In the conclusion, the main points are summarized. The purpose of the presentation is to synthesize the methods and functions exploited in the course of developing the public health campaign.
The Integration of the Public Health Function of Assessment to Impact the Health of the Target Population
The assimilation of the evaluation function when affecting the public population’s health involved several components. First of all, the approaches to monitoring the target population’s health along with current evidence were offered. Secondly, the ways of diagnosing the impacts of the target population’s health were suggested, and examples were given. Thirdly, the techniques for investigating the effect on the target population’s health were analyzed. To analyze each of the mentioned measures more productive, pertinent data were provided.
To monitor the target population’s health, the public health professional aimed to investigate statistical data on health issues of young people living in Chicago, Illinois. With that purpose, the collaboration with local hospitals was arranged, and their representatives were requested to contribute information on the individuals most likely to belong to the risk group. Another method employed for monitoring was attending shelters for homeless people since these places are known to have a high risk of spreading HIV.
In both of the approaches used, the public health nurse examined the representatives of the target group, carefully analyzed the state of their health to establish HIV symptoms, and invited them to perform HIV tests. The observation was performed both directly and indirectly, the latter method involving inquiries about young people’s health issues and lifestyle habits.
Pertinent data related to the health issue was concerned with substance abusers since these individuals are at high risk of HIV development. Current evidence collected by the public health professional indicated that drug and substance abusers were highly likely to engage in unsafe sexual relationships and, as a result, there was a high level of sexually transmitted illnesses among those people (Bonar et al., 2016).
Research by Bonar et al. (2016) testified that there was a large number of HIV-risk young people among those addressing emergency departments. Also, the evidence gathered from the source demonstrated that there was a high disposition to become ill with HIV among young people who had depressive symptoms, suffered from community and dating violence, and engaged in marijuana use (Bonar et al., 2016). With the help of the information collected, it became easier to identify a specific group requiring additional attention in the whole target population segment.
Another piece of evidence gathered by the public health professional was related to the motivation of the target group representatives to be tested for HIV. In particular, data from another recent study indicated that young people had a low motivation to do HIV tests (Brown, Carballo-Diéguez, John, & Schnall, 2016). Such data was employed by the public health nurse to identify possible ways of monitoring the target group.
At the same time, it was crucial to come up with solutions for increasing the motivation for testing. A conclusion from pertinent data was that the most viable solution for monitoring e target population’s health was HIV testing. At the same time, the public health professional had to come up with the idea of encouraging those people to do the testing since they were highly reluctant to perform the analysis.
To diagnose the effects on the health of the target population, it was necessary to evaluate the prevalence of diseases among young people. Particularly, about the investigated health problem (HIV prevention), the public health professional had to come up with reliable diagnostic measures that would not take up much time and could be easily implemented. An example of an effective diagnostic procedure that was employed was HIV testing (Van Handel, Kann, Olsen, & Dietz, 2016). Such an approach was regarded as viable for any young person belonging to the target population group.
Unfortunately, there were many young people already infected by HIV, so a method of reaching out to those individuals also had to be found. As a result, the public health professional came up with the idea of improving the health of already affected population members. The approach employed by the public health professional was sending text message reminders to promote medication adherence among young people who had previously been diagnosed with HIV (Garofalo et al., 2016). Such a method was useful for diagnosing the effect of the investigated health issue on those young people who had already been infected by HIV.
By encouraging HIV-positive young people to adhere to their medications, it became possible to minimize the danger of complications and increase the high level of life. Therefore, the two mentioned approaches were helpful in the process of diagnosing that was performed by the public health professional. One of the examples was employed to control the health condition of HIV-infected people. Another approach was used to encourage the youth to manage their health problems and prevent the possibility of HIV.
The final part of the section focused on the public health professional’s assessment of the target population’s health involved the investigation of the impact on young people’s health. To analyze such an effect, the public health nurse needed to investigate the rate of the negative impact of HIV on young individuals. There were several types of skills crucial for the successful fulfillment of that task: the thorough knowledge of the issue, the ability to integrate and interpret findings, and profound analytical skills. To reinforce the mentioned skills, the public health professional employed the following data:
- the rates of mortality among HIV-positive young individuals (Mirani et al., 2015);
- statistics of blood pressure negative issues in HIV-infected young people (Chatterton-Kirchmeier, Camacho-Gonzalez, McCracken, Chakraborty, & Batisky, 2015);
- complications appearing in the transitional process (from pediatric to adult care) (Hussen et al., 2017).
Each of the mentioned ways if analyzing the effect of the health issue on the target population was highly helpful in the work of the public health nurse. In particular, the investigation of mortality rates and complications occurring in HIV-positive patients helped to explain the significance of HIV prevention among the target population representatives. The ideas reflected in the assessment function chapter allowed the public health professional to arrange the campaign on HIV prevention among young people.
The Integration of the Public Health Function of Policy Development to Impact the Health of the Target Population
The ability of the public health nurse to develop health policies is an inseparable component of successful practice. With the help of a thoroughly performed analysis of the population, the nurse can understand the needs of these people and come up with viable solutions to resolving the problem. The integration of policy establishment skills included such aspects as the assessment of the target population’s health, the development of the public health campaign, and the project’s implementation and evaluation.
The assessment of the target population’s health required a set of evaluation skills from the public health professional. With the help of those skills, it became possible to perform the evaluation duties most efficiently. The following domains of competency assessment skills are considered as the most crucial ones for the successful fulfillment of a public health professional’s role: communication, analytical, cultural competency, program development, public health science, financial management and planning, systems thinking and leadership, and community dimensions of practice (“Competency assessment,” 2014). When evaluating the health of the target population, the most important skill groups were community dimensions of practice, program development, and communication skills.
Besides the identified groups of skills, the public health nurse employed the knowledge and integrative abilities when assessing the health of young people. Also, current evidence on HIV evaluation was used to strengthen the analysis. Since scholars emphasized the risk of HIV development among drug users (Bonar et al., 2014), it was obvious that communication skills would be exploited to arrange convincing reasons for young people to participate in the campaign.
Program development abilities were used to successfully establish and evaluate the goals of the campaign. Lastly, community dimensions of practice were employed by the public health professional to assess the health of the target population. With the employment of the mentioned skills, it became possible to choose the most effective methods of developing a public health campaign. Also, those skills helped the public health nurse to select the key stakeholders to be involved in the project.
The next stage of integrating the policy establishment function was the development of the public health campaign. The creation of the program required not only expertise but also integrative abilities. The knowledge needed for that process included the aspects of professional practice, health protection, social justice, the principles of public health care, and social determinants of health. The development abilities that were required from the public health nurse at that phase incorporated training and interaction.
Integrative skills were concentrated on such important aspects of care as using the patient-centered approach, demonstrating evidence-employment skills, and collecting a comprehensive health history (Kligler et al., 2015). Additionally, integrative skills employed by the public health professional incorporated the promotion of behavior change in individuals and communities, the collaboration with families when creating the care plan, and the consideration of ethical regulations in the health practice (Kligler et al., 2015). The use of the mentioned skills made it possible to arrange a successful policy-developing process and allowed including all key stakeholders in it.
The positive demonstration of the policy development function demanded examples of effective HIV prevention campaigns. One such model was the combination implementation project introduced by Chang et al. (2013). The suggested approach was concerned with the localized application of evidence-based procedures promoting a high quality of interventions for HIV prevention. The most effective of such methods, according to the authors, were HIV counseling and testing, linkage to and retention in care, promotion of condom use and behavior change, medical care circumcision, pre-exposure prophylaxis, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (Chang et al., 2013).
The most successful cross-cutting strategies for combination implementation of HIV prevention were outlined. The methods included (1) task shifting and (2) structural interventions and demand creation. In the discussed example of a successful HIV prevention campaign, the key populations for HIV were identified, and they were the following: sex workers and their clients, injecting drug users, and men who had sex with other men (Chang et al., 2013).
The authors emphasized the significance of the defined stakeholder groups as being increasingly growing. The combination implementation approach also included the acknowledgment of the fact that marginalized and disadvantaged populations could serve as important drivers of both local and national epidemics and, therefore, might be vulnerable to HIV infection (Chang et al., 2013). The successful example of the HIV prevention approach enabled the public health professional to improve the campaign approach by making the necessary corrections.
The final stage of the section focused on policy development was related to the campaign’s implementation and evaluation. To guarantee the successful application of the program, the public health professional arranged the collaboration with local hospitals, shelters, and schools. Those places were chosen as the primary sites of the target population’s concentration. The next step was seeking support in families since the impact of relatives and caregivers was known to have a great effect on the target population’s health choices and, therefore, could promote the success of the campaign. There were two strategies selected for the project’s implementation.
The first one was encouraging young people to perform HIV tests to check their risk predisposition (Van Handel et al., 2016). The second approach was sending personalized text message reminders promoting the adherence to medication to the representatives of the target population that were already infected with HIV (Garofalo et al., 2016). The second strategy helped the public health nurse to eliminate the spread of the illness from infected people to healthy ones.
The outcomes of the implemented campaign were the changed attitudes of the target population toward HIV testing and medication adherence. It was also expected that in the long run, the rates of HIV-positive young people in Chicago, Illinois would decrease. The application of the campaign involved not only professional knowledge but also patient-centeredness and integrative skills, such as cooperation with families. The assurance skills necessary for the successful establishment of the policy included a high level of persuasion and communication abilities.
The Integration of the Public Health Function of Assurance to Impact the Health of the Target Population
The application of assurance skills involved four major sets of functions: law enforcement, care provision, workforce competency assurance, and assessment of the problem from the public health professional. Since HIV is a serious disease that can develop due to injected drug use or unsafe sexual habits, law enforcement strategies are frequently necessary to prevent its spread. In the given case, the public health nurse researched current evidence on the mentioned unsafe practices to analyze the question thoroughly. According to pertinent data, it was decided that the successful management of HIV prevention required the combination of healthcare efforts and legal practices (Strathdee, Beletsky, & Kerr, 2015).
Particularly, scholars identified several effective interventions for HIV prevention due to sterile syringe programs over the past decade (Strathdee et al., 2015). The mentioned projects were based on laws eliminating access to certain medical substances, which lead to a decreased level of HIV spread. Thus, the public health nurse exploited that tactic to help promote HIV prevention in the target population.
Another piece of relevant data dedicated to the problem of HIV that was used in the public health professional’s project discussed the significance of safe sex practices (Hoppe, 2013). Because the problem of unsafe sex practice had always been acute in the process of preventing HIV, it was decided to use laws employed for formal social control. In particular, any individual knowing that he or she had HIV was considered as obliged to inform the potential sexual partner about the disease (Hoppe, 2013).
The public health nurse is determined to enforce such laws when preventing HIV in young adults. By doing so, it became possible to minimize the spread of the disease and save the lives of the target group members. The law enforcement practice was rather effective in the process of spreading information about the possible negative outcomes of having unsafe intercourse or sharing syringes with anyone. Although typically, people engaged in such activities were not regarded as highly responsible for their health or that of others, the introduction of the policy was aimed at raising their degrees of maturity and dependability.
One more significant component of the assurance function was the provision of care affecting the target population. The necessary support and care were particularly important for the selected population group due to the severity of the illness in question. During that stage, the public health professional investigated the examples of offering such care based on WHO guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care (Baggaley, Armstrong, Dodd, Ngoksin, & Krug, 2015).
Directed by the mentioned protocol, it was established that the selected population group was under a high risk of developing HIV. As a result, the public health nurse realized that it was important to raise the group’s awareness through offering care notwithstanding the obstacles, such as insufficient access to care or poor service provision.
The mentioned example was not the only one analyzed by the public health nurse in the process of health assurance. Another case used during that activity was testing the target population on HIV in the clinical environment (Marrazzo et al., 2014). Such testing had been considered as a necessary measure for all adult and adolescent individuals. According to research, the defined categories of people had to take the test at least once, and those in risk groups should perform it repeatedly (Marrazzo et al., 2014).
To avoid HIV infection, Marrazzo et al. (2014) recommended that public health professionals should perform diagnostic testing as soon as they suspected the danger of HIV spread. As a part of care included in the example, the following measures were included: support for care retention and adherence, the help with partner notification, personalized risk assessment, and regular screening for sexually transmitted diseases.
Law enforcement would not have been implemented effectively without the successful arrangement of various professionals’ work during the HIV prevention campaign. With that in view, the public health nurse had to make sure that the team of healthcare workers responsible for the program’s implementation were highly skilled and competent. Two examples were considered when organizing the mentioned phase. The first one was work-based training suggested by Matovu et al. (2013).
According to that example, the best level of healthcare workers’ proficiency could be reached upon educational and instructional measures. The second positive solution was discussed by Weiser et al. (2016), and it concerned the problem of burnout. By that approach, equal access to resources and the appropriate amount of workload would lead to the beneficial attitude of the employees. Thus, the public health professional tried to arrange the most advantageous conditions for work and its enhancement so that the team of healthcare professionals would be dedicated and competent.
The final stage of integrating the function of assurance was concerned with the assessment of the selected public health issue. It was decided that the evaluation of HIV’s effect on the target population would be performed with the help of data found in statistical and scholarly sources. Additionally, the analysis of the campaign’s outcomes would be carried out to reach a better understanding of the effects. Some of the most pertinent data on HIV prevention were suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (“HIV among youth,” 2018). According to the CDC, about 8,5 thousand of young people were diagnosed with HIV in 2016 (“HIV among youth,” 2018).
Most of the cases were concerned with men who had sex with other men. Nearly half of the instances occurred in African American young people (“HIV among youth,” 2018). As a result, the evaluation of HIV’s impact on the most vulnerable groups in the target population was performed with the help of pertinent data and statistics. Such assessment helped to find out the most sensitive categories of youth and aim the efforts at providing education and guidance to them during the campaign.
The Integration of the Public Health Function of Systems Management to Impact the Health of the Target Population
The approaches employed by the public health nurse while implementing the systems management function involved the use of systems thinking, research, and interprofessional collaboration. All of the mentioned aspects played a crucial role in the improvement of HIV prevention conditions. Since there were no successful treatment methods for the disease in question, it was decided to employ systems management to arrange the most favorable conditions for HIV prevention among vulnerable populations. Additionally, current research evidence was used to investigate systems management issues.
Systems thinking was included in the development of the HIV prevention program since the disease had severe effects on people’s health and required a thorough selection of approaches. The systems thinking method involved a holistic analysis of the problem along with analyzing the interconnection between constituents within the system (Battle-Fisher, 2015). Systems thinking allowed the public health professional to view the policy “under a new critical eye” (Battle-Fisher, 2015, p. 5).
The method also helped to realize how the whole of interconnected elements could alter progressively over time. Research evidence indicated that healthcare specialists practicing systems thinking possessed the following features: seeing the complete picture of a problem, searching for interdependencies in the components, changing perspectives to notice the new issues to address, concentrating on the structure rather than faults, seeing themselves as integrative parts within the system rather than viewing themselves separately from it.
What concerned the application of systems thinking in HIV prevention particularly, there was not much evidence. Still, some search results were positive, such as the study by Brown et al. (2015). According to the scholars, some efforts to employ systems thinking in the process of preventing HIV had been made by Australian, British, and German specialists who introduced the approach in their interventions (Brown et al., 2015). The data available on the application of the method in the USA indicated that systems thinking was considered as a relevant solution to reduce the increase in HIV infection rates (Meyerson, Ryder, van Hippel, & Coy, 2013).
One of the major issues of the scholarly discussion was that pharmacists played an important role in the process of HIV prevention, but their role had been underestimated (Meyerson et al., 2013). It was mentioned that although public health professionals frequently referred patients to test for HIV, they rarely realized the potential support and assistance they could receive from pharmacists.
As a result of the reviewed current research evidence, the public health nurse decided that it was necessary to revise the existing approaches and include some additional aspects that could be helpful when promoting HIV avoidance. The primary action in such a sphere was seeking assistance from the professionals working at the drug stores. The communication between those professionals and the target population was expected to increase patients’ awareness of the problem and to promote the management of the health problem from various angles.
A crucial component of the systems management function was the recognition of the current research to guarantee the success of the intervention. By relevant data provided by the CDC (2017), HIV had gained much attention from researchers who investigated different dimensions of the problem. For instance, substantial research results were available on such aspects as the development and evaluation of HIV behavioral interventions intended to block the transmission of HIV (CDC, 2017).
Another important piece of research data was suggested by Mavedzenge, Baggaley, and Corbett (2013) who examined self-testing for HIV as a method of prevention. The public health professional was able to exploit the mentioned evidence to gather information about the most beneficial HIV prevention approaches and include them in the action plan.
Another important step in systems management was closely related to interprofessional collaboration which, as well as systems thinking, involved analyzing health problems from various perspectives. It had been found that interprofessional partnership had a beneficial influence on HIV prevention and data sharing promotion. More than that, such collaboration proved to be successful in support of public health professionals’ efforts performed in the process of work with the target population (Peu et al., 2014).
One of the major reasons why interprofessional cooperation was so important in the course of preventive and care measures was that it helped to plan, implement, supervise, and evaluate different strategies (Peu et al., 2014). Therefore, the public health nurse carefully analyzed the options of interprofessional partnership and found approaches to invite specialists from various spheres in the HIV prevention campaign.
One of the recent examples of collaboration in the process of HIV prevention was the work of the interprofessional team in Eskenazi Infectious Disease Clinic in Indianapolis. Last year, the cooperative practice connected healthcare specialists from various departments and also some students to perform the pilot project on HIV prevention and care (“Interprofessional collaborative practice,” 2017). Participants involved in the project admitted that the most effective work of such a healthcare plan urged the reinforcement of the public health nurses’ efforts by other specialists (“Interprofessional collaborative practice,” 2017). The project proved to be successful, which served as a solid basis for the inclusion of such specialists as social workers, physicians, and pharmacologists in the campaign.
Apart from explaining the significance of the interprofessional partnership, scholars also identified the elements that could promote it. Franklin, Bernhardt, Lopez, Long-Middleton, and Davis (2015) singled out the following aspects of teamwork leading to successful collaboration: synergy, shared understanding, cooperation, egalitarianism, and interdependence. Mavronicolas, Laraque, Shankar, and Campbell (2017) noted that the major drivers of collaboration were social exchange factors. Also, those scholars argued that initiation was the most significant predictor of interprofessional collaboration (Mavronicolas et al., 2017). The public health professional took into consideration the mentioned aspects and predictors to make the program’s outcomes the most beneficial for the participants.
The final paper summarized the public health skills, knowledge, and abilities integrated by the public health professional in terms of by the Council on Education for Public Health competencies and Chamberlain University concentration skills. Four main function systems were included in the capstone project presentation: assessment, policy development, assurance, and systems management. For each of the phases, relevant research evidence or examples were offered.
The project allowed a better understanding of the identified health issue (HIV prevention), target population (young adults), and ways of resolving possible complications that may appear in the process of implementation. Researching problematic issues and solutions to them helped to reinforce the knowledge of the selected health problem. The thorough investigation of various matters enabled a systematic approach to the healthcare problem and provided the most successful application of the campaign.
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