Home Health Nursing
Concern for health and wellness in the community has a substantial history in nursing. Home health, one component of community health nursing is rapidly growing due to the rising costs in health care. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the history of public health nursing, and the impact that home health has on the nursing practice. History of Public Health Nursing
The concept of caring for the sick in the community was first introduced in 1601 when the Elizabeth Poor Law was introduced. This law made it possible for poor, blind, and lame individuals in the community to receive medical care, however, only individuals who resided in the community were covered under this law (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2012). Travelers or outsiders were not entitled to care; they had to return to their own community. Established in 1798, the Marine Hospital Service, now known as the Public Health Service established the first Marine Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia in 1800 (Stanhope & Lancaster). During this time, public health awareness and public health services were on the rise due to the increase in populated areas, industrialization, and maritime trade (Stanhope & Lancaster). Major health concerns were for water quality, sanitation, vegetation, burial plots for the deceased and communicable diseases (Stanhope & Lancaster).
The concept of providing care in the home was introduced by the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland in 1812, and 1813 by the Ladies Benevolent Society of Charleston in South Carolina; however, it was not until 1893 when public health nursing imprinted on nursing history (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2012). At this time, Lillian Wald invented the term “public health nurse” and established the Henry Street Settlement which later became the Visiting Nurse Service of New York City (Stanhope & Lancaster). Her vision was to visit the homes of the sick and poor and provide them with nursing care (Buhler-Wilkerson, 1993). Her accomplishments...
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