Public and Community Health

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There are fundamental differences between public and community health. “Public health nursing focuses on populations. It is not about the setting where care is delivered. It is first and foremost a philosophy applied in any setting where populations exist” (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2008, p.191). Public health is designed to help improve the health, safety and welfare of the general public looking at the long term, prospective health of the entire public. Public health involves the health of the county, state and nation. Public health protects the health of every citizen. It must work to help predict the potential outbreaks of epidemics from other parts of the world which may have a direct impact of the United States as a whole. Public health looks at health from a global perspective and is concerned with health care issues on a more pandemic level for example the “Spanish flue of 1918 and or the H1N1 virus of 2009. Public health generally provides free services to the public to encourage positive healthcare outcomes. Community health incorporates a diverse multidisciplinary perspective of healthcare. It utilizes healthcare professionals such as doctors and nurses that work to specifically tailor medical-based interventions with the specific needs of the community in mind. They serve on the front lines of the community healthcare system. Community health nurses function on a grass roots level within the neighborhood. They visit patients in their homes where they treat those patients who would not normally be able to care for themselves or be in a position to travel to a healthcare facility on their own.

Unlike public health workers, the community based health care professional does not need to plan ahead for possible epidemics but must work hard to treat medical issues which the community faces on a daily basis. Modern infectious such as SARS and AIDS still pose a huge challenge to the public health on a global scale.

Public health is often considered...
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