Windshield Survey

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A windshield survey is an assessment and evaluation of a community performed by traveling throughout the community in a car or public transportation to make observations about a community. The data gathered will help identify health care strengths and weaknesses in the specified community. A community is a social group established by geographic boundaries or common values and interests. Its members know and interact with one another and function in a particular social structure and exhibit and create norms, values and, social institutions (Stanhope, 2008). Community health has three mutual traits, or aspects: status, structure, and process. Community health in terms of status or outcome, is the most familiar and received approach; it involves biological, emotional, and social parts (Stanhope, 2008). The biological or living part of community health is often measured by established morbidity and mortality rates, life expectancy indexes, and risk factor profiles. The emotional part of health status can be measured by consumer satisfaction and mental health indexes. Crime rates and functional levels refl ect the social part of community health. Other status measures, such as worker absenteeism and infant mortality rates, reflect the effects of all three parts. Community health, when perceived as the structure of the community, is commonly explained in terms of services and resources. Measures of community structure incorporate demographics, such as socioeconomic and racial distributions, age, and educational level. (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2008)

The community is the client only when the nursing emphasis is on the common good of the population instead of on an individual’s health. When focusing on the community as client, direct clinical care can be a part of population focused community health practice. This type of care decreases the risk of an epidemic in the community. The community client also highlights the complexity of the change process....
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