The provision of quality healthcare in society is hindered by different issues. The article highlights the four main issues in the community that affect health care.
The cost has been a major issue for concern in society, and it continues to present challenges to people. Cost can hinder access to quality health care if the patient of their kin may not be able to pay. The situation is sometimes so dire in the community that it may lead to avoidable loss of life.
Society is also impacted by the constant proliferation of new technologies which they do not understand, especially in terms of health care delivery. Technology is welcome, particularly in the current multifarious operating environment (Fawaz et al., 2018). However, the community does not feel properly engaged in the development of technologies that ultimately impact their everyday living.
Furthermore, the community is troubled with the proliferation of new and complex diseases. The world has experienced major outbreaks of Cholera, Malaria, and Measles in the past centuries. In recent times the emergence of Ebola and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has threatened human existence. In 2020 the world experienced a worse form of SARS-2 in the name of COVID-19 that majorly affected human activities. The emergence of such pandemics is a threat to the community and the world at large. Different regions experienced devastating effects, especially the loss of human life. According to Worldometer (“COVID live update,” n.d.), the disease so far has affected over 202 million people resulting in a loss of life of close to 4.3 million individuals.
Another major health issue of concern in society is the continued spread of lifestyle diseases. Today, people care less about the quality of foods they consume or substances they use in their daily life (May et al., 2021). Also, companies have noted the trend and launched businesses centered on fast foods and food delivery. Despite the booming business, the trend is leading to slow death among people who consume food substances that are of sub-standard quality, thereby endangering their life.
Impact of community health issues on the nursing practice
Community health nursing is important in promoting and protecting the well-being of society. However, the practice can be seriously affected, especially if the community in which the nurses operate is affected by numerous challenges. It will be difficult for nurses to deliver appropriate health care to the population if the patients cannot afford to buy the required medication. Also, the nurses need to be trained to use the latest technologies in attending to the patients. It would be useless, for instance, to install the latest equipment in a hospital that nurses do not understand their functionality. May et al. (2021) state that nurses need to be properly enabled through education to handle emerging health issues, such as the ways to deal with complex diseases and major disease outbreaks, including pandemics such as COVID-19.
Leadership as a professional resource in supporting nursing practice
Traditionally, nurses have been subjected to instances of poor and over-management. However, the nursing profession has evolved even though it continues to be faced with unique challenges and opportunities. Today, nurses can take on diverse roles, including leadership, that are necessary for improving patient outcomes by empowering the nurses to better deal with community health issues. In addition, proper adaptation and a better understanding of transformational leadership are instrumental in supporting the nursing practice (Fawaz et al., 2018). It provides an environment where the nurses can be inspired and motivated to think instead of just doing what they are told, hence supporting their role in community health.
To help improve access to health care in society, different strategies can be applied to the issues identified.
The issue of cost can be addressed across the value chain, including pharmaceuticals that manufacture the drugs used in the community health centers. The companies play a major role in influencing the overall cost to be incurred in obtaining the appropriate medication (May et al., 2021). Nurses can, however, use their knowledge and experience to direct patients on the various options available in the market.
In addressing the proliferation of different technologies, there is a need to involve the community. The operationalization and scaling of the technologies need to be conducted in partnership and with full cooperation with the community-based organizations (CBOs). Through advocacy, nurses can help to enlighten the community on the emerging technologies and their impact on healthcare delivery.
The community needs to be sensitized about the danger of health pandemics that can wipe out the human population in no time. In particular, the nurses should be at the forefront in advising the community members on a healthy way of living and the health protocols to be observed during pandemics (May et al., 2021). Besides, investment in research can help to enlighten the community in being more prepared should a disease outbreak occur.
The community needs to be sensitized on proper nutrition and the benefits of living a quality life. Nurses can help through advocacy to communicate to the community the dangers of consuming fast foods or foods that have not been properly cooked or fatty foods.
COVID live update: 202,616,559 cases and 4,295,001 deaths from the Coronavirus – Worldometer. (n.d.). Worldometer. Web.
Fawaz, M. A., Hamdan-Mansour, A. M., & Tassi, A. (2018). Challenges facing nursing in the advanced healthcare environment. International Journal of Africa Nursing Sciences, 9, 105–110. Web.
May, S. Y., Clara, N., Khin, O. K., Mar, W. W., Han, A. N., & Maw, S. S. (2021). Challenges faced by community health nurses to achieve universal health coverage in Myanmar: A mixed methods study. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 8(3), 271–278. Web.