What do community health/public health nurses do/where do they work?

  1. 0
    Just curious as I would be interested in this field.. although I haven't done my community health rotation yet.

    Let me know

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  2. 17 Comments...

  3. 0
    In my current community, the nurses hold well baby clinics, give immunizations (including adults/ travel requirements), work with TB patient compliance, hold asthma clinics/ home visits for teaching and assessment, work with "outbreaks" of various kinds, including summer West Nile Virus. This is only a small percentage of what they do. I run into them occasionally and this is what I can think of off the top of my head.
    I was a PHN in Phoenix about 20 years ago. We acted more like visiting nurses, having a case load of patients to go out and check on. I was the Maternal-child PHN at that time. There was a lot of travelling involved with that job.
    I hope this helps a little.
  4. 0
    I run an HIV outpatient clinic and all my nursing care managers are Public Health Nurses (so am I as a matter of fact). We provide primary care as well as contact tracing and HIV counseling and testing. We also do a lot of education for the high risk community as well as other health care professionals. LOVE my job! Debra
  5. 0
    thanks! that sounds really interesting
  6. 0
    I just interviewed for a PH nurse job here in Ga. One thing I found interesting that in this state only, public health nurses can do PAP smears.
  7. 0
    What experience should you have prior to going into PH nursing?
  8. 0
    I would like to start school on Public health so thanks for the questions and Answers . Iam changing my career from Admin.to public health nurse.
  9. 1
    I'm not quite sure if the type of nursing that I am now doing is truly "public health" or not, but I would consider aspects of it to be. I work as a health educator for a non-profit home health care agency. This position involves going out into the community and organizing health fairs, giving presentations on various health topics, and doing blood pressure and blood sugar clinics. The other side of the job involves trying to bring in referrals and promote the services of the agency. I would consider the free services that we provide to be an aspect of community health nursing and I feel that I can truly impact the health of members of the communities that I see.

    I was very disillusioned with bedside nursing and I have been pleasantly surprised to learn that I really do like my job. I was fighting it for awhile because I was somewhat convinced that there was no such thing as a "good" nursing job. I do have to say that I feel very lucky and I wish I could talk to my former co-workers who told me that I would never find a better nursing position. My hours are great- no weekends, no holidays, no nights. I work Monday-Friday and the actual working hours vary a bit. For example, today, I spent the day at home planning for the next month. I worked from 8:30AM until 2:30PM, but I had plenty of time for breaks in-between. Tomorrow, I have three sites that I will visit and my day will begin at about 9AM and end at 4PM. Every day is a little bit different and I have a lot of control over my schedule. And I get paid more than the rate I was making at the hospital and my benefits are much better, but that's just icing on the cake.
    elprup likes this.
  10. 0
    I worked as a public health clinic nurse for 5 months(agency/contract). I really liked it(8-5/mon-fri. sched, 1 hr lunches,paid weekly) The downside was that I didn't speak spanish and 90% of the pt.s were spanish speaking. The communication barrier was always an issue.There were translators,but many times I had to hunt them down because it was soo busy at the clinic.Another reason why I left was because of the infighting betw. staff I don't know how many times I witnessed/got caught in the middle of staff infighting.I wish I could have stuck it out a little longer, but I just wanted to try a different nursing field.Since I left the clinics have added more interpreters and the starting wage has increased. I work at temp agencies and I'm not interested in a pay cut.Maybe when I start a family I might go back!!!
  11. 0
    My BSN program makes me eligible to be certified as a PHN when we graduate. I have this fantasy of becoming a maternal-child PHN and doing postpartum visits, as well as other duties which are heavy in teaching, advocating, referrals. I also think it would be wonderful to do home health nursing with similar clients (how is this different? I haven't taken the community portion of our curriculum yet). But how would I prepare for this? I have a feeling that a year of med-surge might not be the prescription...

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