What is it like to be a Public Health Nurse

  1. Ive recently been interested in public health and I have to explain why. So I am Indian, raised in America for practically all of my life but I visit India frequently. I have always wanted to go back to India one day when Ive made something of myself to try and help people, improve conditions there, mostly educate about health to make living conditions better. I feel like India will never get out of the 3 world country era that it is in simply because many people aren't educated.

    I just don't know how to get there. Right now I am in Nursing School. So I was thinking I can specialize in public health, and become a public health nurse. What is it like to be a public health nurse? Is there research involved, like knowing statistics and analyzing the public? Would I have to be working for the government (in my case Indian government), since it is public health?

    I don't know if I do want to work for the government because, they would control budgets and such, right? I want to be able to work on my own, and educate people, make amenities more accessible, and get the money by fundraising and donations. <--- Would that still be considered public health.

    I feel like Im not exactly understanding how to go about this.
    •  
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Vkassam
    Hi,
    Thought I'll give you a little insite if what public health nurses do..Public health basically dealing with public/community population., variety of jobs on public health..there's school nurses that deal with vaccinations in schools, wellchild deals with kids in the community centers, travel clinic nurses, communicabe disease nurse, Postpartum snd do many more...it really depends on what you enjoy. I've been in public hlth for over 10 yrs, I do well child visits, immunizations and health reaching and its less stressful than being in the hospital setting... I hope that helps.
  4. by   Kooky Korky
    I don't know how public health operates in India but I can share some information on how it is in the US.

    First off, though, look at Mother Teresa. She operated under the Order (of nuns) she was with, ultimately worked for the Vatican, I guess.
    So the religious route is one you could take.

    In secular public health, it is governments that run Public Health programs, as far as I know.

    PHN's (Public Health Nurses) do the following, at least where I worked. It might be different somewhat in other
    states.

    run TB clinics
    run STD clinics
    run vaccination clinics
    run Prenatal clinics
    run Pediatric clinics
    do home visits re: Failure to Thrive, Lead poisoning, High Risk Pregnancy, domestic violence, child abuse, Gastrointestinal Infections (like Salmonella, Giardia, and other infections, and trace the infections to their source, then follow up with contacts to make sure contacts are treated;

    In Public Health, the patient is not the individual, it is the community. For example, if a worker at a restaurant has a contagious illness,
    the procedure is to require the worker to stop working and receive medical care for the infectious disease. Being out of work lasts until
    the worker is free of contagion. You would have the somewhat unpleasant and difficult task of requiring the worker to lose income while
    you are protecting the public. And you would also be finding out if any customers were affected by the infected worker.
    Same with contacts of active TB patients, those with gonorrhea, syphilis, and other STD's.


    Someone who is taken off of work can apply for unemployment or maybe welfare benefits.

    You might be involved in community groups that deal with alcoholism, you might work with schools, police, correctional facilities, or businesses that are wanting help with basic hygiene or other issues about which a nurse would be knowledgeable.

    Best wishes, I hope this helps.
  5. by   VeroD
    Hi! I came across your post. I was wondering how all this turned out for you? I would love to read an update on your journey.

close