I've been a nurse for a year and a half. My background is long-term care. I recently took on a job at the local health department. I'm the only nurse and there has not been a nurse in this position since December. I'm feeling so overwhelmed, since I have little guidance. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Is there a nurse at a neighboring health department you can contact for resources? If not, i would say, ask your supervisor what do they feel is the biggest need right now and start there. Is it immunizations? infectious disease? community education on a topic? try to focus on one project at a time until you figure out what is happening in your community.
I get you. I was in the exact situation, even till now after 2 months of working. I recently got hired to work on a remote Indigenous reserve (northern Canada) as a community health nurse & home care nurse. I am new as a fresh grad and the only professional with a nursing background in the community, so it was overwhelming and challenging. The nursing position that I am currently in was not filled for about 1.5 years. Glad that I do have a nurse consultant that I could call if I needed any support.
I think doing a survey and asking clients on health priorities would help. Also, do you know other public health nurses? They would probably have valuable information and can provide you with some helpful resources. Try talking to your director about the possibility of receiving training for PHN. In Canada, we have online modules and training for immunizations, TB skin testing, workshops ...etc that are sponsored.
All the best !