Health Status Of The Community Discussion

Nurses must be able to knowledgeably plan services for individuals, families and the community. In order to effectively plan, it is essential that you assess the current health status of the community and its resources.

Assessment may include the following strategies: Mining of health databases, windshield or walking surveys, and more formal quantitative and qualitative research investigations involving community members and other stakeholders. A “windshield survey” is conducted from a car and provides a visual overview of a community (may also be done as a walking survey).

Conditions and trends in the community that could affect the health of the population (social determinants) are noted. Most surveys of this type must be validated and expanded through data mining available online and other databases of demographic and health-related statistics.

Evidence collected during a formal community assessment forms the basis for planning to improve the health status of the community, which impacts individuals’ health downstream.


At the end of this activity, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify social determinants of health present in assigned community (socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment, social support networks).
  2. Identify healthcare resources that are available in the community.
  3. Analyze actual health of the assigned community, utilizing resources to gather vital statistics, such as morbidity and mortality data.
  4. Create a list of strengths and weaknesses of the community.
  5. Prioritize weaknesses to identify the highest priority need of the community.
  6. Identify community resources (actual, available resources or proposed resources) to address the highest priority problem.
  7. Share community assessment and analysis in a formal, group presentation.

Course Outcomes

This activity aligns with several of the course outcomes as stated below:

  1. Examine health delivery systems and resources available at the global, national, state, and local levels.
  2. Examine effective methods for health promotion and health maintenance for individuals, families, and communities at every stage of development.
  3. Analyze the environmental, biological, and psychosocial risk factors for disease and disability.

General Directions

Working in a small team, you will conduct a formal assessment of a community to which you have been assigned. The assessment will involve a walking or windshield survey which is validated and expanded upon through a deeper dive into demographic and health-related databases/websites available here:

Items Needed

  • Digital camera/phone
  • Map or layout of the neighborhood/community
  • Mode of transportation (not needed if conducting walking survey)
  • Masks if unable to practice social distancing

Part 1: Assessment

  1. Your clinical group will be assigned a neighborhood to survey.
  2. Review the Windshield Survey Components handout and PowerPoint (see Brightspace Lecture PPTS).
  3.  Review Community Tool Box resources for Windshield Survey: esources/windshield-walking-surveys/main
  4. Use Google Maps (or other navigation software) to identify boundaries of assigned area.
  5. Collect assessment data on essential demographic and other aspects of the community using the guidelines below: [Support your assessment data with actual images/videos taken with your camera or available online]

The essential components of the Community Assessment are listed below:

Race and Ethnicity: Data and/or a description of the community demographics for the community. Be sure to identify any specific data that helps support the existence of your identified health problem or that may impact your health promotion project.

Evaluate the racial identity of the community (e.g. is the area well integrated?) Consider the following questions. Are there indices of ethnicity, various types of ethnic food stores, ethnic churches, private schools related to ethnicity, signs and information in a language other than English?

Culture : Analyze the cultural data and assess the cultural dynamics within the community that influence the community’s health beliefs or health status.

Religion : Include the various types of churches and places of worship. It would be beneficial to learn the number of available churches in the area, all of the different denominations and representation of differing religions, and the number of churches in a ratio comparison to the number of people in the community.

Politics : Determine if the community is very swayed politically or is predominantly of one party affiliation. Identify evidence of political activism, such as campaign signs, political billboards, or other evidence of political influence.

Boundaries: You may include the street boundaries for the community, as well as any physical demarcation that defines the community boundaries:

  • Is it a natural boundary such as a river or a lake?
  • Is it a man-made boundary such as train tracks?
  • Is there a noticeable difference in the socioeconomic level in comparison to neighboring communities? Do the individual neighborhoods vary in socioeconomic status?

Housing and zoning: You may want to evaluate the typical single family, multi-family, alternative housing, and assisted living type homes for the area. A visual map showing the boundaries of the community is always helpful. Make a note of whether or not the residences have a large number of real estate signs on them. Supportive data could also include:

  • any specific areas (and the size of the area) in which houses were in disrepair.
  • how many homes were for sale
  • how many single-family homes in comparison to multi-family dwellings or senior living complexes?
  • average home market price,
  • any data regarding proportion of young families with children compared to retirees
  • any changes in residency, recent trends in real estate (are the new construction homes built where previous existing homes were torn down? Or was there still available space in this established community?)

Open Space: Determine the open spaces throughout the community, including vacant lots, green spaces, undeveloped areas, nature areas, and parks. Supportive data could also include:

  • How many open spaces, parks, or green spaces are available?
  • Does the community appear to be focused on open space availability, parks, divided streets with trees or landscapes parkways?
  • Are there minimum lot sizes?
  • How many of these parks and green spaces are park districts owned?
  • How many of these are City owned?
  • How many of these are State owned? Forest preserve district owned? Health Status of the Community Discussion
  • Are the people really utilizing the available spaces?

“Commons”: Commons refers to areas or establishments in which people gather, socialize, spend leisure time, or use for recreation (e.g. walking, biking, and walking their dogs). What are the most popular neighborhood hangouts and what subgroup(s) of the population are drawn to those particular places to hang out? Supportive data may include:

  • The “closed” hang out places that may be unfriendly to strangers or newcomers?
  • Is there any gang activity?
  • Popular bars or nightlife?
  • Places that   draw   younger people   (Jr. High, high school)? 

Health Status of the Community Discussion Basic Windshield Survey-Rurals Sample Paper

A windshield survey involves a pure inspection of a phenomenon, community, or area without interfering with its processes (Kusomo, 2019 Health Status of the Community Discussion). A windshield survey helps the healthcare professional assess all health-related behaviors of society, assess the effectiveness of community resources in healthcare, and denote any health disparities in a community. The findings of a windshield survey are used to set strategies and interventions to improve the health status of the community. This paper focuses on a windshield survey done on a bus tour in Sentinel City, the city demographics, and the major health concerns for a targeted population (Under 18 years).

Windshield Survey Observations

Men, women, and children are all seen/ represented in the city. In the streets, women and children are the majority. The children are in school uniforms suggesting the presence of learning activities. A few adolescents/teens/youths can be seen scattered in the streets. One of the people I saw was disabled and in a wheelchair. Whites make up the majority of the people, with only a few blacks. A few industries are seen in

Industrial Heights. Several other businesses are seen unevenly distributed in Acer Tech, Nightingale Square, and Casper Park. The city has a few parks where children and adolescents are seen playing. However, the city has limited space where adults and children can perform physical activities.

A few run-down houses in industrial heights, homeless people on the streets, and garbage heaps on the streets are indicators of poverty. A kitchen soup in the Industrial Heights district serving the poor and homeless shows poverty in this region. A group of people, probably homeless, are seen on the streets. Means of transport are varied. Road transport by bus is the primary means of transport. 

A few people are seen riding bicycles. There are signs of train transport and transport by foot is also common in this city. Several healthcare facilities serve the community, including a fully equipped main hospital. They are, however, unevenly distributed. There are stray dogs and stray cats seen in the streets. The people seem to conform to religion and culture. A few people are seen in traditional attire. A Catholic church in Industrial Heights serves soup to the poor and homeless. The presence of churches shows that the predominant religion is

Christianity in Sentinel City.

Health concerns for Children and Adolescents and Adolescents and Healthcare goals.

The children and adolescents in Sentinel city are a population of interest. Children and adolescents comprise 29% of the population (Sentinel City, n.d. Health Status of the Community Discussion). The population of interest is age-adjusted to accommodate the students in higher learning institutions. The pupils and the students all face a variety of issues of health concerns. A school is seen held captive by a gang. Statistics also show that students in higher learning have limited access to healthcare services and have a relatively high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases.

The health concerns include:

Violence/ insecurity in the community. Gang-related violence is rampant in this city. Despite enough police officers on patrol, Industrial heights and Casper Park are insecure. A Gunman has abducted 30 children and six adults at ABC daycare (Sentinel City, n.d.). The community’s crime rate is relatively high. A burning car, protestors, and barricaded stores with shattered windows are all indicators of violence in the community. 

Healthy People 2020 main aim is to ensure safety and that people are free of injury and violence in the communities, thus avoiding injury consequences. From the statistics provided in sentinel city, injuries are the second leading cause of death after heart disease (Sentinel City, n.d.). Reported assaults and batteries are also quite rampant. Injuries are also among the leading causes of death in the US. Minor and fatal injuries are associated with “premature death, poor mental health, and high medical costs” (Kadir et al.,

2019). Psychological traumas such as kidnapping also negatively affect child development (Kadir et al., 2019). There is a need to enhance security for the students and the children at all costs. More police officers should be put on patrols, and emergency calls availed to the population to enable the government to respond promptly to security emergencies. The goal is to ensure the safety of everyone, including children and adolescents.

Respiratory Health

Air and water pollution are a significant concern throughout the Industrial Heights and Casper Park districts. Upper respiratory diseases are a significant concern for college-aged students in Sentinel City (Sentinel City, n.d.). Polluted air is a significant cause of respiratory illnesses. Protestors are seen in the city, probably protesting against smoke-emitting factories in the area. Factory smoke components such as tar cause severe respiratory illnesses such as asthmatic attacks. Sentinel City Healthcare System data reveals a possible problem with respiratory illnesses. Cough, difficulty breathing needs, and defibrillation services contribute significantly to patients who seek emergency healthcare services.

Healthy People 2020 aims to promote all citizens’ health by improving environmental health by creating “… social and physical environments that promote good health for all” (Healthy People 2020, n.d. Health Status of the Community Discussion). One main area covered by the goal is outdoor air quality. The outdoor air quality is poor in sentinel city. Limited free spaces in the city, few trees in the region, unattended garbage, and factories emitting smoke contribute to poor air quality. There is a need for regulation of smoke-emitting factories. To improve outdoor air quality. The government and responsible bodies should also attend to the unattended garbage polluting the air. More trees should be planted in this air. These interventions should be carried out within a year to reduce the incidences of respiratory problems.

Sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy

Up to 70% of those diagnosed with gonorrhea were between 15 and 24 years of age. This includes high school students and students in higher learning institutions. HPV and Chlamydia are also common STDs in this age bracket. Sentinel city’s STIs burden is relative to the current situation globally. There are incidences of sexually transmitted illnesses among teenagers (CDC, 2019). The number of teen pregnancies in this community is also relatively high. Healthy people 2020 aims “to prevent STDs and the complications of STDs by promoting healthy sexual behaviors, strengthening community capacity and increasing access to quality services” (Healthy People 2020, n.d.).

Intensification of school health education forums should be done in the community to minimize the prevalence of these problems in society. The education forums shall sensitize the students to the risks of irresponsible sexual behavior. The goal is to reduce the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancies, promote responsible behavior and promote the overall well-being of this population.

Poor access to healthcare services

Sentinel City School District data shows that only 9% of  the students have comprehensive student healthcare insurance services. 24% of the students have limited access to student healthcare insurance services, while a worrying 675 percent have no access to any healthcare insurance service. Access to healthcare services is a covered goal of Healthy People 2020. Healthy people 2020 aims “to improve access to quality health care services in the community” (Healthy People 2020, n.d.). When the population accesses healthcare services easily, its health is usually high. Populations with poor access to healthcare services often have more disease burdens (Healthy People 2020, n.d.).

The government should make it mandatory for institutions of higher learning, high schools, and primary schools to have comprehensive student healthcare insurance for their students. The government should also fund insurance coverage to give students access to healthcare. Students get healthcare funding from parents, and when that does not happen, students’ health can marginally deteriorate. The goal, in this case, is to increase healthcare funding and the number of students with comprehensive student healthcare insurance, promoting access to healthcare services leading to healthy lives free of diseases.


A windshield survey is necessary to identify health gaps in any society and should regularly be done to continually promote the health of communities. The children and adolescents in Sentinel City have myriad problems, as seen above. Age adjustment to accommodate students in higher learning institutions was also necessary because their needs were similar at some point. Security issues, access to healthcare services, STDs and teen pregnancies, and respiratory system illnesses are identified health concerns for this population. Interventions to mitigate these issues have also been identified. The overall goal is to ensure the population leads healthier lives, free of disease or injury, as per the Healthy People 2020 goals.