- Public health nurses (PHN) make up the largest professional part of the public health workforce, and they are active in public health prevention, education, advocacy, activism, assessment, and evaluation. They play an important role in illness prevention as well as community health and safety.
- When assessing illnesses or injuries, a public health nurse considers a variety of criteria. Rather than waiting for patients to come to them, they get involved in their communities to assist promote public health. They can provide accurate and helpful information about how individuals can preserve their health because they have been trained as registered nurses.
- Education is a major priority of public health nurses. They collaborate with senior centers, community groups, schools, and other organizations to raise public awareness about critical health issues. They could show various safety procedures, teach family members how to care for disabled or sick loved ones, or encourage people to get diseases checked or vaccinated. They strive to make health information understandable to the general public.
- Public health nurses can teach prenatal and infant care, immunize children at school, help the elderly stay safe, and more in rural or low-income communities. During a health crisis or emergency, public health nurses are frequently on the front lines.
What Is the Role of a Public Health Nurse (PHN)?
The ultimate goal of a public health nurse is to promote public wellness by avoiding illness and disease and lowering health risks in the population. Their responsibilities may be limited to a few tasks, or they may be a jack-of-all-trades in their communities. The following are some of the responsibilities of public health nurses in general:
- Assessing health trends to identify health risk factors specific to communities
- Assigning priorities for health-related interventions to provide the most important care
- Advocacy with local, state, and national authorities in improving access to health services in rural communities
- Design and implement health education campaigns and activities for disease prevention and control
- Provide information on local health programs and services that are accessible to improve access to care
- Providing direct health care services to at-risk communities
- Recording and analyzing medical data
- Developing relationships with patients and following up with care
- Managing the budget of various community health programs
- Referring people to other related services
- Delivering medical care when needed