Community health nurses work in public health organizations in partnership with other groups or organizations that are willing to extend health care services to the community. The roles of community health nurses is directed but not limited to making health care accessible to the public, focusing on the preventive aspect of health care, and educating the community regarding the importance of and necessary actions leading to health care. Medi-Smart, 2006) Focusing on the area of preventive health care, the roles and responsibilities of the community health nurse in primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention will be discussed in the following paragraphs.Primary prevention is an action taken by community health nurses in order to entirely thwart the onset of diseases Community health nurses are engaged in primary prevention of diseases through health promotions and measures to eliminate the community’s exposure to diseases. BHC, 2008) Health promotion includes setting up educational programs for selected populations. For example, majority of the female population in the area are pregnant, it is the responsibility of community health nurses to meet with all the pregnant women in order to discuss nutrition and lifestyle patterns that pregnant women should adapt in order to prevent miscarriages and other diseases that they or their babies might acquire during birth.
Moreover, community health nurses are responsible for administering immunizations to prevent susceptible children from acquiring serious diseases. Secondary prevention is focused on the importance of early diagnosis in preventing the severity of diseases. (BHC, 2008) Community health nurses are required to assist in detecting symptoms of particular diseases at early stages in order to appoint medical treatment or processes to prevent the proliferation and worsening of the disease.Moreover, community health nurses should be able to inform individuals in the community who are diagnosed with diseases in very early stages to subject themselves to medical treatment and also stay away from factors that cause the disease.
Tertiary prevention is more on the rehabilitation of individuals and the control of rates of disabilities in the community. (BHC, 2008) Community health nurses should be able to identify individuals in the community suffering from disabilities and serious diseases.For instance, people who have been diagnosed with cancer should be informed about how they can lessen the symptoms of the disease. Counseling is also a responsibility that community health nurses should accomplish. In this instance, counseling lung cancer patients about the effects of further smoking. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the community health nurse to instruct the lung cancer patient on medical treatment options.
Controlling the spread of the disease requires educational programs that inform the community about the dangers of smoking to the individual and their loved ones.