People may visit the doctor for multiple reasons. For example, it can be as minor as checking the blood pressure or as major as getting stitches for a severe injury. Whatever the matter may be, the first person to check and help you cope with that specific situation is a nurse.
All the nursing fields need smart, caring, dedicated, disciplined people. However, one field with very high demand is often overlooked: public health.
Public health is very suitable for nurses who want to look for cause-driven contributions within their communities in health care services. Being a public health nurse is not a glamorous, high-paying job, but if you love working for humanity, the work is very gratifying.
What is the way to become a public health nurse?
One of the ways to excel in public health is by getting a master’s degree in nursing with a specialization in public health. A Master’s degree will not only teach you skills, but it will make you eligible for the most dominant public health leadership roles. Highly qualified public health nurses receive employment opportunities from health centers, community-based clinics, schools, churches, charitable organizations, the department of public health, and many different government agencies.
What is the Role of a Public Health Nurse?
Public health nurses are public health specialists as well as healthcare providers. Planning for providing better public health is also part of their job. If you’re just exploring your options for a nursing career, you might wonder, what is Public Health Planning?
Public health planning is a process of focusing on achieving long-term public health outcomes by planning them properly.
Responsibilities of a public health nurse include:
- They have to provide health care services to the areas at risk.
- They have to develop a friendly relationship with the patient and cure them with kindness.
- They have to plan activities to educate people about health campaigns and activities for disease prevention.
- They have to identify health risk factors by assessing different trends.
Challenges of being a public health nurse
- Continuous Decrease in Community Health
Whether working in rural or urban areas, public health nurses help people with serious problems. People living in remote areas have very few healthcare interactions, so they have worse health problems than people living in populated areas. People living in urban areas also face health problems because of pollution and poor nutrition. As a public health nurse, you must be prepared to address people on preserving themselves and becoming healthier.
- Handful of resources
Communities in both rural and urban areas usually have limited health resources. Minimal resources can be very challenging to work with. Public health nurses have to put extra effort into playing their roles effectively. For example, one may frequently lack medical supplies, experience a shortage of competent workforce, and have an inadequate sanitary environment.
- Substantial increase in workload
Improving the health of a community that has suffered for a long time due to poor health care infrastructure is not a task for the faint-hearted. Several key factors need improvement, and nurses need to revise many practices from their foundation to ensure a better future for the community. Positive change in a community’s health requires health care professionals to persevere in their endeavors. It can take years to bring the slightest improvements in the health care processes and sustain them efficiently. It is required of public health nurses to perform their duties with tenacity and be driven by the greater good of others. A public health nurse needs to believe that no matter how long the journey, their efforts will pay off with a great upheaval of the community.
Although the job of a public health nurse might seem extremely hectic and perilous, it is not without its highlights. To summarize in one sentence, being a public health nurse, you can influence and improve the lives of those truly suffering. Some major advantages of being a public health nurse are listed below.
Advantages of being a Public Health Nurse
- Being in touch with the ones living on a lesser standard of life
While living in a flourishing community, it is easy to forget that there is another side of the coin. For any individual lacking information about their community limits their understanding of the socio-economic situation. Being a public health nurse, you will have an opportunity of interacting with people from different walks of life. Being a public health nurse widens one’s horizons. It exposes one to the various standards and ways of life led by people in rural communities.
- Bringing creativity to your field
Making room for new ideas and initiatives is significant in improving the health of a community. Public health nurses often design new methods and programs to enhance the health of the community. If you are a creative person and feel happy in designing and developing new ideas, the profession of public health nurse is the best fit for you.
- Satisfaction is the key to happiness
Helping the ones who need your care the most provides a person with personal satisfaction and inner happiness. There are very few careers that enable a person to be able to positively impact the lives of the ailing society other than the noble career of a public health nurse. Working in a nursing profession, be it community clinic nursing, rural practitioner nursing, or working as a public health nurse, you will get a lot of opportunities to lend a helping hand to those in need. This profession will give you a chance to change the world socially and help others. Bringing smiles to their faces will provide you with peace and bring happiness to your life.
Working as a public health care nurse is a meaningful way to rewrite the sad realities of the world. Public health nurses have played an imperative role in facing the recent Covid-19 pandemic. They acted as front-line workers within their communities. If you are looking for a rewarding career, becoming a public health nurse might be an exceptional choice.