Homelessness is a growing problem in urban areas such as Florida. For women, many factors can lead to homelessness such as divorce, poverty, unemployment, domestic violence, drug abuse, and mental illness. There is a close link between homelessness and poor health. For this reason the more flexible modes of healthcare delivery, including nurse-led care, are critical. In relation, a clear role definition and the inter-professional working relationships are some of the features that will help improve the health conditions of homeless women.
Community health nurses need to be knowledgeable about the local resources to help poor women to gain access to healthcare, and to establish community projects (Lundy & Janes, 2003). Some of the local resources include the church-based programs, the county- and the state health departments, the federal hospitals, the Medicaid, and the Social Security Administration. Through these agencies a nurse can assist the homeless women and the families through primary and secondary interventions at the individual and the community levels.
A nurse can play direct roles by being a referral for financial assistance and act as the advocate to assist such women through the bureaucratic processes (Lundy & Janes, 2003). In this case, the nurse must work in the community by challenging the government officials to examine the problems of the women, and by soliciting concerned citizens to develop shelters and programs for the homeless women.
Further, the nurse should take a leadership role by challenging the legislative bodies to allocate sufficient healthcare funds for vulnerable groups. In this case, the nurse needs to assume the role of a client advocate in regard to the child care (Lundy & Janes, 2003). Parenting and child care classes should be made available at the community level. In addition, the programs that provide the occupational trainings and promote both self-esteem and assertiveness result in better outcomes for homeless women. Thus, with the active participation of the nurse, the community members would be able to synthesize knowledge in establishing community projects that would help in eradicating poverty.
The nurse should be committed to involving the community members to be active in the particular community projects. Then, a nurse should clearly define goals that identify roles and responsibilities of each member involved in the projects (Lundy & Janes, 2009). It is achieved by facilitating open and effective communication. The nurse should maintain high levels of trust and collegiality. Avoiding corruption is a way of maintaining a set of the higher moral values and the sense of responsibility. The nurse should consider shared responsibility and empowerment to create a balance of power in the realization of the community projects that would positively affect the individuals within this group.
The Role of a Manager Nurse
A nurse can take a managerial role of evaluating the group of homeless women for process, impact, and outcome. During the process evaluation, the nurse may use the group interaction diagram, which involves drawing a circle with initials of each member in the group (Allender et al, 2013). The direction and the number of arrows show the communication patterns within the group as well as the non-participatory and the discussion dominators. On one hand, the nurse takes the leading role in focusing on the intermediate behavior changes among the group members while evaluating the impact. On the other hand, the outcome evaluation measures the level to which the goals of the group are being met.
For a nurse to qualify for a leader, one needs to demonstrate such characteristics as the democratic approach to leading and flexibility.
A democratic approach to leading the project participants is necessary for ensuring that all the members are involved in all levels of information gathering, analysis, and decision making (Allender et al, 2013). It is a participatory leadership that will help in building group cohesion and contribute to individual and collective empowerment.
Flexibility is important when a particular decision must be made quickly, or rapid changes are essential. Flexibility enables the nurse to make the necessary shift. For example, during an outbreak of a transmittable disease, the nurse should direct other health operators with the control measures they must adopt immediately in order to minimize the spreading of such a disease.
These roles allow the nurse to be directly involved with special groups by being the referral for financial assistance, and by acting as an advocate to assist homeless women through the bureaucratic processes. On one hand, a nurse works in the community by challenging government officials to examine the problems of homeless women and to fund the related community projects. On the other hand, a nurse assuming managerial roles focuses the group evaluation to measure the outcome and the degrees to which the goals have been met.
The Impact of the Nursing Roles
When the nurses assume their responsibilities, they can contribute to the development of the National Health Care Workforce Commissions. It should aim not only at determining whether the demands of the workers have been met but also at identifying the barriers to the improvement of the healthcare (Institute of Medicine, 2011). Politically, the nurses should ensure that the state and the regional workforce centers provide funding for data collection and analysis regarding the health concerns of the homeless women. Therefore, by prioritizing these resources the nurses can monitor the systematic supply of healthcare workers at the state and the regional levels.
One of the most valuable interactions with the homeless women is to address their needs from the perspective of the consumer-driven healthcare initiative. In attempts to informing the group members, the education, advocacy and assistance should be promoted as the key qualities of such groups (Lundy & Janes, 2009). Nursing roles should go beyond educating women about their health needs. The effective community nurses need to educate women for them to make informed choices about their healthcare needs. The homeless women need assistance to increase their self-care knowledge by partnering with other health providers. The nurses can reinforce a trend for women to be informed about their healthcare options including the alternative therapies.
The Implications of the Different Skills for the Community Health Nurses
First, the nurses should help the patients understand the prices in relations to the quality issues and the treatment options in consumer-driven healthcare systems. Second, the community health nurses should help to read and to interpret the quality reports, to navigate through complicated health plans, and to deal with the restrictions (Lundy & Janes, 2009). Finally, the community health nurses can optimize healthcare by using economic coalitions for research and influence the policies on the healthcare allocations. In policy issues, the nurses need to evaluate the new and the required legislation that might affect the patients’ care. For instance, the American Nurses Association has stated its support for legislation that limits mandatory overtime to 12 hours per 24-hour period and acknowledges that staffing concerns extend beyond acute care to community nursing.
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Homelessness is a growing problem in urban areas such as Florida. There is a close link between homelessness and poor health. The nurses can contribute to alleviating the negligence of this social class by both the officials and the bureaucratic medical establishments in several ways. First, the nurses have to take a responsibility of homeless women by assisting them as both a financial advisor in the health-related issues and as a liaison when dealing with the bureaucratic medical procedures. Second, the community health nurses should lead by challenging the legislative bodies to allocate sufficient funds for healthcare initiatives, aimed at targeting such vulnerable groups. Finally, the nurses should be committed to involving the community members to take an active part in the participation in various community projects for homeless women. A nurse can act as a manager, initiate the group evaluations, and maintain democracy and flexibility. When the nurses assume their responsibilities, they contribute to the development of the National Health Care Workforce Commissions because nursing roles should go beyond educating the women about their health needs.