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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 178-180

Exclusive outlook of a community health professional: A changed perspective

1 College of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
2 Community Medicine and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Date of Submission31-Jan-2021
Date of Decision02-Jun-2021
Date of Acceptance04-Jun-2021
Date of Web Publication26-Jun-2021

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Divya Sethi
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_35_21

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Community health nursing (CHN) is a vast area to learn. This article focuses on experiences during my master's in CHN and mostly about the understanding and depth of the subject. This field not only deals with the intellectual part but also lays equal importance to the relationship we share with the people in the community. This is the career where your collaborative skills for individuals, families, groups, and communities will help to make things happen. My perspective to look into this stream changed which all are sharing in this article. A sharing experience in words to encourage all those upcoming youths in health care professional who do not have interest in this field. The most important boon felt is the least mental exhaustion. This profession needs passionate health care providers who can be smart and innovative enough to bring a small change at a huge level. It will provide you satisfaction for your service to humanity. Surely, this story of the journey of learning will motivate you to opt for this beautiful stream.

Keywords: Community health, experience, learning, perspective, profession

How to cite this article:
Sethi D, Taywade M. Exclusive outlook of a community health professional: A changed perspective. Arch Med Health Sci 2021;9:178-80

How to cite this URL:
Sethi D, Taywade M. Exclusive outlook of a community health professional: A changed perspective. Arch Med Health Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Mar 23];9:178-80. Available from: https://www.amhsjournal.org/text.asp?2021/9/1/178/319398

  Introduction Top

Community health professionals and nurses work often with marginalized and disadvantaged people from various cultural backgrounds. They collaborate with the local communities with the involvement of community participation to prevent and control diseases. Community health professionals are involved in the various lever of prevention. Nurses in community health can simplify the health systems, referral pathways, and access to care. Here is a small reflection of the changed outlook of a community health nurse.

”I love teaching practice, but I chose public health practice because here I can impact more than one person at a time as all the members of the community is my patient.”

------- Ms. Divya Sethi

Yes, I rejected this field twice because I always felt that my knowledge and skills will be underutilized and ultimately will be lost while working in a community environment. I was never prepared for this but it was an enormous experience in community health nursing (CHN). It was a vast scope that I was not aware of. I always wanted to pursue my master of science in medical-surgical nursing (Cardiology Nursing) but ultimately I ended by opting for master of science in CHN which I never wanted. Unfortunately, that time also I did not opt for it but I got the last seat for CHN during counseling at one of the institutes of national importance in Eastern India.

Community health nurse is the one who promotes health in their communities where they work closely with their formal and informal volunteer work. These concepts were applied only in theory for me during my graduation. But when I started practicing in masters, I came to know that things are not just for theory purpose. Community health nurse has a wide role to play in the field. Being a community health nurse needs passion. CHN is an extended role of nurse where she/he has to play various expanded roles such as educator, advocate, manager, collaborator, leader, and researcher. Even a study has revealed that nurses not only do job-related activities but also they are majorly involved in non-job-related activities such as health-related community volunteering, volunteering related to a precise population or disease, family-related volunteering, health fairs, and raising or donating money.[1]

  Experience of Posting during Pursuing Community Health Nursing Top

CHN posting started with the rural postings under Community Health Center, Mendhasala, Khordha district of Odisha, India followed by urban and then center posting (sub center, primary health center, community health center, and district and divisional hospitals). The most hectic area for posting was rural. But real truth it is an opportunity to learned and enjoyed the most is also the rural area only. The most fantastic thing about the rural posting is the feeling of belonging. The standpoint of functioning as a community health nurse for me changed that time when people of the particular community started building an affiliation with me. Yes, we indeed have to sustain professionalism in our working field and started enjoying my work. We need to go for home visiting neglecting the weather circumstances so we can be in regular contact with the families and the clients. Although we cannot do much for the people they always share their problems with an expectation in their eyes.

  Working with Adolescents Top

I remember a family during my rural posting which made me felt like I'm home. We always use to go there whenever we feel exhausted during duty time. There were 4–5 adolescents in the family. Those people used to work in a painting center. We conducted various adolescent clinics with them. They also used to enjoy and learn about their health. It was teamwork. The principle of participation and involvement was applied in that situation.

  Being a School Health Nurse Top

Another amazing thing that I enjoyed is working as a school health nurse. Four themes are directly related to the school nurse role: the main roles of a school nurse, school nurses' role in health education, prioritization of workload and activities, and community work.[2] I remember an incident where we taught handwashing steps to primary school children. Moreover, we were really surprised that when we went to their homes for home visiting their parents told that the kids used to share their learning with them at home. It was a satisfying and proud moment for us. There is no need to give extended lectures for health education. It can be just one small thing to learn which can have a life-lasting impact on them to bring a great change. One thing which I noticed is that the authorities of the schools value and appreciate our health promotion activities what we did for the students.

  The Satisfaction of a Geriatric Nurse Top

Compassion needs to be the pillar of a health care profession. To care for the geriatric is a great blessing. I have dealt with a lot of geriatrics patients during posting. Especially, we have conducted camps only for them. Career and blessing both have hidden in the care of the elderly.[3] Even if you do not do anything for them but just sit and talk to them, I am sure you will see a great change in their attitude toward you. I can justify this point with one of the incident happened with me. It was my final practical examination of my master's in the first year. A family was allotted to me. There was a total of five members in that family. An elderly female was there suffering from hemiplegia since six. I saw a great difference in her attitude toward me since I entered her house and the time I left her house. Initially, when I tried to assess her muscle strength but she did not even allow me to touch her and shouted at me. But then I gradually build rapport with her. I came to know that my visit is fruitful when she asked me to visit her again. That time I realized that just an empathetic touch and a gentle voice are enough to make the day of such type of clients. Even the literature supports my experience through various elderly care testimonials. Well, I'm the kind of person who does not work for only physical things only, but I believe in spiritual earnings too which can be easily earned by caring for elderly people.

  Family as Client Top

The family as a unit is the focus of care in CHN. This is a very important example that is going to help us understand that how a family can be helped by a community health nurse. I remember a family using cow dung/wood/coal to cook food on a chulha. Already, there were two women in the family suffering from asthma. I educated them regarding the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana where Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) connections are distributed to women below the poverty line. The procedure to get the scheme was explained by me and by my tutor which helped the family to hit the issue. This is the only one example but I can give many more examples where a community health nurse can contribute to the system for the promotion of the health of the rural community.

I also really appreciate the work of the service of frontline workers such as ASHA workers, supervisors, and Anganwadi workers. I'm personally grateful to them because without them I could have never been able to collect my data for my thesis project. I remember one of the ASHA workers who accompanied me door to door to reach out to my subjects.

I have worked 2 years in a community during my masters and I also had an experience of five months of working in a hospital. The main difference which I had felt between working in a community and a hospital is that I never got mentally exhausted while working in a community which made me fall in love with my stream. Another thing that attracted me about this profession is the freedom to practice. The community and the people are yours. You can practice independently in the field without continuous supervision. I would love to build my career as a community health nurse because I never want to get mentally exhausted. I learned both care and cure from my postings. This is the career where your collaborative skills for individuals, families, groups, and communities will help to make things happen.[4] A community health nurse tries to help before things happen. My experience in the field motivated me to write about my perspective.

  Conclusion Top

Hence, I conclude by saying that CHN is a passion that will be awarded by seeing a big change we make in the community. A community health nurse should be curious and creative to make that change to reach deeply to the root causes of the community.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

McCollum M, Kovner CT, Ojemeni MT, Brewer C, Cohen S. Nurses improve their communities' health where they live, learn, work, and play. Policy Polit Nurs Pract 2017;18:7-16.  Back to cited text no. 1
Hoekstra BA, Young VL, Eley CV, Hawking MK, McNulty CA. School nurses' perspectives on the role of the school nurse in health education and health promotion in England: A qualitative study. BMC Nurs 2016;15:73.  Back to cited text no. 2
Geriatric Care Management: Career and Blessings Both are Hidden in the Care of Elderly. Available from: https://www. 100rav.online/2020/06/geriatric-care-management.html. [Last accessed on 2021 Jan 24].  Back to cited text no. 3
Edelstein JA. A clinical nurse's perspective of public and community health. Am J Public Health 2011;101:1813-4.  Back to cited text no. 4


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