Community Health Nursing and Community Needs Assessment

Community Health Nursing and Community Needs Assessment


The integration of primary health care remains an important aspect of the healthcare framework. Consequently, conducting a community health needs assessment is highly recommended as it helps establish the city’s strengths and weaknesses.  This serves as a guide to establish the priorities that will contribute to improving the health standards within an environment. Such a process would be of great significance to the welfare of the West Kendall community, in Miami Florida. It is essential to point out that the district is classified amongst the largest metropolitan areas in the state of Florida. 13.5% of the states’ population is said to dwell in this region.  The community is known to be comprised of Latinos who make 66%, Hispanics, blacks non-Hispanics and whites non-Hispanics (Web, 2016). The area is also known to have a relatively young generation with 86% of residents being under 65 years and 22% under the age of 18. It is also imperative to point out that the community lives in a suburban setting where there are a serious health and socioeconomic disparities that should be addressed.

Physical Environmental Considerations

As aforementioned, Kendal is a metropolitan area in Miami-Dade County.  It is located at 25°40′0″N 80°21′24″W (25.666781, −80.356533) and sits on a land that is approximately 16.3 square miles. The area has a significant area of its body mass covered with water. The climatic conditions of Kendal are similar to the rest of the county. Nevertheless, its location and elevation inland along the Miami Rock Ridge brings about cooler nights during the winter and warmer days during summer.

The physical environment is also of great concern in the community health assessment program. Where people live and work has a significant influence on the individual’s level of fitness and ability to have a healthy lifestyle. It should be noted that the region has imprecise boundaries. Nevertheless, the presence of friendly environmental conservations has made significant progress to the overall suitability of the area (Web, 2016). The most important physical environment includes Country Walk, The Hammocks, Three Lakes, Kendale Lakes, Tamiami, The Crossings and West End. Also, the area mainly consists of planned communities, apartment buildings, and strip malls. On the same note, water is essential to healthy living. Kendall community is known to have excellent access to clean and safe drinking water (Jack & Holt, 2008). The area is said to be connected with underground piped water where several drinking water tests are carried out to ensure the population has access to safe water. The wastewater is then treated and disposed of in a healthy way. Trash and recycling centers are also popular in this region to ensure that the residents have a safe way to deal with their wastes.

Air quality in this area usually falls in the ‘’good’’ range throughout the year. It is, however, prudent to point out that there are times when the air fall below the good range, and this could be harmful to sensitive groups such as the young, elderly and those with respiratory problems. The same conditions apply to both the odor and particulates in the region. Food supply, sources, and preparation are other integral areas of concern in community health assessment. Different food types and their preparation methods are instrumental to a healthy lifestyle. Some diseases such as diabetes and hypertension are known to be as result of bad eating habits. It is worth noting that the right climate and fertile land makes agriculture a leading economic activity in the county (Web, 2016). Being a leading agricultural producer, most of the food consumed locally is fresh. Most people have also been trained to better and nutritious feeding habits thus making food preparation to meet the expected standards. Disasters are eminent in any location and Miami is not an exception. Hurricanes are the most frequent disasters experienced in these regions and are accompanied with food shortages. Nevertheless, the Red Cross society and the government are always prepared in disaster management to ensure the safety of residents is guaranteed.


Housing is another important area for consideration in the community health assessment. Lack of quality housing can have a significant impact on the health standards within a community. As aforementioned, the population of the community in West Kendall is of diversified economic and social setting. Consequently, the housing concept is also diversified and distributed across the different social classes. There are home owners, people living in public houses as well as rented houses. However, the high population in the region and economic variations has resulted in a significant number of the community to live in rented houses. Nevertheless, the cost of housing is affordable, and thus majority of the population can afford quality housing. As a result, the issue of homelessness or near homelessness is not a problem in this region.

Leading industries and occupations

Traditionally, tourism has been the primary economic activity in Miami. However, over the years, the county has had diversified economy. For instance, the area has witnessed a significant boost in international trade simply due to its strategic location. The region has also seen massive growth in manufacturing, agriculture as well as the banking sector (Web, 2016). This is an indication that most of the population in the area can acquire sustaining jobs that can help them maintain the required health standards.

The People of the Community

Understanding the population of a community is essential to healthcare planning. This is because the data can be instrumental in determining the number of healthcare providers required in a community. For instance, the population of West Kendall stood at 38,034 people, 11,759 households, and 9,807 families as of the 2010 census results. The population density during the same period stood at 11,218.6 people per square mile (4,331.9/km²). This population, however, increased to 75,371 according to the 2010 census results.  The population comprises of different races mainly the whites, African American, Native Americans and the Asians (Web, 2016).  Of importance to note is the fact that most of this population consists of young people below the age of 18. 58% of the population is made up of married people, while 18.5% of the population is made up of female singles.

Understanding key mortality characteristics is critical to planning healthcare provisions in a community. Infant mortality rate in the region is said to be about 4.6. This is a significant decrease over the last decade. The areas with social-economic disadvantage are supposed to have a high mortality rate. On the same note, the maternal mortality rate has also reduced significantly over the last few years. Although there are major disparities between different races, the region has registered major improvements as far as reducing mortality rates are concerned. This can be explained by increased and improved prenatal care (Web, 2016). Despite the notable progress in infant mortality rate reduction, the region is still experiencing a significant number of child deaths. The primary causes of these deaths are congenital anomaly/congenital disabilities, sudden unexpected infant deaths, low birth weight, unintentional injury and intentional injury in that order. Nevertheless, with improved prenatal care and healthy eating habits, there is hope that the mortality rates will continue decreasing shortly.

Psychological considerations form another important aspect of the community health assessment. Most of the psychological factors contribute immensely to the overall health standards of a population. For example, a family with a suicide history has high chances of a repeat of the same in future. Strive for economic success can also be a source of psychological torture in a community. It is, however, essential to point out that, cases of homicides and suicides are quite small in the community (Jack & Holt, 2008). Available housing and enhanced employment opportunities have reduced stress levels amongst members of the community and hence improved living standards. The social-cultural settings are also huge determinants in community health assessment. Family income levels, occupations unemployment and poverty index, remains critical aspects in health standards of a community. For example, in this region, the mortality rate is high amongst the blacks and Hispanics as opposed to the whites. This can be attributed to the difference in their social status that gives the white an upper hand in the in the level of education and employment opportunities.

The type of government in the community is comprised of the county board of county commissioners. The commissioners have the responsibility of ensuring that some policies and legislations ensure improved healthcare provision. The community has in the past enjoyed good governance from these commissioners, and this explains the ever improving health status in the region. It is also imperative to note that the community embraces education as evidenced by the ever increasing students’ population in the learning institutions (Web, 2016). The city boasts of both private and public schools in the region which have been exemplary in the improvement of the health sector. The education system promotes equality and accessibility to students of all races and color including those with special needs. The community also embraces different modes of transport to ensure that the population has access to health facilities. Cycling and walking paths have also been designed to provide increased physical activity amongst members of the community. There has been increased awareness amongst the population to look at their behavior to avoid habits that would harm their healthy lifestyle.



(2016). Retrieved 22 November 2016, from

(2016). Retrieved 22 November 2016, from

Jack, K. & Holt, M. (2008). Community profiling as part of a health needs assessment. Nursing Standard, 22(18), 51-56.


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