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Community Nursing

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Community health involves activities carried out in the community to promote the well-being of the general public. It is essential to improve the health status of a person and to solve any outbreak of diseases. In line with this, the essay will discuss the history of community health nursing and models for psychiatric-mental health nursing.

Mental Health

Mental health in the community can be defined as a state in which a person can adequately assess his or her abilities, handle normal stress, contribute to the development of his or her community, and can also work efficiently and fruitfully (Lundy & James, 2009).

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History of Community Health Nursing

Early Home Care Stage (Before the mid-1800s)
For several years, people had been attending the sick at their homes with the aim of reducing pain and promoting healing. Churches and charitable groups started home care nursing practice. There was also a law in England and Paris that gave the poor and the disabled medical care. Vincent DePaul started an organization in 1617 that concentrated more on such groups of people in the community (Bullough & Bullough, 1990).

District Nursing (the mid-1800s to 1900s)

At this stage, focus was put more on sick and poor people. A unique feature was that it emphasized prevention and health nursing. District nurses only gave simple treatment to patients and kept records of their temperature and blood pressure. However, the type of education that a nurse had did not give her enough knowledge to handle patients, many health issues, and community problems.

Public Health Nursing Training (1900-1970)

By the end of the nineteenth century, district nursing started to advance and focus on the general public, but not only the poor and the needy. It was a result of awareness of the public health. Such programs as infant welfare came along with health care and health education offered to people. Moreover, nurses received an opportunity to improve their education (Bullough & Bullough, 1990). At this stage, the target was delivering services to the public, and the family was seen as the main unit of care.

Community Health Nursing (from 1970 up to Date)

The word community health was a sign of a new era in health nursing. Although public health nurses did not stop their work in public health, those who were not practicing the latter engaged in caring for the community health. They mainly worked at community clinics, schools, and other institutions. The major challenge was to differentiate between public and community health nursing. The difference between the two was made clear, whereby the latter was defined as services provided by all nurses who worked for the community, not necessarily looking at their educational background, while the former was said to be part of the community health, although nurses specialized in issues related to the public health. Even though this difference is clear, there is still confusion between the two types (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2000).

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Conceptual and Theoretical Frameworks for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing

There are different theoretical frameworks for psychiatric-mental health nursing. They include public health model, primary mental health care model, and primary care model. Reflection in education and the phenomenological perspective in nursing are also important conceptual frameworks (Lundy & James, 2009).

Public Health Model

It is a model that enables nurses to handle health and social difficulties in a comprehensive way. It involves finding the source of problems and giving possible solutions. This model focuses more on promoting health and preventing diseases apart from traditional areas of diagnosis, treatment, and etiology (Frisch & Frisch, 2006).

Primary Mental Health Care Model

It involves nurses providing the first intrusions to improve the general health. An improvement in mental health care has shown the needs for earlier problems detection and for the proper management of chronic diseases (Frisch & Frisch, 2006).

Conclusion

Community health nursing has evolved with time. It started with the early home care stage, district nursing, and public health nursing training, and finally led to modern community health nursing. These stages involve conceptual models for psychiatric-mental health nursing, which are essential in improving the general health of the community.

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