Nurses must be able to knowledgeably plan services for individuals, families and the community

Nurses must be able to knowledgeably plan services for individuals, families and the community

Nurses must be able to knowledgeably plan services for individuals, families and the community 150 150 Peter

Community Assessment & Analysis

“Windshield Survey”

Purpose and Background Information

Nurses must be able to knowledgeably plan services for individuals, families and the community. In order to effectively plan, it is essential that you assess the current health status of the community and its resources.

Assessment may include the following strategies: Mining of health data bases, windshield or walking surveys, and more formal quantitative and qualitative research investigations involving community members and other stakeholders. A “windshield survey” is conducted from a car and provides a visual overview of a community (may also be done as a walking survey). Conditions and trends in the community that could affect the health of the population (social determinants) are noted. Most surveys of this type must be validated and expanded through data mining of available online and other databases of demographic and health-related statistics.

Evidence collected during a formal community assessment forms the basis for planning to improve the health status of the community, which impacts individuals’ health downstream.


At the end of this activity, the student will be able to:

1. Identify social determinants of health present in assigned community (socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment, social support networks).

2. Identify healthcare resources that are available in the community.

3. Analyze actual health of the assigned community, utilizing resources to gather vital statistics, such as morbidity and mortality data.

4. Create a list of strengths and weaknesses of the community.

5. Prioritize weaknesses to identify the highest priority need of the community.

6. Identify community resources (actual, available resources or proposed resources) to address the highest priority problem.

7. Share community assessment and analysis in a formal, group presentation.

Course Outcomes

This activity aligns with several of the course outcomes as stated below:

1. Examine health delivery systems and resources available at the global, national, state, and local levels.

2. Examine effective methods for health promotion and health maintenance for individuals, families, and communities at every stage of development.

3. Analyze the environmental, biological, and psychosocial risk factors for disease and disability.

General Directions

Working in a small team, you will conduct a formal assessment of a community to which you have been assigned. The assessment will involve a walking or windshield survey which is validated and expanded upon through a deeper dive into demographic and health-related databases/websites available here:

Items Needed

· Digital camera/phone

· Map or layout of the neighborhood/community

· Mode of transportation (not needed if conducting walking survey)

· Masks if unable to practice social distancing

Part 1: Assessment

1. Your clinical group will be assigned a neighborhood to survey. The name of the neighborhood is Dunning.

2. Review the Windshield Survey Components handout and PowerPoint (see Brightspace Lecture PPTS).

3. Review Community Tool Box resources for Windshield Survey:

4. Use Google Maps (or other navigation software) to identify boundaries of assigned area.

5. Collect assessment data on essential demographic and other aspects of the community using the guidelines below: [Support your assessment data with actual images/videos taken with your camera or available online]

The essential components of the Community Assessment are listed below:   

Schools: Describe the educational system for the community including public, private, and alternative schools. Supportive evidence is helpful for the community nurse to make assessments about the community.  Remember schools range from pre-schools to colleges and universities. Supportive data may include:

· How many schools are in the area and which level of student to they serve?

· How many private school options are there in this community? What types of private institutions are represented (religious affiliation, Montessori, academic driven)?

· What are the public schools rating/ranking?

· What is the high school graduation rate? How does it compare to the state or national averages?

Transportation: Include photos of cars, buses, trains, ferries, trolleys, bicycles, and pedestrians.  Photos of people utilizing the various types of transportation would be appropriate for your windshield survey.  Noting the safety measures (bike lanes, safe crosswalks, etc.) is helpful.   Which type(s) of transportation seems to be the most predominant in the community? 

· Is the public transportation accessible and provide good transportation options for community residents?

· Where is the closest/local airport?

· What are the major highways that are close to the area?

Health Status of the Community : Evaluate the vital health statistics for the area. For example, note what mortality rates are. And morbidity rates for chronic conditions in particular.  Is there a specific health problem with a high incidence/prevalence rate in the community or a health problem within the community related to the environment (e.g. a problem of air pollution and high community rates of respiratory infection)? Is there high risk of non -communicable disease (e.g. Lead exposure)? Are there high risks of communicable diseases? (e.g. Tuberculosis; Covid-19)

Case Management: How is the community health presently being monitored? What current collaboration is taking place and what is required to provide continuity of care in the community treatment plan? What stakeholders can you identify? Include Federal, State, local, and private agencies that may be involved. Include the major hospitals and identified that medical/dental/vision/addiction services were readily available. Are there any collected statistics and data to show how readily available healthcare services are in the community? How are people with minimal or no insurance provided care or access to care?

Part 2: Analysis of Assessment Data

1. Based on your observations from the windshield survey, identify strengths of the community.

2. List and prioritize 5 potential community risk factors (weaknesses).

3. Identify community resources that may help address the highest priority weakness (either currently in existence or something you propose to help address this problem).