PH4002 Identifying a Public Health Problem
As a healthcare professional, you are keenly aware of health issues in your community and are directly involved in the treatment of these issues on a daily basis. But how can healthcare professionals better understand the issues facing their communities so that they can do a better job of addressing them?
To prepare for this Assessment, complete the following steps:
Step 1: Collaborate With a Public Health Official
Consider the health problems that you see in the community in which you live. Choose one that is most critical and interesting to you. Then, collaborate with a local public health department or state public health department professional to determine what their priorities are. For example, if your health priority is related to teen obesity, contact a school nurse. Use the interaction template to guide your conversations.
The purpose of the collaboration is to determine what the priorities are with regard to health problems, the actions that the health professionals have already taken to mitigate these priorities in the past 5 to 10 years, and the role that social determinants play. If the officials you talk to have differing critical health issues from the one you identified, you may choose the problem you had previously identified or a health priority that was identified as a priority by your local public health official and state public health official during your conversations.
Use the Interaction Template to record the names of the people you collaborated with, their positions, responses to your questions, and a summary of what you learned. The Interaction Template will also help to guide your conversation.
Step 2: Locate Health Data
Using the sources of data listed in the resource grid or other reputable and applicable sources of health data, locate data from multiple sources to support your selected health priority. Be sure to locate data both locally (within the community, county, or state) and from the national perspective. If your selected health priority does not have ample data to support it, consider focusing on a different health priority.
Verifying a Health Problem Within the Community
In preparation for the intervention that you will design in PH4005, write a 2- or 3-page paper that includes the following:
The health problem being addressed by primary prevention that will be the focus of your practicum project (i.e.., an issue that is being actively prevented before it occurs)
The specific population within your community that is particularly affected by the problem and the multiple demographics that help to focus your population (e.g., vaccination compliance in 3-year-olds who attend preschool or obesity in middle-aged Hispanic men)
A description of the population’s social determinants and health behaviors that may be affecting health outcomes
How the collaboration informed your selection of the public health problem
A list of the sources of data that you consulted regarding your health priorities, along with a summary of each source and the data gleaned from it. Include a comparison between local and national data
Along with the paper identifying and verifying your health problem, you will also scan and submit your Interaction Templates.