Today was day one of Public Health Nursing. I have been assigned to a public health clinic in a not-so-nice area that’s not very near-by. But I spent all day in a completely different part of the county learning. And while I still don’t have a good idea of what I am supposed to be doing this quarter while assigned to this not-so-nice area (although the words ‘home visits’ and ‘flu clinics’ have been floating, even looming, over our heads), I spent a large portion of my day learning about how my tax dollars are being spent in my county. They paid for the free “department of health services” commuter mug I got.
Ok, so I am being a little harsh. I did get to learn about a bunch of really amazing programs that are provided for the public completely free of charge. There are a lot of great ways to impact the community. I wish I had known about a lot of these programs before, just knowing that these services are out there is somewhat comforting. It makes me feel like we are actually part of a greater ‘whole’ community, even in such a huge county. Some of the presentations were dry and a bit redundant, but I have to admit, they got their point across, and I learned about what we can do as nurses to help improve the health of our community in so many ways.
We heard from public health nurses all day, but I still feel like we got the cookie cutter version of it. The heartwarming stories that they show in videos that show you “what public nursing is” are sweet, and I have to say, very motivational. I watched it and thought, “YEAH! I wanna to that!” But on the same hand, the thought of visiting a strangers house in this big city to check up on their TB med compliance is freaking me out just a bit.Â So – does anyone have any advice out there? What was your public health clinical like?Â Are there any public health nurses out there with some wise words of wisdom? Please share and put this student nurse’s mind at ease!