Aspects of the Community that Could Affect Health

At every bus stop and train line people stand with their ipods listening to music. Cars drive by with the music at the highest volume. Loud noises can damage hearing. Alcohol abuse can lead to pancreatitis, as well as smoking leading to cancer. Improper use of drugs can cause addictions that may lead to overdose. Accidents, such as vehicular homicide can be caused due to speeding and hit and run. Injuries caused by gang fights or gunshots have become prevalent in our communities. Terms Defined

“A community is defined as a social group determined by geographic boundaries and/or common values and interests. Its members know and interact with one another. It functions within a particular social structure and exhibits and creates norms, values and social institutions” (World Health Organization [WHO], 1974, p.7).

Community health is the meeting of collective needs by identifying problems and managing behaviors within the community itself and between the community and the larger society. Status, structure, and process comprise community health.

A community is viewed as a client only when the nursing focus is on the collaborative or common good of the population instead of on individual health.

Healthy People 2020 Indicator of a Nursing Role

Healthy People 2010 is a publication from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS, 2000). It offers vision of the future for health and specific objectives to help attain that vision. It promotes partnership with communities, states, and national organizations and suggests

multidisciplinary approaches to achieve health equity. Improving health includes education, housing, labor, justice, transportation, agriculture, and environment.

Home healthcare nurses empower individuals to make informed health care decisions that entails tailoring approaches to prevent further illnesses that may occur. Specific communities ensure community participation in the process. Unfortunately, the area introduced in this survey has limited access to community resources.

Purpose and Methodology

This windshield survey will capture a different environment visited by a home healthcare worker daily. By definition, a windshield survey is broad-based and cursory. Components will be identified that make up this particular area’s reason for being viewed different in comparison to other areas of the city.

Housing and Zoning

The South Side is a major part of the City of Chicago, which is located in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Much of it evolved from the city’s incorporation of independent townships, which voted along with several other townships to be annexed in the June 29, 1889 elections. It was originally defined as the city south of the main branch of the Chicago River, but it now excludes the Loop (Chicago’s downtown area). It has varied in its ethnic composition, and it has great disparity in income and other demographic measures. The South Side covers 60% of the city’s land area, with a higher ratio of single-family homes and larger sections zoned for industry than the rest of the city.

The boundary is best defined as Western Avenue or the railroad tracks adjacent to Western Avenue. This border extends further south to a former railroad right of way paralleling Beverly Avenue and then Interstate 57.

Service Centers

A broad array of cultural and social offerings, such as professional sports teams, elite educational institutions, landmark buildings, nationally renowned museums, world class medical institutions, and major parts of the city’s elaborate parks systems.

Transportation

It is serviced by bus and train via the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and a number of Metra lines. Several interstate and national highways also serve vehicular traffic.

Race and Ethnicity

The South Side has had a history of racial segregation. The construction of the Dan Ryan Expressway added a physical barrier between some white and black neighborhoods.

The exact boundaries dividing the Southwest, South and Southeast Sides vary by source. Following most racial lines, the South Side is further divided into a White and Hispanic Southwest Side, largely Black South Side, and a smaller, more racially diverse Southeast Side, centered on the East Side community areas of South Chicago, South Deering, and Hegewisch.

The South Side has endures a reputation of being poor and crime-infested. The reality of this area varies more. It ranges from the affluent to working class to impoverish. Neighborhoods, such as Armour Square, Back of the Yards, Bridgeport, and Pullman are composed of more blue collar residents, while the Hyde Park (President Obama’s hometown), the Jackson Park Highlands District, Kenwood, and Beverly areas are with the middle, upper-middle class, and affluent residents.

Stores and Street People

Street gangs are prominent in some South Side neighborhoods for and have been for over a century. By the 1960’s, they improved their public image, moving from thuggish ventures to obtaining government and private grants. Gangs have been to tax sore owners and eventually taking the business. The stores within the Englewood neighborhoods are store-fronts. In other areas, reconstructing is with noted improvement. By 2000, gangs crossed gender lines to include about 20% female composition. Over 93% of this town is African-American.

Religion and Politics

Chicago’s reputation for political corruption stems in part from tolerance of vices such as prostitution which occurred in the central business district. Much of this trade moved to the suburbs. Nightclubs have an ample supply of prostitutes on the Southside. Churches are on every street of the city’s South Side and are of many denominations. It is said that politicians only come into to solicit votes during election times. Many clergymen are now serving in political positions.

Health and Morbidity

Hepatitis and AIDs is prevalent within the South Side Community. Many addicts share needles and engage in unprotected sex. The young adults may are having children at an all time low age rate. They lack in parenting skills and are with limited assistance from the government. Many of the black males are incarcerated with substantial amount of time. Homes are being maintained with minimum resources.

Children and parents are given deadlines to update physicals to continue education. Recently a teacher’s aide was found to be infected with MRSA. Proper follow up was performed causing days of attendance to school to be missed. Just as this disease spreads, so do others.

Commons

The way of life of this South Side community is performed in two ways. One group has accepted and welcomed living as a gang member, prostitute, unwed parents, drug addicts, and school drop outs, to name a few. The other group are those who live within the community with a plan to one day live better than that they are currently.

Signs of Decay

Whenever, it becomes the norm that living unsafe in a poverty stricken environment, there exist decay. Each generation is receiving less hope than the one prior. It takes a village to raise our children. Yet when the village is corrupt itself, what can it offer the child who is awake all night sleeping according to the parents’ drug schedule? This same child is expected to perform at school, yet can’t. The little boy whose father insists on piercing his ear now is confined to the community. If he leaves outside of the area, he is liable to be gang beat due to misrepresenting.

The man who has recently been freed from jail may have to return because he cannot find a job and returns to hustling that leads to an arrest. There are some mothers who are cocaine addicts and are not just selling their bodies, but will offer her son or daughter if asked. Guilt is felt after the high wears off, but the fact remains that a child has been allowed to be molested. There are more abandoned buildings within the community that increase the rate of rape as well. They are used by the homeless as well as the addicts.

Media

Crime rate has limited the media’s ability to share good news. Not all of the South side daily murders and drug busts can be shared. People now resort to the internet to learn of a crime that may get missed. Political corruption outweighs the media in this town. Many religious leaders are seen with these who have been charged with corruption. This in turn, alters trust in community and religious leaders. The media very seldom acknowledge a child who is inspiring, yet they exist.

Homecare nurses assess the home and orders the needed disciplines according to insurance benefits and needs. Visits are made according to illnesses and to incorporate unity and assistance. Often times, patients may have to be removed from the home for many reasons. Some are neglect and being kept for monetary reasons. The patient may not want to leave present environment for fear of not being visited by family members. Community resources such home maker services and Meals on Wheels are very prevalent and abused on the South Side.

Reports have been placed by healthcare worker with great caution due to possible retaliation of those who have been reported. Although this South Side harbors a lot of flaws, health care workers have been allowed by the worst gang members and drug addicts to service loved ones.