Case Study: Public Health Nursing—Present, Past, and Future

Description Review the following case study and complete the questions that follow. As a public health nurse at a free clinic, you are assessing and interviewing a 21-year-old woman who has come to the clinic because she doesn’t have any energy and hasn’t felt good in weeks. During the interview, you learn that she averages one meal per day, smokes up to two packs of cigarettes per day, and rummages through trash to find items she can sell to purchase food, snacks, and cigarettes. She admits to using street drugs every once in a while when she can find someone who will share with her. She admits her life is a mess and she doesn’t know how to make it better.
What data can you gather based on available client information? What questions should you ask yourself while interviewing this client? During planning, how can you, as the nurse, best assist this client? What are the potential strategies that would assist the client to a “better” life? Your paper should be 2 pages in length, in APA format, typed in Times New Roman with 12-point font, and double-spaced with 1” margins. If outside sources are used, they must be cited appropriately.

Assessment and Intervention for a 21-Year-Old Woman in a Free Clinic

As a public health nurse at a free clinic, your role involves assessing and interviewing clients to address their health concerns. In this case study, you encounter a 21-year-old woman who presents with multiple challenges affecting her overall well-being. This paper will discuss the data that can be gathered from the client’s information, the questions to ask during the interview, and potential strategies to assist the client in improving her life.

Data Gathering:
Based on the available client information, the following data can be gathered:

Nutritional status: The client averages only one meal per day, indicating potential malnutrition or inadequate calorie intake.
Substance abuse: The client smokes up to two packs of cigarettes per day and occasionally uses street drugs when available.
Economic instability: The client engages in rummaging through trash to find items for sale, suggesting financial difficulties.
Lack of energy and poor health: The client reports feeling unwell for weeks, possibly indicating underlying health issues.
Questions for Interview:
During the interview, it is essential to ask the following questions to gain a comprehensive understanding of the client’s situation:

Have you experienced any recent changes in your physical health, such as weight loss, fatigue, or other symptoms?
Can you describe your daily eating habits and the types of foods you typically consume?
How long have you been smoking, and have you tried quitting before?
Can you tell me more about your experiences with street drugs, including the frequency and types of drugs used?
What are your living conditions like, and do you have any stable sources of income or support?
Assisting the Client during Planning:
To best assist the client, the following approaches can be considered:

Building trust and rapport: Establishing a supportive and non-judgmental nurse-client relationship is crucial to encourage open communication and engagement.
Comprehensive assessment: Conduct a thorough physical and mental health assessment to identify any underlying medical conditions and determine appropriate interventions.
Collaborative goal setting: Work with the client to set realistic and achievable goals based on her priorities and needs.
Referral and resource coordination: Connect the client with community resources, such as social services, addiction treatment centers, and food assistance programs.
Health education and promotion: Provide information on healthy lifestyle choices, including nutrition, smoking cessation, harm reduction strategies, and safer drug use practices.
Potential Strategies for a “Better” Life:
The following strategies can assist the client in improving her life:

Access to healthcare: Assist the client in accessing primary care, mental health services, and addiction treatment programs.
Nutritional support: Connect the client with local food banks, nutrition education programs, and assistance programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
Smoking cessation support: Provide resources and counseling to help the client quit smoking, such as nicotine replacement therapy or smoking cessation support groups.
Harm reduction and drug rehabilitation: Encourage the client to seek help from substance abuse counseling services, harm reduction programs, or rehabilitation centers to address her drug use.
Employment and financial stability: Assist the client in exploring vocational training, job placement services, and financial counseling to improve her economic situation.
As a public health nurse, the assessment and intervention process for clients with complex challenges requires a holistic approach. By gathering comprehensive data, asking relevant questions, and utilizing appropriate strategies, nurses can provide vital support to clients like the 21-year-old woman in this case study. By addressing her nutritional needs, substance abuse issues, and economic instability, the nurse can assist her in working towards a better life.

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