Practicum: Identification of a Population in Your Community
Practicum Learning Objectives
• Develop an intervention plan in collaboration with other professionals that takes into account determinants of health, available resources, and activities that contribute to health and the prevention of illness or injury
• Provide culturally competent care, i.e., health promotion, disease and injury prevention interventions in collaboration with other health care professionals in a community health care setting
• Analyze data pertaining to a specific community health issue
• Evaluate how cultural competence improves nursing practice and health outcomes
• Evaluate current evidence-based practices for your selected population
• Analyze evidence-based practices
• Evaluate programs aimed at solving health problems
• Evaluate local disaster plans and contemplate collaborative efforts in problem solving
• Analyze effectiveness of practicum proposal through practice presentations
• Present practicum presentation to colleagues
Weekly Practicum Assignments
Practicum Group Discussions
Week 1: Identification of a Population in Your Community
As a community of practice your task for this week is to collaborate with professionals across the health care system and with your community of practice in the discussion in order to find a gap in care or social determinant that often results in poor health care outcomes. You will begin to take the lead in advocating for and collaborating with others to improve the health care outcomes for populations at risk.
Overall Purpose for Practicum: Develop a potential project to improve the health of a specific population of interest or a population at risk.
This practicum is designed to help you develop as a scholar practitioner and health leader to promote positive social change in your own community. In this practicum experience you will focus on primary prevention of a health problem in your community (see text for definition.) You already possess the knowledge and skills to help those who are acutely ill. This experience will help learn how to prevent a health problem in a specific population at risk at the community and system level of care (see text for definition). Consequently, because you are well aware of how to care for individuals you will now develop leadership and advocacy skills to improve the health of the community. Collaborating with other professionals and community members in your community will be the key to a successful practicum and project. Collaborate with each other in the discussions, with your instructor, with health care professionals (nurses and other disciplines), with local and state departments of health, and most importantly with the population you hope to help. As an advocate, you will promote positive social change through collaboration with families, communities, and professionals in the health care system. You will develop a culturally relevant proposal that could improve health outcomes for a specific population at risk in your community.
Answer the following questions as you develop your evidence-based, culturally appropriate intervention for your community:
What health issue, problem, or disparity in health outcomes is of concern to you as a scholar practitioner in your community? What gaps in knowledge and care do you see as possible causes for the health issue? What does the health data tell you about the health issue? What does the literature tell you about the health issue? How can you learn about the health issue and about possible solutions from the viewpoint of families, community as a whole, and health professionals in your community? What evidence is there to support your proposal? What is one avenue you could advocate for improved health outcomes and know when a change has taken place?
Suggestions for the Project
Each week’s activities are geared to help you move along with your proposal. Use this time well and utilize some aspect of discussion and assignments in this course (e.g. windshield survey) to support your proposal as well. Read about the whole project before you start.
Suggestions for Discussions
The more you discuss your project with your group the better it will turn out. Consider posting earlier than Thursday to have a better discussion. Provide honest, respectful feedback to each other. Picture yourself as someone practicing in the other student’s community, working with and listening to your colleagues’ ideas weekly (as your read each other’s posts). You are responsible for helping your colleagues make the best decision in class in the same you would be if you were working side-by-side.
Review the focus for each week of the practicum. The weekly practicum discussions will help keep you focused on your project. You will receive guidance from faculty and help from other students in your group.
Overview: As a community of practice, your task for this week is to collaborate with professionals across the health care system. With your community of practice, in the Discussion, find a gap in care or social determinant that often results in poor health care outcomes. You will begin to take the lead in advocating for and collaborating with others to improve the health care outcomes for populations at risk. The more you talk with your group about your project, the better it will be. If you want a better discussion, think about posting before Thursday. Give each other feedback that is honest and kind. Think of yourself as a student practicing in the other student’s community. Each week, as you read each other’s posts, you work with and listen to your colleagues’ ideas. You should help your classmates make the best decision in class, just like you would if you were working with them.
Review what each week of the practicum is about. The weekly discussions in your practicum will help you keep your mind on your project. You will get help from both the teachers and the other students in your group.
Practicum Discussion: During this week, you will identify a population at risk in your community. This population will be the basis for your Practicum Discussions and your individual presentations over the next 6 weeks, as well as the focus of your final PowerPoint presentation in Week 6. To review, a population is a group of individuals who share a common environmental or personal characteristic, such as obese individuals who are at risk for diabetes or cardiovascular disease (populations at risk) or those individuals who are otherwise healthy and could stay healthy if they do not develop risky behaviors (populations of interest). An example of this is teenagers who don’t yet smoke but might consider it due to peer pressure (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2020). Some of the topics you might consider are vaccination compliance, obesity rates among children and adults, teenage pregnancy, or infectious diseases such as Norwalk virus, genital warts, or sexually transmitted diseases/infections. You might look also at emerging public health problems such as Chagas or the Zika virus. Some of the places you might consider looking for information to substantiate and support your ideas about populations at risk in your communities are your local health department, the CDC, and the many evidence-based websites that the CDC supports, such as the CDC Wonder (http://wonder.cdc.gov/). You may also review the work of other community groups that focus on improving health care outcomes for your community. You should begin to support your selection of population and ideas about their health care problems through the use of health data and scholarly literature.