The Public Health Nurse provides public health nursing services to individuals, families, and population groups. Nursing actions are directed toward the goals of prevention, assessment, risk reduction, and health status improvements for individuals, families, and communities. Nursing activities include, but are not limited to, systematic analysis of health data, care plan development, health education and advocacy, coalition building, and collaborating with community partners to promote the health of a population. Public Health Nurses often collaborate and consult within multidisciplinary and multi-agency teams in order to achieve desirable outcomes for families and communities. Public Health Nursing interventions occur at individual, family, community and system levels depending upon the responsibilities of the position and the issues involved.
Under general supervision and/or as a part of various workgroups and teams, the Public Health Nurse performs the following essential functions within the framework of McLeod County Health Department’s provision of the core functions and essential services of public health. These are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive. Other duties may be required and assigned.
Public Health Sciences
* Performs comprehensive individual and family assessment which includes health history, physical assessment, growth monitoring, developmental assessment, psycho-social assessment, assessment of family functioning, assessment for substance abuse or domestic violence issues, and assessment of basic needs including food, housing, income, resources and supports, and access to health care.
* Provides care coordination, case management, referral and follow-up to individuals and families who are member of a vulnerable population and/or high-risk groups. Evaluates outcomes, effectiveness of plan, and makes changes as necessary.
* Uses public health surveillance/disease investigation methods in community outreach, screening, and case finding of communicable and infectious diseases that threaten the health of the community.
* Investigates complaints regarding environmental health problems and initiates enforcement or corrective actions as required.
* Provides education and counseling to individuals, families and community groups that are adapted to their unique needs, lifestyle, cultural and social-economic situation.
* Obtains and completes appropriate patient “Authorization of and Consent for Care” forms, ensures patient confidentiality and maintains orderly medical records. Follows established Public Health medical record policies and procedures as well as the State and Federal laws that govern the release of health care information.
* Documents patient assessment, intervention, care plan, and all formal and/or informal service data in medical records. Uses established medical record forms, databases and documentation practices.
* Responds to individual client emergency situations in the clinical or home setting with basic life support and first aid skills. Summons other health care providers and emergency response personnel in a timely and appropriate manner.
* Collaborates in development and delivery of programs and activities for individuals, families and population groups that promote health and prevent disease, in settings including, but not limited to the all Health Department buildings/sites, clinics, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, customized living facilities, homes, community organizations and businesses, schools, and the community in general.
* Collaborates in the development of and contributes to individual, team, Departmental, and managed care organization quality improvement, performance management, and evaluation activities.
Community Dimensions of Practice
* Collaborates in McLeod County Public Health Department’s community health assessment and health improvement planning and interventions activities.
* Delivers targeted, culturally-appropriate information to help individuals and groups understand health promotion and disease prevention information, policies, regulations, and local code.
* Actively participates in and acts as a liaison with other community agencies and professionals in collaborative efforts to address community health priorities.
* Advocates on behalf of vulnerable individuals and populations; participates in assessing and evaluating health care services to ensure that people are informed of available health department and community programs and services and are assisted in the utilization of those services.
* Participates in McLeod County Health Department research and demonstration projects that seek to improve the health of communities and determine new ways to address health issues.
* Contributes to a work environment that fosters ongoing educational experiences regarding public health nursing for colleagues, nursing and other health-related students, healthcare professionals and members of the community.
* Participates in response teams to prevent, minimize, and contain adverse health events and conditions resulting from communicable diseases; food-, water-, and vector-borne outbreaks; chronic diseases; environmental hazards; injuries; and health disparities.
Analysis and Assessment
* Ensures accuracy, completeness and quality of data for health promotion and disease prevention, evaluation and quality improvement efforts.
Leadership and Systems Thinking
* Demonstrates knowledge of applicable state professional practice guidelines for registered professional nurses, the American Nurses’ Association Scope and Standards of Practice for Public Health Nursing and any other federal and state laws and regulations applicable to practice as a Public Health Nursing professional.
* Adheres to applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards, such as those concerning exposure to blood borne pathogens, toxic substances, airborne pathogens or exposure to other hazards during routine assignments or assignments during public health emergencies.
* Collaborates in developing a work environment where performance management and continuous quality improvements in professional practice is pursued.
* Assumes responsibility for own professional growth and development by pursuing education and participation in professional committees and work groups and contributing to a work environment where continual improvements in practice are pursued.
Policy Development and Program Planning
* Promotes the community’s understanding of, and advocacy for, policies and activities that will improve the community’s health.
* Assists in policy development by gathering relevant information, developing policy options, and assisting with impact analysis of options on services and population health.
* Assists in developing and implementing a community involvement process that assures the information exchange necessary to provide public health’s input into appropriate plans and policies; identifies potential barriers to new policy development and implementation.
* Collaborates in and contributes to individual, team, and departmental performance management, quality improvement and evaluation activities.
Communication and Cultural Competency
* Delivers targeted, culturally appropriate information to help individuals and groups understand local environmental public health policies, regulation and code.
* Utilizes appropriate methods for interacting effectively and professionally with persons of all ages and from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, educational, racial, and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, lifestyles, physical abilities, and mental abilities
* Adheres to ethical principles and McLeod County Public Health Department policy in the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of data and information.
Financial Planning and Management
* Collaborates in activities such as time studies that contribute to the development of budgets and the efficient use of resources.
* Performs public health emergency response duties as assigned and consistent with job classification and training provided, in response to threats to the public’s health.
* Participates in Department and community emergency response training and drills consistent with job classification in support of public health emergency and disaster preparedness.
* Utilizes quality improvement (QI) and performance management (PM) processes and/or techniques to improve the effectiveness of the respective public health program. This includes, but is not limited to: creating, implementing, and evaluating performance standards and identifying, implementing, and assessing program quality improvement processes.
Due to the need for all Health Department personnel to respond to public health emergencies, the employee must be assessed for his/her ability to meet the physical demands of performing the following activities:
* Must be able to be fitted and wear NIOSH 95 mask.
If unable to demonstrate this, all reasonable accommodations will be made, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and any other applicable Federal and Minnesota law.