NUR4244 Public Health Deli 6 Deliverable 6: Communicable Disease Communication Document Scenario Your supervisor has asked each public health nurse to research a different communicable disease and prepare a communication document about the disease. These communication documents will be used to support your department in better understanding the public health issues, the potential consequences to the population, and the actions that public health nurses can take to educate and provide services for the population. As the senior public health nurse in your department, your supervisor has requested that you select your communicable disease to research first and then they will assign your coworkers their communicable disease topic. Instructions Part One – Select one communicable disease from the list below, and research the communicable disease: Vaccination rates of children and any outbreaks Rates of influenza among those over 65 Rising rates of new HIV rates of infection. High immigrant community and concern about Ebola, Zika, or SARS New cases of acute flaccid myelitisRising rates of sexually transmitted diseases Salmonella outbreak Rising rates of hepatitis Part Two – Prepare a communication document that: Explains the selected communicable disease’s impact or potential impact on public health. Analyzes data using correct epidemiologic terminology on the communicable disease (from the surveillance sources’ websites provided below). Explains the potential impact on the population if this communicable disease is not addressed, with a focus on the social impact and the emotional distress to the community. Examines nursing interventions that have been proven effective in similar communities. Details the action steps that can be taken by public health nurses to prevent and control the communicable disease, including education strategies. Provides stated ideas with professional language and attribution for credible sources with correct APA citation, spelling, and grammar in the communication document. Resources Library Databases Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition Database FAQ Surveillance Source Websites Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Disease Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Disease Morbidity and Mortality Weekly: State level Statistics Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Annual Disease Statistics Policy Map Guides & FAQs Policy Map Tutorials Searching the Map Search by Census Tract and Block Group Data Layer Legend APA Guide Credible Sources FAQ Nursing Guide Rasmussen’s Answers/FAQs
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NUR4244 deliverable 6 Materials
Grading Rubric
Education Strategies to Prevent Diseases
Education to prevent and control communicable diseases is based on
principles of good communication and behavioral messaging, that is
providing a simple, compelling message about why an issue is being
communicated and why action is needed. The why of the message is
particularly important for communication at the general message level
associated with traditional television, radio, and print public service
announcements. The importance of the why for messages is also true for
targeting a specific audience, or an individual via social media or
interpersonal communication. Research points to the need for a
message to have four key elements: a message recipient, the threat to
health, actions to be performed to reduce the threat, and benefits
achieved from performing the actions.
Some of the most common causes of death and disability like
unintentional injury, diabetes-related complications, heart disease, and
cancer are linked to lifestyle and behavioral choices. Therefore, it is
important that messaging address specific behaviors and lifestyle
choices that individuals can modify to reduce their risks. Consider the
importance of framing the four elements of the message.
Credibility of Messenger
One other important part of messaging is the credibility of the
messenger. Nurses are trusted sources and providers of health
education. In this case, pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners are
essential partners in providing education and services. Collaborating with
community representatives can add additional credibility to the specific
cause or situation. People often relate to real-life stories from peers.
Others look to trusted community leaders such as pastors, respected
elders, and lay health workers. Many successful health outreach
programs have started in barbershops and community interest groups.
Education Strategies and Technology
Public health messaging has relied in the past on television and radio
public service announcements, use of billboards, and printed education
materials. Public health educators are now focusing on how best to use
electronic health portals, social messaging and media, and the use of
smartphones for delivering educational materials. The use of social
media has some unique advantages in reaching populations with
different languages and health literacy levels.
Electronic reminders via watches and smartphones are becoming more
common in messaging older populations about medication times and
testing reminders. Use of technologies such as FaceTime allows health
visits and monitoring at a distance. More technology companies are
developing tools for at-home monitoring from smart watches to longdistance electronic messaging. Rural areas have long relied on
technology for specialty visits and transmission of radiologic readings.
The effective use of technology to improve education strategies is a new
area for research among public health nurses.
Effective communication is a vital part of public health. Understanding
the culture, psychology, and sociology of the targeted population is a
critical element in health messaging and the designing of education
strategies to meet the varying needs of clients.
Morrison, F. P., Kukafka, R., & Johnson, S. B. (2005). Analyzing the
structure and content of public health messages. AMIA … Annual
Symposium proceedings. AMIA Symposium, Vol. 2005, 540-4. Retrieved
Surveillance Measures of the Public Health Nurse
Public health agencies collect massive amounts of data on factors
contributing to disease, health habits of the population, trends in disease
outbreaks, and disease morbidity and mortality rates. It is essential to
know where and how you can access data to help diagnose the health
status of your community, as a public health professional. Public health
nurses should also understand the socio-economic, cultural, and
environmental factors to consider when accessing and interpreting data.
National Databases
The US Census Bureau collects information that is specific to census
areas across the country and provides researchers with the tools to
collect this data to support the needs of the community. These tools
allow public health researchers to isolate smaller census tracks or
communities which might be termed food deserts due to lack of
businesses providing groceries, to locate high poverty areas, and to
evaluate specific needs in counties where there are disadvantaged
State Databases
All states keep birth and death registries, where state epidemiologists
analyze information. Public health nurses use birth information to guide
their focus on family planning, pre-natal care, as well as maternal and
infant services in specific communities. Death certificates provide
information about the primary cause of death and additional comorbidities. Data from death certificates is useful, but often the actual
cause of death (pneumonia, sepsis) is the culmination of one or more
underlying diseases.
Some states also maintain specific disease registries. These may include
neonatal metabolic disorders, cancer, congenital disabilities, and
accidental deaths. Many state epidemiologists collect and send
surveillance data to larger databases at the CDC. They also coordinate
data collection with local health departments. Not-for-profit community
hospitals are also required to perform and publish community health
assessments to keep their tax status, which specifies that they serve the
community as their primary mission. These can often be located on
hospital websites. They are used by hospitals to assess community need
and to assist with strategic planning.
The Public Health Nurse Competencies specify that public health nurses
need to know how to collect and analyze data and to utilize this data in
responding to the needs of communities. Understanding where data can
be located and how to use data analysis tools is a core function of the
public health professional.
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. (2018, September 04).
Retrieved from
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
(NCCDPHP). (2018, July 23). Retrieved from
National Center for Health Statistics. (2019, January 10). Retrieved from
US Census Bureau. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Care for Clients with Communicable Disease
Caring for clients with communicable diseases require that a nurse
understand the disease agent, the route of transmission, and the immune
status of the client. An understanding of basic epidemiology is an
essential competency for the public health nurse when providing care for
clients with communicable diseases.
Nurses must also understand the chain of infection from the infectious
organism, the portal of entry into the host, the reservoir or environment
where the organism exists and multiplies, the portal of exit (blood, feces,
respiration), the transmission mode (airborne, contact, droplet), and the
susceptibility of the individual. Understanding these fundamentals
informs the nurse on how to proceed with the management and care of
the client with a communicable disease.
Communicable Diseases Care
Flu and colds are common communicable diseases. Isolation in the
home, comfort measures, hand hygiene, and antipyretics are usually all
that is needed to treat and prevent the spread of these communicable
diseases. Bacterial infections such as streptococci require laboratory
diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics along with home stay and
antipyretics. It is important that all persons with a fever be kept at home
and away from schools and daycare, as well as workplaces until they are
fever free for at least 24 hours.
Individuals with weakened immune systems may need additional medical
therapy and respiratory precautions. Clients who are immunecompromised are at particular risk from communicable diseases, despite
their immunization status. These clients should be instructed to avoid
crowded places, particularly those where young children congregate and
to avoid air travel when possible. These clients should consult their
physician or an immunologist about additional precautions.
Antibiotic Resistant Infection
One of the side effects of the widespread use of antibiotics is the genetic
evolution of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria and viral infections.
These are frustrating to public health physicians and leading to increased
research into new methods of treatment. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) remains the best source for information in
the US and the World Health Organization (WHO) when traveling
For instance, many countries are now seeing anti-biotic resistant strains
of tuberculosis. In 2017, 558,000 new cases of anti-biotic resistant TB
were reported worldwide. The mortality rate ranged from 20-30%. Public
health nurses are involved in assessing and reporting these cases and in
managing different medication regiments in this population.
The public health nurse is an important source of information and
education for clients with communicable diseases. Understanding the
chain of infection is a foundation for sharing accurate information in the
community in order to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
CDC – Bloodborne Infectious Diseases – Universal Precautions – NIOSH
Workplace Safety and Health Topic. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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