What are the latest community health nursing trends?
Community health nursing is focused on disease prevention and health promotion. Decades ago, communicable disease was the greatest threat to public health. With the advent of effective vaccines and antibiotics, communicable disease has taken a back seat to the issues of chronic disease and an aging population. Chronic disease to a large extent is influenced by lifestyle and environmental factors. Lifestyle choices that begin during childhood and adolesence have an influence on adult diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. Good nutrition throughout pregnancy, promoting breast feeding and good childhood nutrition, developing healthy exercise and eating habits to avoid obesity and type 2 diabetes, getting adequate calcium to prevent osteoporosis, avoiding carcinogens such as tobacco smoke and environmental toxins, are all current issues in public health. A look at the upcoming national conference of the American Public Health Association finds the theme for 2010 to be social justice issues. If there is not adequate access to good nutrition and basic preventive health care, all the teaching in the world is not helpful. Community health nurses also need to be aware of emerging communicable disease trends such as drug resistant TB, and potential pandemic influenza, and to be educating young parents on the continuing importance of childhood vaccines.