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03.03 Community Aggregates

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Overview

We will discuss different aggregate populations and the most common health concerns in each group. 

Nursing Points

General

  1. Aggregate
    1. Members of community
    2. Children/Adolescents
    3. Women
    4. Men
    5. Older Adults 
    6. Families
  2. Children/Adolescents
    1. Children (0-10 years)
      1. Immunizations
        1. Advocacy
        2. Parent education
      2. Bullying
        1. Cyber
        2. In person
      3. Obesity
        1. Inactivity
        2. Unhealthy eating
    2. Adolescents (11-19 years)
      1. Drugs/Alcohol
        1. Experimentation
      2. Mental health
        1. Stigma
      3. Sex
        1. Proper education
          1. Risks
          2. Contraception
  3. Women
    1. Heart disease
      1. #1 cause of death
      2. Presents different than men
    2. Female cancers
      1. Breast
      2. Ovarian
      3. Cervical
    3. Reproductive health
      1. Pregnancy issues
      2. Menstrual issues
      3. STDs
  4. Men
    1. Heart disease
    2. Prostate cancer
      1. Most common cancer
    3. Depression
      1. Less likely to get help
  5. Elderly/Older adults
    1. Safety
      1. Sensory changes
      2. Mental changes
      3. Self-care changes
  6. Families
    1. All concerns affect family dynamic
    2. Address needs of whole family
      1. Support
      2. Guidance
      3. Education

Nursing Concepts

I. Support

II. Guidance

III. Education

Reference Links

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

Hi guys. Welcome to the lesson on Community Aggregates. In this lesson, we’ll talk about some of the major health issues specific populations in the community face and how we address them. Let’s get started.

An aggregate is a specific population within the community. Children, women, men, elderly, families, these are all aggregate populations. There’s obviously more than just these but we will focus on them here. Bear in mind that I’m not giving you an exhaustive list of issues but really some of the more common ones.

Let’s start with children. The biggest issues with school aged children are vaccines, bullying and obesity. We’re in the anti-vax age now. There’s lots of support behind not vaccinating kids but with that we are seeing old diseases creep up that haven’t been seen for some time. Think about this. Younger children have no perception of personal space so germs are being passed from one child to another. As they go through school, they are still fairly close together and share frequently. Hand washing isn’t great so it’s super easy to pass on diseases. What we see now is children aren’t being allowed to attend school without the proper immunizations but that can’t be the only solution. Advocacy and the right education is needed for parents to make informed decisions. Bullying is a health concern and as of 2017, it’s the number one concern. Bullying can lead to mental health and behavior issues. At some point bullied children become adults and if they’ve picked up any negative behaviors along the way, there could be some health consequences later in life. Childhood obesity has been an issue for years. Let’s dissect this for a second. When I was younger, my friends and I played outside and once we were out there, we were out there. My mom would lock the door so I couldn’t run in and out. We were super active and we were kids. Now there’s video games, internet, cell phones. All things that draw us indoors making us more interactive than active. There’s no upside to going outside. My kids can play Fortnite with all their friends in their headset. They don’t need to see them to play anymore. There was an uptick in weight gain in children because they weren’t as physically active. What did we do about it? We incorporated healthy eating initiatives in school to counteract that but we forgot that we need more than diet restrictions at school. The follow through is just as necessary as the education and the action itself.  

With our adolescent population, there’s a million concerns but some very common concerns are drugs/alcohol, mental health and sex. Not really new concerns, right? Experimentation occurs most in the adolescent years. Let’s use mental health as a reason. The onset of some mental health diseases occur in the adolescent years and sometimes earlier. To cope some will turn to drugs and alcohol because they don’t really understand what’s happening to them. There’s such a stigma around mental health that most adults won’t seek help, so what do we expect a teenager to do? I’m not saying that’s the only reason. There’s peer pressure and things of that nature too but the mental health aspect is overlooked and that’s why we’re talking about it. There’s an entire section on mental health so make sure you check that out and keep that in mind. What we have to remember here is that adolescents are extremely impressionable. This is the best time to provide the most support and education to prevent negative behaviors, especially knowing they can have a drastic effect on their lives later on. We can’t assume all adolescents are being educated or receiving the education they need to make these choices. School nurses heads up because they’re probably coming to you first! Nurses should become an outlet and make sure that they have all the resources and adequate education they need to make the best choices in a time that can be super confusing for them.  

Let’s move on to women. The number one killer in women is heart disease. Why? Because it presents differently in women than it does in men and what we’ve come to know as symptoms of heart disease, don’t necessarily affect us the same way. Female cancers are a huge concern. How many commercials have you seen advertising for lawyers if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cervical, ovarian or breast cancer? I think the latest culprit is talc.  Then there’s reproductive health concerns. Sounds like they should all go hand in hand right? Reproductive health refers to gynecological issues like menstrual and fertility problems. Some of those issues come from untreated STDs so here we are again talking about behaviors and education. Our goal with these concerns is to make sure that women are educated on prevention, screenings and behavioral risks. Believe it or not there are many women who aren’t comfortable doing their own breast checks or even talking about the topic so self-checks need to be encouraged. We need to address that need first then provide the proper education and resources to meet the need. 

Just like women, heart disease is the #1 cause of death in men, but for a different reason we’ll explain in a second. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and can go without symptoms for some time. Depression is big as well. Let me tell you the reason these are such big concerns. Most men won’t keep up on health checks or they ignore the signs! They are historically less likely to seek medical attention from primary care to emergency care. Also, appearing weak is a fear for most men because society has taught us that men should be strong at all times. Taking medications or seeking help is considered a weakness. The men I know don’t want prostate checks because it’s exit only but like I said before symptoms don’t always appear so checks are necessary. Since you can’t check your own prostate guys, you may as well get everything else looked at while you’re there. Health education, promotion and encouragement is completely necessary here!  

If we educated correctly, everyone will get old. The primary concern in the elderly population is safety. The reason for this is the aging-associated changes. As we age our systems decline. Cognition and senses decrease, we become less physically capable. These all have the potential to affect our self-care ability. Remember we talked home care in the practice settings lesson. Our main client here is the elderly client. Providing care and resources in their own environment to ensure we promote quality of life is the main goal.   

We mentioned families in the beginning of the lesson as a community aggregate and I don’t want to leave them out. Think about the bullied child, the depressed adult, the pregnant teen, the elderly dementia client. These are all issues that can negatively affect the family dynamic and just as we address the individual, we need to be sure that we are also providing support to family members as well. No dynamic is the same so as we provide that support we have to be sure we are providing it to address that family’s specific needs.  

Some key points. Remember even though we are talking about specific populations, no 2 people are alike so cases will vary and we still need to make sure we are looking at the individual and taking their needs into account. Educate educate educate! I can’t say this enough guys. It’s the one consistent key here in preventing these concerns from becoming a problem. Families are a group that are just as important to remember as the others we talked about here. Every group member comes from a family that’s affected just like the individual. Don’t forget to meet their needs too. 

That’s all for the Community Aggregates lesson. Make sure you check out all the resources attached to this lesson. Now, go out and be your best selves today. And as always, Happy Nursing!

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