What is the role of the community/public health nurse
A Communicable Disease Outbreak
Janice is an 18 year old college student. She lives in a dormitory on campus with her roommate, Sally. Shortly after Jane returned from Christmas break, she developed a fever and severe cough.
Sally persuaded her to go to see a doctor. Because it was a Saturday, Jane went to the emergency department (ED) of the local hospital. The physician made a diagnosis of pertussis. Later that
night, he and the ED nurses became very busy with victims of a multivehicle accident. As a result, no one completed the health department form reporting Jane’s pertussis until 2 days later.
By the time a public health nurse contacted Jane to complete a pertussis case report, Sally and several other girls in Jane’s dorm had also developed pertussis. Sally gave it to her boyfriend, who
exposed those students in his classes. One of the women in his English class just had a baby a month ago.
The university has a policy that all students provide immunization verification on admission before enrolling in classes. The student health center reviews student immunization records and notifies
students of any deficiencies. There is no mechanism for creating a registration “hold” for students with deficient immunizations. A review of cases in this outbreak indicated that approximately
three quarters of those effected, including the woman with the new baby, had not received a pertussis booster as adolescents and the remaining one quarter had never been immunized for pertussis.
Write a paper addressing the following:
1. What is a vaccine-preventable disease? Is pertussis a vaccine-preventable disease? What is a reportable disease? Is pertussis reportable in the state of Florida? (20%)
2. Based on the case study, what determinants of health are operating in this situation? (20%) Include examples of the following:
a. Biological- e.g. age, gender, race/ethnicity, physiologic health status
b. Psychological- e.g. stress
c. Environmental- e.g. crowded living conditions, sanitation, seasonal variations
d. Sociocultural- e.g. socioeconomic status, living situation, societal attitudes, media messages, language and cultural beliefs, religious beliefs, education level
e. Health System- e.g. access to care, vaccine availability, immunized health care personnel, recommended treatments
3. What primary, secondary and tertiary prevention measures could have been employed in this situation and what measures are appropriate at this point? (20%)
4. What is the role of the community/public health nurse in this situation? (20%)
5. How would you evaluate the effectiveness of your interventions? (10%)