Public Health Nursing Case Study

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Introduction The Primary Community and Continuing Care (2009) state that public health nurses (PHNs) provide preventative and curative care within specific geographical regions to people of various age groups. Mulcahy et al (2012) describe PHNs as ‘population based generalist nurses’. Public health nurse’s areas of care vary from wound dressing clinics to postnatal home visits. Placement in this area involved experiences such as the addiction clinic, breastfeeding clinic and first postnatal visits. These areas are of importance to the maternity services due to the fact that we are members of the multidisciplinary team, and postnatal care begins within our services. Exposure to care of this nature allows us as students to gather the whole picture…show more content…
According to research, there are ‘numerous risk characteristics’ involved, such as a lack of education, age, minority and support structures. (McCabe & Arndt, 2012) The nurse discussed a woman’s case to provide answers as to why she may have begun taking illegal substances. The woman had led a very normal life, she lived with her husband and kids. Her husband died suddenly. This woman began using heroin to cope with the loss of her husband. Discussing these experiences allow for less judgement on behalf of the listener as you see the difficulties facing these women. This experience also allowed the person involved to be decriminalised. They are no longer the criminal you read about in the newspaper. They are unfortunate souls who have experienced copious amounts of hardship where the support system in place is lacking. Exposure to this area improves your communication skills as you witness how the nurse discusses various personal topics with these women…show more content…
Methadone is associated with a higher sobriety compliance rate, decreased illegal substance abuse and decreased mortality. (Mattick et al, 2009) In conjunction with this clinic in Cork is a special antenatal clinic ran by the respective nurses and doctors. This clinic supports the women in rehabilitation. It appears to be beneficial, as twenty-four of the twenty-five women who participated in the last clinic kept their babies for the first six months of life. This experience is of relevance to the maternity services as these women enter our care. As midwives our role is to act as part of the multidisciplinary team involved in caring for these women and it is ‘critical to engage and retain women in treatment and to assist agencies in providing the needed scope for care’. (Economidoy et al,

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