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Community Health Nurse

Salary: $29.55-$36.08 hourly / $5,140-$6,275 monthly / Range: 6122

DEFINITION: Under supervision of a Supervising Public Health Nurse, provides community clinical nursing services by assessing client's health status and unmet family needs, serves patient caseloads, participates in public health clinics; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This class is characterized by the responsibility to work with individuals and/or families in a field setting and interacts with a variety of health care providers, community organizations, and County Departments. Duties involve the full scope of community health nursing activities that do not require Public Health Nurse Certification. Clients typically have limited knowledge of health principles, nutrition, disease process, appropriate care, or available resources. Incumbents work in the community making home visits, as well as conducting specialty clinics and health education activities. This class is distinguished from the higher level of Public Health Nurse, in that the latter is responsible for the public health nursing services of an assigned program or clinic, that due to federal and state mandates, require a Public Health Nurse certificate.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:

1. Plans, implements and/or evaluates prevention activities, programs or care provided to specific populations or in response to epidemic outbreaks; interviews and counsels patients; conducts health screening and assessments; provides health education presentations to schools and other community groups; and develops health and education plans for individuals and families.
2. Educates and counsels clients and their families in health maintenance and promotion and disease prevention in order to enhance the individual's ability to recognize the need for and to seek treatment to meet health care and general social needs. Demonstrates nursing techniques for home care of the ill or injured and observes client and client-family interaction in the home.
3. Assesses the physical, psycho-social and health care status and needs of families and/or individual clients; interviews client and/or family, collecting a health history and data regarding current health status and life situations.
4. Coordinates client care with other health professionals to improve client's health; refers clients and/or families to appropriate community or public agencies to obtain services or assistance to improve or maintain social functioning and health; and refers clients to physicians when medical intervention is indicated.
5. Diagnoses and investigates health problems in the community to identify potential problem/outbreak situations; participates in case identification and treatment of persons with communicable diseases or populations with high risk factors; identifies and works with cultural patterns influencing health outcomes of specific population groups.
6. Manages a caseload of clients requiring prioritization of patient care; records patient data; completes state forms and nursing daily reports; provides written referrals to other agencies; plans and organizes caseload to ensure that service is delivered according to program and professional guidelines; ensures caseload is covered during short periods of absence; and acts as client advocate with health care providers; prepares and maintains a variety of pertinent records reflecting patient's condition, medication and treatment, and other records required by state and federal governments
7. Coordinates health and related services in assigned programs; determines eligibility according to program guidelines; interprets and explains program guidelines to beneficiaries, service providers, and community agencies; refers beneficiaries to other appropriate community services; maintains case records according to program requirements.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS:

Possession of a valid Registered Nurse license issued by the California State Board of Registered Nursing and at least one year of community health nursing experience

Additional Qualification: Independent travel is required. Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License is required.

Knowledge of: practices of general clinical and public/community health nursing principles and epidemiological methods of data collection; causes and means of transmission methods of communicable diseases and partner notification; communicable disease investigation, and health promotion; public health programs such as immunizations, maternal child health, adolescent health, children's services, geriatric assessment etc.; case management and provisions for continuity in patient care; health promotion techniques; laws and regulations governing public health nursing; child abuse and neglect detection practices; environmental, sociological and psychological problems encountered in disease processes; contemporary health management principles; current trends in community health nursing; use and effects of medicines; principles of nutrition and personal hygiene practices; cultural differences affecting health care service delivery and community/public health; effective counseling and coaching techniques; and principles of clinical health screening, including charting histories and system reviews.

Ability to: exercise independent judgment; plan, organize, and carry out community/public health nursing activities in a local area; apply public health nursing laws and regulations; work effectively with individuals and families to assist them in satisfactory solution of health problems; perform assessments of health status, determining the need for and level of nursing and/or medical care; identify problems and develop a plan for follow-up; communicate effectively verbally and in writing; maintain accurate records and document actions taken; prepare clear and concise reports; work with groups; direct work of support staff; make home visits in assigned geographic areas; deal with clients of various socio-economic backgrounds and temperaments; demonstrate tact, diplomacy, and compassion; respond appropriately in emergency or stressful situations; identify and report domestic violence and child abuse and neglect; refer clients to social service agencies and health care providers; act as patient advocate; collect and analyze data to draw logical conclusions and make appropriate recommendations; interview and counsel clients on health and related matters; and maintain confidentiality of information.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Positions allocated to this class may require specialization in target populations, programs, and/or bilingual skills. Incumbents must be able to work in an environment that may include exposure to communicable diseases and a variety of field conditions. Candidates for employment must, as a condition of employment, sign a statement agreeing to comply with Section 11166 of the California Penal Code relating to child abuse, elder/dependent adult abuse, and physical violence abuse reporting.



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