According to Stanhope and Lancaster (2008) defines a community as: “A social group determined by geographic boundaries and/or common values and interests. Its members know and interact with one another. It functions within a particular social structure and exhibits and creates norms, values, and social institutions” (World Health Organization [WHO], 1974, pg. 7). Stanhope and Lancaster (2008) defines community health as having: “three common characteristics, or dimensions: status, structure, and process. Stanhope & Lancaster (2008) also go on to say: “Each dimension reflects a unique aspect of community health: (pg. 45). Community health in terms of status, or income, is the most well known and accepted approach; it involves biological, emotional, and social parts. The biological (or physical) part of community health is often measured by traditional morbidity and mortality rates, life expectancy indexes, and risk factors profile” (pg. 345). The community is the client if a nurse is helping individuals even one at a time in the community. Stanhope and Lancaster (2008) states: “The community is the client only when the nursing focus is on the collective or common good of the population instead of on individual health” (pg. 44) and “Although the nurse may work with individuals, families or other interacting groups, aggregates, or institutions, or within a population, the resulting changes are intended to affect the whole community” (Stanhope and Lancaster, 2008, pg. 344). One Healthy People 2020 health indicator that applies to this particular area, which is Oklahoma City, would be “Quality of life and well-being” (Healthy People 2020 at a glance. (2010). There is a large population of poverty level residents. Many people in the community of the south side Oklahoma City are living in homes that are not safe or are unclean.
Additional aspects will be discussed in the Window Survey of south Oklahoma City. The boundary for the north part of Oklahoma City runs almost parallel to interstate I-44 from the east to the west. It is located in the central metro area of the state of Oklahoma, with boundaries east of the cities of Mustang and Yukon, and west of the cities of Spencer and Del City. The southern boundary of Oklahoma City overlaps interstate I-240 that runs from east to west and is north of the cities of Moore and Norman. The economic boundaries for the southern part of Oklahoma City can run the ambit from residents below poverty level to those that would be considered to be upper-class in their monetary value. There are neighborhoods that many would not feel comfortable after dark because there has been a rise in crime to those areas. The zoning of these homes are single story, quarter acre lots that are approximately one thousand to fifteen hundred square feet. These impoverished areas have small, older homes that are two to three bedroom homes that are unkempt and, at times, are cockroach infested. The houses are built closely side by side and do not have much open space throughout the neighborhood.
Most of these homes show signs of decay related to the amount of repairs that need to be made to the home. Many of the residents are renting and cannot afford to make the necessary repairs or have landlords that are unwilling to comply with the safety of their occupants. The stores in the south part of Oklahoma City are ones that cater to a lower income, such as, Payday loans, Buy For Less, Ross, Payless shoes, Wal Mart, etc. Race representation in this area of south Oklahoma City is a majority of Hipic, black, white, and Native American.
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When driving through this community, there are men and women who can be seen each day standing on the corners of busy streets holding various cardboard signs which ask for help and state they are out of work. The houses have children’s toys laying in the front yards and dogs can be seen in the backyards roaming or on chains. The transportation for many, are cars that range from 1980’s to the 2000’s. They appear to be in need of repair in many cases. Since many of the residents in this area have little money, there are service centers, such as Auto Zone, and Midas that aide in “do it yourself” repairs.
However, there is a divide in the income level because within five to ten miles there are neighborhoods with homes that are valued from a quarter of a million to half a million dollars. These upper class neighborhoods are surrounded by brick walls with gates that require codes for entrance. One higher class neighborhood is called Rivendale. Surrounding these areas are higher end shopping centers, such as Chasity Square. This particular shopping center has stores called Mann’s Best Friend that provides all natural dog food and baked goods for pets.
In both of the low income areas and higher income areas, there are many churches of various religions that are represented, including Catholic, Baptist, Non-denominational, Methodist, Lutheran, and Jehovah’s Witness. These are common meeting places for many in both communities. Aspects that would affect the health in this community, would be alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse. For those in the low income areas, stress of everyday life in which they struggle would draw them to these vices, for those in the higher income areas, it would be the stress of working to maintain their lifestyle.
Other health concerns would be obesity of those who cannot afford healthy eating habits, high blood pressure affects both low and high incomes for different reasons, diabetes, and for the low income, lack of preventative care. There is Planned Parenthood for well woman checks, organizations that provide blood pressure checks and diabetes screening, and the YMCA works on a sliding scale of income for membership to the gym to help prevent obesity.
Media is covered by local news stations and the Daily Oklahoman. ? References Healthy People 2020 at a glance. (2010). PT in Motion, 2(6), 22-23. Retrieved From EBSCOhost. Stanhope, M. & Lancaster, J. (2008). Population-Centered Health Care In the Community. (7th ed. ). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier. World Health Organization: Community health nursing: report of a WHO expert committee, Geneva, 1374, World Health Organization.
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