Online Program

Public health nurses in local libraries: A unique way to provide population based interventions

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Kathleen Malkin, BSN, MS, Community Health Services Division, Pima County Health Department, Tucson, AZ
Kathleen Ford, BSN, RN-BC, Public Health Nursing, Pima County Health Department, Tucson, AZ
In late 2011, a unique partnership was developed between the local library and the Health Department. The library approached the Health Department, asking for assistance in solving the problem of large numbers of homeless, substance abusers, mentally ill and gang members disrupting library services and causing both patrons and staff to feel unsafe. The Health Department provided a Public Health Nurse to the library and the library agreed to cover the costs of salary and benefits for the nurse. Originally one nurse provided services to five high-need libraries; currently five PHNs provide services to six high-need libraries. This change was made so that when a PHN leaves employment, there are no gaps in service. In 2012, over 3,000 nursing interventions were provided to library patrons. The number of 911 calls due to disruptive patrons has significantly decreased but the number of 911 calls for medical reasons has increased. The PHNs recognize when patrons are escalating or need medical assistance and intervene before the situation gets out of hand. The PHNs work with library staff, training them on how to recognize potential problems and appropriate interventions. The PHNs utilize Betty Neumann's System Model to guide their practice and document their work using the Omaha Nursing Diagnosis System. This partnership has worked to make the libraries safer and has made Public Health Nursing more visible in the community. Many letters of thanks have been received from library patrons for the services the nurse has provided.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role of the Public Health Nurse working in the library setting Articulate the steps needed to replicate this program in other locations

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership, Public Health Nursing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in the Public Health Nursing field for over 30 years, with over twenty years of experience in Public Health Nursing Management, program development, implementation and evaluation. I have consistently worked with community organizations to provide population based Public Health Nursing services to the community.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.