You must go out into your community to complete the windshield survey! This project cannot be completed by just doing online research. For the paper, make sure interviews are cited as personal communication. (My community location is Dallas, TX, make sure to note this). An example of the paper is attached.
Defining the Community
Your community can be a pediatric, adolescence, young adults, adult, elderly or a combination.
Clearly delineate the following dimensions before starting the process of community assessment:
- Describe the population that is being assessed?
- What is/are the race(s) of this population within the community?
- Are there boundaries of this group? If so, what are they?
- Does this community exist within a certain city or county?
- Are there general characteristics that separate this group from others?
- Education levels, birth/death rates, age of deaths, insured/uninsured?
- Where is this group located geographically…? Urban/rural?
- Why is a community assessment being performed? What purpose will it serve?
- How will information for the community assessment be collected?
After the community has been defined, the next phase is assessment. The following items describe several resources and methods that can be used to gather and generate data. These items serve as a starting point for data collection. This is not an all-inclusive list of resources and methods that may be used when a community assessment is conducted.
The time frame for completion of the assessment may influence which methods are used. Nonetheless, these items should be reviewed to determine what information will be useful to collect about the community that is being assessed. It is not necessary to use all of these resources and methods; however, use of a variety of methods is helpful when one is exploring the needs of a community.
Data Gathering (collecting information that already exists)
Demographics of the Community
- When demographic data are collected, it is useful to collect data from a variety of levels so comparisons can be made.
- If the population that is being assessed is located within a specific setting, it may be best to contact that agency to retrieve specific information about that population.
- The following resources provide a broad overview of the demographics of a city, county, or state:
- American Fact Finder—Find population, housing, and economic and geographic data for your city based on U.S. Census data
- State and County Quick Facts—Easy access to facts about people, business, and geography, based on U.S. Census data
- Obtain information about a specific city or county on these useful websites www.epodunk.com and www.city-data.com
Information from Government Agencies
- Healthy People 2020—this resource is published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It identifies health improvement goals and objectives for the country to be reached by the year 2020
- National Center for Health Statistics—this agency is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; this website provides statistical information about the health of Americans
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—The CDC website contains a large amount of information related to the health of the American population. The search engine within this website can be used to find relevant information
- Federal agencies with statistical programs
- Every state in the United States has its own specific health improvement plan and goals that are based on the Healthy People 2020 document. This information may be available on the state health department website.
- State and local health departments provide information related to vital statistics for the community.
Other Data Sources
- America’s Health Rankings—this website provides information about various health indicators for each state:
- Other relevant data sources may be found by conducting an Internet search related to the topic that is being examined through the community assessment.
After data are collected from various sources, it is important to review the information and to identify assets and areas for improvement in the community by comparing local data (if available) versus state and national data. This will facilitate organization of the information that has already been obtained and will provide direction for the next step of the process.
Data Generation (data are developed that do not already exist):
With the use of public transportation or by driving a vehicle around the community, one can observe common characteristics of the community.
Examples of key observations to make when one is assessing the community through a windshield survey include the following:
- Age of the homes in the community
- Location of parks and other recreational areas
- Amount of space between homes and businesses
- Neighborhood hangouts
- Transportation in the community
- Quality and safety of streets and sidewalks
- Stores and other businesses
- People out in the community
- Cleanliness of the community
- Billboards or other media displays
- Places of worship
- Healthcare facilities
Spend time observing the population that is being assessed. Through observation of interactions among group members, much can be learned about the community, including the following:
- Developmental level of the population
- Effectiveness of peer-to-peer interactions
- Respect for peers and others
- Safety in the environment
- Economic status
Informants could be people who are familiar with and interact with the population on a regular basis.
Examples of questions that may be asked of key informants include the following:
- Strengths/assets of the community
- Areas of improvement for the community
- Concerns of community members
- Access to health care
- Emergency plans for natural or man-made disasters
Focus groups (usually small groups of 6-12 people) can be helpful when one is gathering information about specific areas of concern within the population. Use of a focus group involves open dialogue about the population, whereas an interview or survey yields only individual responses.
- Focus groups may be effective for assessing the following:
- Satisfaction with services provided
- Community resources used
- Transportation issues within the community
- Safety within the community
- General concerns of members of the population
Surveys may be used to collect data from the community. Selecting a sample of the target population may prove helpful in the collection of data that are easier to analyze. It is important to ensure that the sample is representative of the target population.
A survey should be developed that takes into consideration the developmental level of the group that is being assessed. Questions should be written at the appropriate developmental level, so they are answered in a way that makes the data useful. Surveys might include closed-ended (yes/no), multiple choice (several responses to choose from), Likert scale (Strongly Agree/Agree/Neutral/Disagree/Strongly Disagree), or open-ended (“why”/“how”) questions.
Topics that may be addressed in a survey include the following:
- Demographic information
- Status of employment
- Safety within community
- Safety in environment
- Personal safety (seatbelts, helmets, etc.)
- Stressors/stress management patterns
- Risky behaviors
- Support systems
- Volunteer/community activities
- Rest patterns
- Dental hygiene
- Health promotion activities
Level 1 headings are centered and bold. Level 2 headings are bold and at the left margin. The community location is Dallas, Texas (diverse community).
Expert Solution Preview
As a medical professor in charge of creating college assignments and answers for medical college students, one important aspect of our curriculum is community assessment. In this assignment, we will be exploring the community of Dallas, Texas, and the various dimensions of population that need to be addressed as part of the community assessment process. We will also look into the different resources and methods that could be used for data collection and generation during the assessment phase.
Defining the Community:
The population being assessed in this community assessment is the diverse population of Dallas, Texas. According to the latest U.S. Census data, the racial makeup of Dallas is 56.6% Hispanic or Latino, 29.8% Black or African American, 10.9% White, and 3.3% Asian. The community of Dallas exists within Dallas County and has no specific boundaries. The general characteristics that separate this group from others include education levels, birth/death rates, age of deaths, insured/uninsured, and geographic location, which is urban. The purpose of this community assessment is to identify assets and areas for improvement in the community’s health and wellbeing, and the information for the community assessment will be collected through different resources and methods.
During the assessment phase, we will be using various resources and methods to gather data about the community of Dallas, Texas. We will start with data gathering, which involves collecting information that already exists. The resources we will use for this include American Fact Finder, State and County Quick Facts, and government agencies like Healthy People 2020, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Federal agencies with statistical programs. We will also obtain information from local and state health departments.
After collecting the data from various sources, we will review the information and identify assets and areas for improvement in the community by comparing local data (if available) versus state and national data. Then we will move on to the data generation phase, where we will develop data that does not already exist. For this, we will use methods such as windshield surveys, participant observation, informant interviews, focus groups, and surveys.
Windshield surveys involve observing the common characteristics of the community by driving around the community or using public transportation. For Dallas, Texas, some key observations to make during the survey include the age of homes, location of parks and other recreational areas, amount of space between homes and businesses, transportation in the community, quality and safety of streets and sidewalks, stores and other businesses, people out in the community, cleanliness of the community, billboards or other media displays, places of worship, and healthcare facilities.
Participant observation involves spending time observing the population being assessed, and much can be learned about the community by observing interactions among group members. Informant interviews involve interviewing people who are familiar with and interact with the population on a regular basis. Focus groups involve open dialogue about the population, whereas an interview or survey yields only individual responses. Surveys may be used to collect data from the community, and topics that may be addressed include demographic information, status of employment, safety within community, safety in the environment, personal safety, stressors/stress management patterns, risky behaviors, support systems, volunteer/community activities, rest patterns, nutrition, dental hygiene, and health promotion activities.
Community assessment is an important part of our medical curriculum, and in this assignment, we have explored the dimensions of population being assessed in the community of Dallas, Texas, and the different resources and methods that could be used for data collection and generation during the assessment phase. By identifying assets and areas for improvement in the community, we can work towards improving the health and wellbeing of the population, making it a better place for people to live in.
#community #complete #windshield