In the history of community health and public health nursing, there were many milestones that to some levels were impeding the progress of ensuring community health and public health nursing. Among the many milestones, the major one was is the realization that communication and science were indeed the most essential elements in promotion as well as protection of the health of the public nursing.
There was need for a timely, strategic as well as effective communication of the health concerns to the general public to create awareness about the primary matters concerning community health and public health nursing.
Public health communication refers to the strategic dissemination, scientific development and rational evaluation of the accurate, relevant, as well as understandable health information communicated to and from the specific targeted and intended audiences majorly to promote public health. It therefore involves the undertaking, technique and act of influencing, motivating and informing the public audience and institutions about the issues concerning health by the health professionals. Public health communication is what health professionals, as a society, collectively do specifically to assure the conditions in which the public could be healthy.
Initially the community health and public health nursing were in the delusion that public health information could speak for itself, that it only required the science knowledge to be accomplished. We can see that today, the public health personnel have the realization that promotion of health and protection of the community requires both effective public health communication and science. The two complements each other and do not work in isolation.
The field of community health and public health nursing has suffered significantly for lack of effective communication. There was the use of only 1-way communication from the health professionals to the passive audience. This can evidently be seen during the turbulent times like the traumatic attacks from terrorists. The public at these times grapple with extreme fear for their lives. The health as well as the security of the public heavily depends on a robust public health system. The success of the health institutions until today relies heavily on communication and science and this explains why today, the study and application of public health communication have tremendously expanded and developed. Many courses of health communications have been established in the many academies in the country from liberal arts across to the health sciences. It is evident that in the past, the field therefore suffered from lack of promotion of their important health services thereby impeding their development.
There are however priorities that can be adequate in relation to the issue. The need for an all- round communication program; communication program that is both effective and ethical should be in place. The health information from and about the targeted audience should clarify all the stages of interventions; planning, development and implementation should be all inclusive to ensure that the chosen program has detailed reflections of the audience’s ideas, values and needs. The communication program should be a 2 –way between the source and the targeted audience. The content should be of great interest to the targeted audience like the public’s health literacy, culture and diversity(Brown TM & Fee, 2006).
The field should create a national center focused majorly on public health communication and marketing through the big bodies like the CDC. The field needs to employ greater support to the research and evaluation in the public and health communication to address multiples of health concerns and issues. This can be done by allocation of adequate resources among other support undertakings.
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