The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Annual Report Nursing Services:
July 1, 1979 through June 30, 1980
Submitted by Elta Kennedy,
Community health nursing service (now in 22 of 23 Wyoming counties) continues to provide professional nursing and health care to individuals, families and groups in homes, clinics, schools and other community settings. The services include maternal and child health for new mothers, infants, well children, crippled or other disabled children including child abuse; home health care of the sick; adult healthcare through clinics and counseling; communicable disease control including immunizations; and other special projects and clinic services as family planning, well and sick child clinics, overseas travel, cervical cancer screening and venereal disease clinics.
Nursing Services cooperates with other division programs as children’s health, child development, dental health, preventive medicine and the IPO project in case finding, follow-up care, clinic management and gathering patient information. Professional nursing and health care includes the nursing process of assessment or nursing diagnosis which is collecting and analyzing data for identifying health problems amenable to professional nursing intervention; planning and providing care to meet the identified needs; and evaluation. Inherent in community nursing activities are initiating health care, delegating, supervising, instructing and counseling for the promotion of well being, maintenance of health and prevention of illness; helping people identify and meet their own health needs; referring for other services; and in home health services administering medical regimens as prescribed by licensed physicians or dentists.
In 20 counties local public health nursing services are under State jurisdiction (Crook County added this year), jointly maintained by the State and county with each contributing 50% of the budget; Campbell and Converse Counties declined State funding for local autonomy in community nursing services. Niobrara County has only limited service from the State Nursing Service and some home health service from Nebraska. With the addition of Weston and Big Horn Counties in 1979-80, sixteen of the county nursing services (Campbell included) are now certified home health agencies; Converse County has a certificate of need, Lincoln County did not achieve certification. State Nursing Services offers administrative, fiscal, and patient care consultation to all counties.
Nursing Service employs a director, 3 consultants, (1 position not filled) a fiscal administrative assistant, 4 district supervisors, 2 local directors, 70 staff and charge nurses, (2 more positions not filled), 15 home health aides and 8 support staff.
- Physical therapy and/or speech therapy are provided in 7 county home health agencies by contract.
- In the 70 staff and charge positions currently filled, there were 16 resignations, 2 transfers and 23 newly hired during this report period.
- Four counties added a nurse position. In the 15 home health aide positions currently filled there were 13 resignations and 12 newly employed (only 2 of the 12 still remain).
- Preventive Medicine provided some contract nurse hours for immunization clinics.
- The immunization requirement for school entry increased clinic attendance and time needed for explanations and paper work.
Education for nurses is a shared activity. County public health nursing agencies provide clinical practice areas for students from the University of Wyoming Nursing programs. Nurses participate in continuing education from the University and other sources. Nursing Services provided consultation and continuing education to promote independent professional decision making by public health nurses with the Wyoming Nurse Practice Act and ANA Professional Standards of Practice emphasized. With the growth of staff in nursing services, DAFC Personnel Services are assisting in updating position descriptions to accurately reflect duties and responsibilities of each position. Delegation of more program and personnel responsibility to local charge nurses is taking place.
The film library provides current health information for the public, literature and audio-visual materials to the division sections and to schools, assists in program presentation in Cheyenne, and locates or obtains information for personnel on specific health topics. Nursing Services use the film library extensively in teaching expectant parent classes and other education activities.