Types of Communities (Nursing)

by Heide Cygan, DNP, RN

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    00:01 It's important to remember that public health nurses see the community as their client.

    00:05 So what is a community? A community is a collection of people who interact with one another and whose common interest or characteristics form the basis for a sense of unity or belonging.

    00:19 In order for a community to exist, there are three requirements.

    00:22 First, you need people, you cannot have a community of just one person, you need a group of people to form a community.

    00:30 Next, you need a place for those people to gather, a place for them to be together.

    00:35 This could be a physical space or a virtual space.

    00:39 And finally, there needs to be some sort of interaction between the people and the community.

    00:44 This is most often interaction related to a common interest of some sort.

    00:48 So again, we need three things to form a community, people, place, and interaction.

    00:55 When we talk about communities, it's important to understand that there are three different types of communities.

    01:01 First, we have a geographic or geopolitical community.

    01:05 Next, a common interest or phenomenological community, and then a community of solution.

    01:11 So let's take a look at each three of these in detail.

    01:15 First, let's start with geographic or again, what we sometimes call a geopolitical community.

    01:21 This is the type of community that's defined by a physical area.

    01:25 So think about where you live.

    01:27 Now imagine a map, the area that you would circle on that map to define your community is your geographic community.

    01:34 For me, I draw a circle around the street that I live on.

    01:37 There are several families on my street who frequently interact with one another.

    01:41 And we care about keeping our street clean and safe.

    01:44 We are a geographic or geopolitical community.

    01:48 The next type of community is a common interest community.

    01:51 You may also hear this referred to as a phenomenological community.

    01:56 This is a community that's defined by a special interest or a goal, but can't necessarily be defined by a physical space.

    02:03 So you can't circle this kind of community on a map.

    02:07 Think about the communities that you're a part of.

    02:10 What about your nursing school cohort? For many nursing cohorts, the community all has a common goal, a goal to graduate from nursing school.

    02:18 And they have a space to gather, whether that's on campus or virtually.

    02:22 But the members of that cohort may live in different parts of the city, or maybe even different parts of the country.

    02:28 That's an example of a common interest or phenomenological community.

    02:33 The third and final type of community is a community of solution.

    02:37 A community of solution is a group that comes together to address a specific problem.

    02:42 A group that comes together to find a solution.

    02:45 Are you a part of any communities of solution? I'm a part of several.

    02:49 I recently just joined the nurses climate challenge.

    02:52 This is a community of nurses and nursing schools who are committed to finding a solution for climate change.

    02:58 We are a community of solution.

    03:02 As nurses working in the community, we often look at the populations we work with in different ways.

    03:07 Community, population, aggregate, these are all words that you commonly hear in public health nursing, and they have some similarities, but they're different.

    03:16 And those differences are important.

    03:18 So let's look at each of them.

    03:21 Now, we just defined a community.

    03:23 Remember, these are groups of people who have a space together and interact with each other regularly.

    03:30 A population is a group of people who occupy a specific space.

    03:35 Now, this differs from a geopolitical or geographical community.

    03:38 Because the people in a population do not have to interact with each other, they simply coexist.

    03:44 So for example, I live in the state of Illinois, I'm a part of that population.

    03:50 And then we have aggregate.

    03:51 The word aggregate is used to define a group of individuals who can be considered as a whole and are loosely associated with each other.

    03:58 They share a common characteristic, but they may or may not interact.

    04:03 The feature by which you define the aggregate is what the focus becomes.

    04:07 So for example, people within the same age range within the same age group are an aggregate.

    04:12 Pregnant and parenting teens are another example of an aggregate.

    04:18 So by definition, communities and populations are actually types of aggregates.

    04:23 Again, these are words that are commonly used in public health nursing, and sometimes interchangeably.

    04:28 But I challenge you to really consider your word choice and use the correct sometimes overlapping word for the group that you're describing.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Types of Communities (Nursing) by Heide Cygan, DNP, RN is from the course Basic Concepts in Public Health Nursing.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Community of solution
    2. Geopolitical
    3. Phenomenological
    4. Common interest
    1. An aggregate
    2. A population
    3. A community
    4. Geopolitical

    Author of lecture Types of Communities (Nursing)

     Heide Cygan, DNP, RN

    Heide Cygan, DNP, RN

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