Essay Writing Help on Community Care Assessment: Miami-Dade County

Community Care Assessment: Miami-Dade County

Developing a care plan for a given community involves conducting a windshield assessment and then using the findings to develop measures that can be used to address community problems. A community assessment aids in obtaining an overall picture and in identifying the community’s needs and any existing problems. Several areas are examined that help in prioritizing the community’s problems and choosing which one to address. After the particular problem to be solvedis identified, a community plan is drafted on how to solve the prevailing problem (Marcia Stanhope, 2012). The plan includes carrying out a diagnosis, articulating measures that can be used to eradicate the problem and then enouncing how the success of the intervention measures will be evaluated. In this paper, Miami-Dade County will be examined in great detail. The statistics of health problems will be discussed as well as plans to remove a specificproblem, and a means to evaluate the success of the said measure.

Community Assessment

Miami-Dade County in Florida is the southern-most county on the U.S mainland with a population of 2,496,435 persons as of the 2010 census. The fifth most populous county in the United States is also the third largest with a land area of 1,946 square miles (Parks, 1991). The County, which was founded in 1836 by Francis L. Dade, has grown to include five congressional districts. The county operates a municipal scheme of government consisting of separate city and county administrations. The county has numerous public service departments which include the fire and rescue, police, water and sewerage, corrections, aviation, and county representations departments. These departments co-exist to ensure that the people of Miami-Dade get the best services.

Miami-Dade is home to the most diverse cultures in U.S. 63% of the population consists of immigrants. The residents come from more than 121 nations, speak more than 68 languages. In the educational institutions that include eight colleges and universities, the curriculum is taught in 16 languages. 39.36% of residents are religious, with the religions including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and other native religions (Parks, 1991). The religious institutions are a good place for meeting and discussing community problems, as well as educating the community. Other places where residents meet include the numerous parks and beaches, as well as the restaurants within the cities.

NGOs like United Way, YWCA, CWS, Branches Inc., and March of Dimes Foundation work with community health organizations and government institutions to institute change and policies in Greater Miami-Dade. These NGOs also link with mediacenters to dispatch information concerning matters affecting the community. The county has various newspaper and television stations that include the Miami Herald, local10, NBC Miami, WPTv, Fox, CBS, and ABS. The numerous health centers together with social service institutions for adult literacy, human rights, and counseling and rehabilitation have endeavored to eradicate the growing vice of illicit drug use.

Community Nursing Diagnoses

The first nursing diagnosis entails the use of illicit substances by pregnant women among whites as evidenced by the increase in reports from health centers of increased drug use by mothers. In 1987, Florida instituted a policy that required the reporting of mothers who used illicit drugs or alcohol during pregnancy (Ira L. Chansoff, 1990). Toxicological screens of urine samples show that of the women reported in the study, 69% of those using drugs were non-Hispanic whites who earned a middle income. The long-term goal for this diagnosis is to reduce the rates of illicit drug use among Non-Hispanic pregnant white females in Greater Miami-Dade.

The second nursing diagnosis is the increasing reluctance ofhigh-incomecounty men to reduce chronic drinking and accept interventions. The reluctance was prevalent among white males of an upper income. These males took 60+ alcoholic drinks in a month but refused to accept their alcohol dependence, or be incorporated in any measures aimed at aiding them reduce their dependence on alcohol. These men also exhibited elevated levels of stress but refused to be cooperative. The objective of this nursing diagnosis is to increase cooperation with healthcare providers and facilitators among white males of an upper income who are chronic drinkers.

The third nursing diagnosis is related to the increasing cases of driving under the influence of alcohol among Miami-Dade County adults. 3.1% of adults reported driving after having too much to drink while 6.6% of adults acknowledged having ridden with a drunk driver in the past month (Florida, 2013). Since the survey is a self-reported measure and the indicator reflects potentially illegal behavior, it is reasonably assumed that the measure might be underreported, and the incidence of drinking under the influence is higher in the community. The aim of the nursing diagnosis is to reduce the rates of prevalence of drinking and driving in Miami-Dade County.


Just over four in every ten Miami-Dade County residents state that the overall healthcare services available in their community are “good.” Naturally, therefore, the best place to start in curbing the problem of illicit drug use is in healthcare provision. Health specialists need advanced training on how to tackle cases of stress, depression, and hopelessness that were cited as the main reason the persons engaged in illicit drug use. The community perception was that were the health institutions and the Counseling and Rehabilitation better funded, the prevalence of substance abuse would be reduced. The Counseling and Rehabilitation program includes a DUI program, carries out substance abuse assessments and diversion treatments (Gov, 2013). The program is, however, underfunded. An intervention would be liaising with legislators and other NGOs to increase funding to the program and support the initiative.

Another initiative includes organizing the community, religious institutions and well-wishers to lobby for the institution of stringent laws geared at reducing substance abuse, and strict enforcement of the existing laws. Legislation such as the child-abuse reporting law are not being enforced strictly. Offenders get a reprieve with detrimental effects on the society. The community should lobby thelegislature to implement laws governing substance abuse.

Small interacting groups should be instituted to facilitate guidance and counseling, as well as profiling offenders. These community groups, together with religious institutions and health facilities, will aid in theguidance. The group members will receive training from the Counseling and Rehabilitation department to increase the manpower involved in rehabilitating offenders. Secondary prevention also includes screening offenders for environments that lead to them using illicit substances.


The intervention measures require evaluation for success. One way to evaluate them is through the use of epidemiological data and trends. Surveys are carried out to acquire data on current trends in substance abuse after the implementation of the preventative measures. The data is analyzed, and reports are drawn. If the measure is a success, then the epidemiological data will show a reduction in the rate of substance abuse among the populace of Miami-Dade.

Another evaluation tool is direct observation which includes a personal observation of the current trends. The tool involves going into the community and observing the success of the initiatives including how many offenders are attending the group sessions. The involvement of the community and other social groups is also observed. The newspaper and TV reports on current crimes and trends will also be used to assess whether there has been a reduction in substance abuse. In terms of policy, the media will run reports on any change in policy by the government regarding substance abuse.

Other nurses, social workers, and specialists are a rich source of information as to the success of the intervention measures. These parties are involved in the prevention, and their assessment of the initiative is a good measure of how the community received the program, and the success of it. The community members are also useful in evaluating the success of the initiative. Their reception of the intervention measures, as well as their perception of the overall change in policy and use of the drugs, is an effective evaluation tool.

In conclusion, there has been an upsurge in illicit substance use in Miami-Dade County. The users of these illicit substances include pregnant mothers, adult males who refuse any intervention measures, and people who drive under the influence. There is a need to initiate a care plan aimed at reducing the use of these substances. The program includes mobilizing community members, religious institutions, and social welfare groups to not only lobby for policy change regarding substance abuse but to also be involved in counseling and rehabilitating offenders. The use of illicit substances has many adverseeffects, and its prevalent use needs to be curtailed. A successful intervention exercise will enable the community uphold its social, religious and health values for the benefit of all.


Florida, H. C. (2013). 2013 PRC Miami-Dade County Community Health Needs Assessment Household Survey Report. Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County. Miami,FL: Professional Research Consultants, Inc.

Gov, M.-D. (2013, May 29). Community Action and Human Services. Retrieved from

Ira L. Chansoff, M. H. (1990, April 26). The Prevalence of Illicit-Drug or Alcohol use during pregnancy and discrepancies in amndatory reporting in Florida. The New England Journal of Medicine, 1202-1207.

Marcia Stanhope, J. L. (2012). Public Health Nursing (8 ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Page, S. (2013, April 22). Nursing Care Plan and Diagnosis for Substance Abuse | Ineffective Health Maintenance. Retrieved March 30, 2015, from

Parks, A. M. (1991). Miami: The Magic City. Miami, FL: Centennial Press.