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Community Health Nursing Essay

Community description and data analysis Orange County is located in the United States of America in the Southern region in the state of California. In addition with Los Angeles to the north, San Diego County to the south and Riverside and San Bernardino counties to the east. There are 84 cites within the county and several unincorporated areas. The County has a total area of 789 square miles of land and 158.6 square miles or 16.6% of water. The average temperature is about 68 degrees Fahrenheit (“Orange County, California”). There are also several beaches that are along the coastland that cover more than 40 miles. In addition to its popularity of being home to Disneyland, this county is well known for being a tourist attraction. Orange County was established after the severe drought in the 1860’s.

During this time cattle ranching collapsed leading the way towards the boom in silver mining. This huge growth in population lead California legislatures to divide Los Angles county and created Orange county as a separate political entity in March 11th, 1889 (“Orange County, California”). The State of California and Orange County are in a severe water shortage as the state has implemented laws to discourage unnecessary water usage. Population and Economic Status From an epidemiologic viewpoint the U.S census in 2012 estimated the population in Orange County to be around 3,090,132 with a population density of 3871 people per square mile. The average household size in Orange County is 2, in addition, the average gross adjusted income of non-migrant tax payers in this county in 2005 was $74,786. The median average contract for rent in 2009 for renting an apartment is approximately $1,367 per month, while the average house value approximated to be around $530,000.

The percentage of residents living in poverty in the year 2009 was approximately 10.7% with 5.8% being white non-Hispanic, 13.0% of black residents, 17.3% for Hispanic or Latino, and 18.6% for other race residents. The median age of Orange County residents in 2010 was 36 years old with males having the median age of 34 years old and females 37. The birth rate for live births per 1000 population from the year 2000 to 2006 was 15.4. Death rates showed slightly lower rates per 1000 from the years 2000 to 2006 with 5.8%. Persons enrolled in hospital insurance and/or supplemental medical insurance (Medicare) in the year 2003 was 309,081 (281,334 aged, 27,747 were disabled) (“Orange County, California”).

In comparison to residents without health coverage in the year 2000 was estimated at 15%. Unemployment rate is estimated at 143,026, while the amount of employed is estimated at 1,445,477 in the 2010 census report (“State & County Quick Facts”). Cultural Assessment From the biophysical considerations, the aging baby boomers make up 25.4% of the population in Orange County with more families caring for the elderly at home especially among the Hispanic population. There are over 7,326 persons living in nursing homes in 2010. Coping with stress and adapting to change when the unemployment hit an all time low in 2010 with 10,000 jobs lost put residents in a crisis.

Current unemployment rate in Orange County is 5.0% with and estimated 3 million people homeless. There are 44.1% white non-Hispanic, 33.7% Hispanic or Latino, 17.7% Asian and 1.5% Black non- Hispanics living in Orange County. There are slightly more females with 53.0% and males at 47.0%. The Republican Party slightly out numbered the Democratic Party in 2012 by approximately 8,000 votes. In March of 2000 there is a recorded foreign-born entry population of 165,344 people. The current population of college students is 230,749 and people 25 years of age and older with a high school degree or higher is 79.5%. Religion statistics show the Catholic Church Adherents has the highest population of 61.2% with the Jewish ranking at 4.7% and the LDS Mormon Church 3.4%. The most common place of birth other than Orange County among foreign born residents is Mexico at 46% with Vietnam coming in second at 13%.

There are 56.6% of residents who speak English at home, compared with 25.3% residents who speak Spanish as their primary language. The government finances expenditure in 2006 for Orange County for assistance and subsidies was $210,973,000 with public welfare and cash assistance programs paying out approximately $6,483,000 (Orange County California). Neighborhood/ Community safety There are approximately 18% of children living in poverty and with 26% living in single-parent households. Social and economic factors showed violent crime rates ranking at 230 and 37 injuries to death. There are no drinking water violations in comparison to 28% claims of severe housing problems among renters.

There are a low percentage of people having limited access to food at 1% of the population with 15 homeless shelters found in and around Orange County that have access to food, clothing and shelter (Orange County Health Department). Potential weather events include the high incidence for earthquakes. Orange County area has a historical earthquake activity high above the California state average and 2458% overall above the U.S average (Orange County California). Government finances expenditure for police protection for 2006 estimated over $276,955,000 and cost for correctional institutions was over $178,413,000 (Orange County California).

There are 26 police departments and 12 fire departments through out Orange County with first responder medics on duty. The numbers for homicides between the years 2000-2006 have a less than state average with 27.8 per 1,000,000. Suicides are also at a below state average between 2000-2006 with 79.3 per 1,000.000. (Orange County California). While Immigration is an ongoing debate in Orange County and California the state’s immigrant population only increased by 15% (1.3 million) in the year 2000s, compared to 37% (2.4 million) in the 1990s (Public Policy institute of California). Obesity and Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise in Orange County. There are 70% of adults who rate their health as either excellent or good compared with 30% who rate their health as fair or poor. The incidence for Alzheimer’s disease has increased 39% between 2005-2009. In 2009 there is a recorded 33.1% adults considered over weight by comparison to 17.3% being obese. In 2011 the California Department of Children and physical fitness test showed 37.8% of children tested as having an unhealthy body composition. This high incidence has been found to be contributed to sedentary lifestyles and being overweight. These statistics show evidence for the pertinent nursing diagnosis of ineffective health maintenance as evidenced by the unfavorable health disparities listed above. (Orange County Indicators).

Nursing actions for these disparities include more after school activity programs that include physical activities. Schools to be required to offer more fresh fruit and vegetables to be included in meals. Offering education for families and children about the potential risks for child obesity and ways to decrease the numbers by offering nutrition counseling at school. Educating the community of health risk and signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and where to seek medical attention specifically for this illness in their community. Provide resources from organizations specially designed to assistance families with special needs for people battling Alzheimer’s disease such as respite care and hospice.

Disaster Assessment and Planning During a disaster such as a nuclear power plant emergency or earthquake, tsunamis, terrorism and acts of war the Sheriff – Coroner is designated as the director of emergency services. The counties emergency operations center (EOC) is located at Loma Ridge. In the event of a natural disaster such as a flood, storm, dam failure or coastal oil spill the County executive officer is the director of emergency services (DES). (Orange County Sheriff). The County of Orange also collaborates with the California of Public Health and also with other entities to safeguard a consistent disaster and preparedness plan through out this region and nation wide (Orange County, California Disaster and preparedness training). Most Orange County residents are unaware of the disaster planning in their community although there is an overall sense of safety as they put their full trust in community officials. Although there are several safety issues throughout Orange County such as unsafe side walks for the elderly and non- handicap accessible. The County has funded grants and bonds to improve the potential hazards.


Orange County, California. (n.d). Retrieved from

County of Health Rankings & Roadmaps. (n.d) Retrieved from

Community Health Survey Orange County. (n.d) Retrieved from http://www.phd1.california.gov/home/documents/OrangeCountyCombinedResults.pdf

Public Policy Institute of California. (n.d). Retrieved from www.ppic.org

Orange County Sheriff Department California (n.d). Retrieved from Ocsd.org.

Orange County California Disease and Preparedness training.(n.d) Retrieved from Healthdisasteroc.org

State and County Quick Facts (n.d) Retrieved from

Orange County Health Department. (n.d) Retrieved from

Orange County Indicators (n.d). Retrieved from

Orange County, California State

Community Diagnosis The above assessed parameters gives a brief overview of the Health and Safety of Orange County in the State of California. The overall county has statistics showing a healthy community except for the increasing numbers of overweight children who are lacking in physical activity and the increase in Alzheimer’s disease. The plan is to implement more education on nutrition and resources to families for assistance who suffer from Alzheimer’s diseases. Also included will be to educate the community on emergency preparedness and disaster planning.

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