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Windshield Survey Summary and Reflection Essay

Public health nursing involves a community and the overall health of the community. A community is a group within an area or region. These groups vary through various areas. According to Stanhope & Lancaster, they cited the World Health Organization’s definition of community as a group of people in a defined geographical area that share a common culture, values and norms, and are arranged in a social structure based on the community’s development over time. (Stanhope & Lancaster, p. 397, 2012). There are three factors in community: people, place and function. (Stanhope & Lancaster, p. 397, 2012). These three factors are what we as potential community health/public health nurses examine to develop a plan of care for the community.

As community health nurses, the community is the client, with the focus being the collective and common good of the population; the individual patients we care for are now expanded into a whole populations benefit. (Stanhope & Lancaster, p. 398, 2012). Community health is collective needs being met and is done by identifying problems and managing behaviors in the community. (Stanhope & Lancaster, p. 401, 2012). Improving health can be achieved through community partnerships. This can be done by partnering with other organizations to identify community health needs and create programs to facilitate bringing together community members to advance health. (Gamm, p. 51, 1998). A first step to do this would be the windshield survey, which is like a head to toe assessment of a community, to gain understanding of the population in the community. (Stanhope & Lancaster, p. 420).

The family I selected lives in West Covina, California. They live in a single story home, with a large backyard, and front yard. It is interesting to begin to learn more about a neighboring city. West Covina is a fairly large city, and there are places that I have not seen because I tend to just go to one or two places when I go by there, but driving around more in the area, I observed a lot more. My participating family’s home is close by Queen of the Valley Hospital, which is the main hospital in the city, and it is a big hospital. The neighborhood they live in is quite spacious, my impression is that it is a good place to jog around, much like most of the areas I drove around in the city. It is close by a school, and each level are close to each other, where a preschool is next to an elementary school, which is next to a high school.

The convenience of access of the schools promotes the kids to walk to and from school. It gets busy during the day time, especially on Azusa Ave or Sunset Ave., because it is one of the main roads to drive to. Sunset Ave. leads to the Westfield West Covina Mall, and Azusa Ave. is a long street, which is also called route 39, which I believe leads all the way to the city of Anaheim if driven all the way straight down. Citrus St. is also another street that I see that can get pretty busy, because it leads to the Eastland Shopping Center, and also towards downtown Covina, where Intercommunity hospital is, and a sister company of Queen of the Valley hospital through Citrus Valley Health Partners. I would say that West Covina is a pretty diverse city.

Heading towards my family’s home, if I go the opposite direction, there is a nearby DMV, and close to it is a Hong Kong market, and there are Chinese restaurants in that block, with other Chinese stores. Going towards the other side of the city, going straight down Azusa Ave., I reach a shopping center, which is called Manila Way, which comprises of a lot of Filipino restaurants and supermarkets. It tends to a Filipino population, and they even have money remittance and shipping companies where people can send money and anything they can fit into a box to send to their families in the Philippines. Going towards the south end of the city, it borders La Puente, and there are a lot more stores there that are named in Spanish, and a lot more Hispanic people are around that area. Going around the city, I did not see many homeless people around.

Due to the diversity, I would say there are a lot of immigrants in the area. I recall some work in the Filipino restaurants. The places where it concentrates on a particular ethnicity, I observe people in the area speak a language aside from English. The disadvantage that some of these people may have is the language barrier. I would say that due to the traffic congestion in busy streets due to private cars being a means of transportation, it can be a factor that could affect residents’ health because of the stress level of getting from one place to another in a timely manner. Another aspect that could affect residents’ health would be the food available in the city. Due to busy lifestyles, people will rely on fast food, and there are a lot of places where food can be unhealthy.

One example would be that Filipino restaurants would serve a dish called crispy pata, which is pork, but the skin has high levels of fat and cholesterol and it is oily considering they deep fry it. One Healthy People 2020 LHI that would be relevant to the community would be environmental quality. (healthypeople.gov, 2015). The Metro Gold Line is still in progress and needs an increased awareness so it can be used to decrease the traffic congestion. With all the cars being driven, it contributes to the air quality.

I observed more than a handful of smokers and that poses a risk for secondhand smoke. I see a lot of smoke shops around the south end of the city boundary between West Covina and La Puente. Overall, this was an enjoyable experience to conduct the windshield survey. It gives me more awareness of the surroundings when I drive around. I like the layout of the city and it is quite alive based on my observations. Spacing use is good, and I like the easy access of schools for children and the balance of locations of hospitals and clinics and the diversity in the city.


City of West Covina. (2015). West Covina, CA. Retrieved from http://www.westcovina.org/

Gamm, L. D., Rogers, J. H., & Work, F. (1998). Advancing community health through community health partnerships / practitioner response. Journal of Healthcare Management, 43(1), 51-66; discussion 66-7. Retrieved from


Healthy People 2020. (2015). 2020 LHI Topics | Health People 2020. Retrieved from

Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2012). Public Health Nursing: Population-centered health care in the community (8th ed.). Maryland Heights, Missouri: Mosby Elsevier

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