12 Important Roles For A Community Health Nurse Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Community health nurses provide medical care and health education to residents of rural and urban communities. They supplement the work of hospital and speciality doctors and help residents live healthier lives. If you are interested in pursuing a career in community health, learning about some common roles that these professionals fill can help you decide whether this path matches your abilities and interests.

In this article, we describe 12 key roles of community health nurses to help you create a resume for this position.

12 Roles Of Community Health Nurses

Here are 12 roles of community health nurses:

1. Treating injuries and illnesses

These professionals might host open clinic hours at a community centre or other public location, where they treat residents of their community as needed. In this role, the nurse might bandage wounds or provide other basic first aid services. Typically, they learn to fulfil this role through formal nursing education, and they may take additional courses in public health to prepare themselves for the types of conditions they may encounter in a community clinic. To show that you can meet the requirements of this role, include information about the nursing courses that you have taken.

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2. Counselling residents about health care options

As they are often the resident expert in health care for their community, these medical employees might speak with individuals and families about health care options. When a doctor diagnoses a resident with a medical condition, the nurse might explain what that condition means and what the resident can do to help themselves. They might also educate their families about how to take care of their family member. In some communities, the nurse might visit the families in their homes, while in others, they may ask residents to visit them in a clinic or office.

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3. Supporting community health initiatives

Community doctors might direct vaccination and health care initiatives in the community, which the nurses might support. They might help residents register for these events, record their medical information, organise them into queues and prepare them for inoculations. In some communities, one or more nurses might administer the vaccinations or other medications. While some villages might have a single nurse, others might have a staff of medical professionals. You can show that you are capable of fulfilling this role by emphasising your experience supporting larger programmes and by highlighting your organisational skills.

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4. Referring residents for advanced care

A nurse might be the first medical professional that residents of the community see when they experience symptoms of illness or injury. While these professionals can often treat minor illnesses and injuries, they may refer patients to hospitals or speciality doctors for more advanced care. For example, a nurse might examine a resident who is experiencing joint pain. After eliminating some potential causes, the nurse might not know what is causing the pain, so they might refer the patient to a joint specialist in the next town. They might transmit the patient's medical information to the doctor's practise.

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5. Diagnosing illnesses

Often, these health care professionals can identify the causes of residents' symptoms, especially when it comes to common diseases in their region. They might use their experience and records from previous years to predict when certain diseases might become endemic in the population. For example, a nurse in a certain community might know that some childhood illnesses become more prevalent at the beginning of the school term, so they might prepare for an increase in cases during that time. Depending on the nurse, they might visit schools and other establishments to test for certain illnesses.

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6. Prescribing medication

Some of these professionals might prescribe medication for minor illnesses and injuries, while others support doctors who write prescriptions. A nurse might also explain how and when to take medication for chronic conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure. Because of their presence in the community, they might also hold office hours to answer questions about medications that residents might be taking. These professionals are often very familiar with common medications, which allows them to answer questions. If you have any experience working in a dispensary or another facility where you prescribed medication, describe this experience on your resume.

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7. Educating community members

These community medical employees might lead classes in the clinic or another central location to educate residents about health issues that might affect them. The health professional might also decide which health issues to focus on based on their understanding of the community's needs. For example, a community health care professional in a town with a large elderly population might lead classes on caretaking and memory care for residents' family members. If you have prior experience leading study groups or classes, including this information on your resume can help you in your application and interview process.

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8. Collecting data

Nursing professionals who work for government or nonprofit organisations might conduct research to help the organisation's leaders learn more about the community's health needs. They might conduct surveys of local households to find out whether residents have taken part in vaccination or health education programmes. If they work in a clinic or other central location, they might document how often residents visit for health checks. This information can help the organisation or agency improve the way it offers health care to the community. Emphasising your quantitative skills, like mathematical reasoning and analytical thinking, can help you in your application.

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9. Assisting physicians during procedures

While they may not assist during surgeries, these health care specialists can help physicians during minor procedures, especially if they have a close rapport with the patient. A community doctor might oversee several villages or towns, so they may not know individual community members the way a nurse might. These professionals might calm the patient and explain the procedure, so they know what the doctor is doing. Their interpersonal skills, like empathy and active listening, can help them in this role. To show that you can fulfil this role, describe past jobs where you have used these skills.

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10. Responding to emergencies

Because they are based in the community, these professionals are often the first response to local emergencies that can cause injuries, like fires, earthquakes and floods. They might organise shelter and food for residents affected by the emergency, either in the community clinic or in another shared building, like a school. If the emergency results in multiple injuries, they might direct volunteer health aides to administer first aid while they help residents with more serious injuries. Their ability to stay calm in crises can help them in this role, so you might emphasise that skill in your resume.

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11. Visiting schools and other public organisations

While these professionals might have permanent clinics or offices in the community, they might also spend time visiting other community organisations to advocate for healthy lifestyle practises. These visits give them the opportunity to spread awareness of health issues and build a stronger bond with community members, which can encourage residents to visit them in the clinic when they need help. For example, a community health employee might visit local schools once a month to educate students about the importance of eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

12. Advocating for the community

As these professionals learn about the health needs of residents in their community, they may become advocates for them. Community health professionals who work in underserved or rural areas might contact nonprofit organisations or government agencies to ask them for additional resources for their community, especially after emergencies or natural disasters. They might also help local community organisers in their mission to improve the lives of community residents through literacy classes, fitness programmes and other endeavours. If you have experience cooperating with others to achieve a common goal, describing this experience can show your suitability for this role.

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