Caring for Miami Population: Community Windshield Survey

Introduction of Community

The community which will be considered for this survey is that of the city of Miami, Florida. It includes the individuals living in this city, as well as those who commute from the surrounding areas to work in the city.

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Windshield Survey

Vitality

People could often be seen during the day. Most of them were going somewhere as if they have a business; however, others were simply strolling. Most people were middle-aged, although the ages range from infanthood to very old (70-80 and more). Most individuals were Hispanic White, although a significant percentage of Black and non-Hispanic Whites could also be observed.

Most people wore common, unshowy clothes; people wearing rags could be observed rather infrequently. People in fancy clothes were also rare; most of them were observed when they were getting on or off cars. Individuals with obvious disabilities were rare; however, homeless people wearing rags seemed to often have mental disorders; they also often appeared not to be sober.

Few pregnant females could be observed; however, women with strollers could be seen from time to time.

Indicators of social and economic conditions

People mostly appeared to live in blocks of apartments, which seemed to be in a rather good condition outside. There was also ongoing construction of new buildings.

People most often used public transport, as well as personal cars. The bus stops were mostly in adequate condition, and many hospitals were located near bus stops.

A large number of skyscrapers indicated that people often work in offices. Few unemployed people were distinctive, mostly the homeless individuals.

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No signs of gang activity, or females offering prostitute services, were observed; no signs of political campaigns were found. Several children were seen during the daytime; however, it was unclear whether they missed school or were simply going home after classes.

Health education on billboards, signs, etc. was not observed.

Health Resources

Several medical centers and dentists’ offices were observed; most of them were near public transport stops. Also, private diagnostic laboratories were found. However, no specialized clinics were noted during the windshield survey.

The dentists’ offices observed provided specialized treatment (dentistry), whereas the medical centers offered both general and specialized services.

Whereas no nursing homes, mental or addiction-treatment clinics were found, several mobile health vehicles and many pharmacies were observed.

Because several homeless individuals (probably with mental health issues) were noted, it is concluded that the resources were not sufficient to address all the needs of the community.

Environmental conditions related to health

Private transport is excessively used, so air pollution is likely.

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Housing is mostly in a good condition; the windows are often screened.

The roads were usually in very good condition; several potholes were detected, but they were undergoing repair, and the warning signs were present. The traffic lights, signals, and sidewalks were adequate for this heavily trafficked area; the drainage system was also sufficient. No hazards on the roads were sighted.

Parks and several playgrounds near kindergartens were noted. Children were playing there, and not near the roads.

There were numerous fast-food restaurants, as well as some more expensive ones. Some food was also sold in the street, but very few people were eating outside specially provided areas. No garbage was seen in the street.

Among the insects, only mosquitoes and flies can be observed.

Social functioning

Several families were observed in the evenings, mostly nuclear ones, where the mother seemed to devote more attention to children. No families with three generations were noted.

There were a few socially related subgroups: the homeless, and the people in fancy or expensive clothes with cars.

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The city was rather clean, which allows for assuming that effort was made in the community to keep it such. No particular signs of group cohesiveness were noted, however.

Several churches were found, most of which were Christian (Protestant or Roman Catholic). A few synagogues were found; however, no other religious buildings were observed.

No signs of serious social problems, apart from the above-mentioned homeless individuals, were noted.

Attitude toward healthcare

No evidence of folk medicine practice was observed; nevertheless, several herbal medicine shops were found.

It appeared that the health care resources (such as hospitals and medical centers) were actively in use; they did not appear to be underutilized. However, several dentist offices did seem to be underutilized.

No signs of preventive or wellness care were observed. Also, no indicators of health care fairs or other health-related events were found; however, the advertisements for the private hospitals were seen.

Vulnerable Population

A vulnerable population that was observed while performing the survey was that of the homeless people. The homeless constitute one of the most vulnerable populations today (Nies & McEwen, 2015); having lost a place to stay, these people cannot find a job and quickly degrade to the bottom of the social hierarchy. They often suffer from numerous problems simultaneously, such as alcoholism and/or drug addiction, mental health problems, and numerous comorbid diseases (Bonilla, Cole-Porse, Kjemtrup, Osikowicz, & Kosoy, 2014; Upshur, Weinreb, & Bharel, 2014).

In Miami, most homeless individuals were Black; however, several White homeless persons were also observed. They were wearing dirty clothes or rags and were either begging or simply walking or sitting somewhere. The rest of the population tried to avoid them.

Conclusion

On the whole, the community seemed to mostly have sufficient conditions of living; some people were well-off. However, homeless individuals were seen, which indicated that there are some serious problems in the community which needs to be addressed. In addition, the large number of vehicles indicates that there may be issues with pollution, air, and otherwise.

References

Bonilla, D. L., Cole-Porse, C., Kjemtrup, A., Osikowicz, L., & Kosoy, M. (2014). Risk factors for human lice and bartonellosis among the homeless, San Francisco, California, USA. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 20(10), 1645-1651.

Nies, M. A., & McEwen, M. (2015). Community/public health nursing: Promoting the health of populations (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier.

Upshur, C. C., Weinreb, L., & Bharel, M. (2014). Homeless women and hazardous drinking: Screening results in a primary health care setting. The American Journal on Addictions, 23(2), 117-122.

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