Thesis: Nursing Community Health Nursing Duval County

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Nursing

Community Health Nursing

Duval County is one of 67 counties in Florida. Jacksonville is the county seat. As of October 1, 1968, the government of Duval County and that of the City of Jacksonville were combined into one. The Duval County cities including Atlantic Beach, Baldwin, Jacksonville Beach, and Neptune Beach are not included within the corporate limits of Jacksonville, and so they still maintain their own municipal governments. It is one of 20 charter counties in the state. It became a charter county in 1968 (Duval County, Florida, 2009).

The county population in July of 2008 was 850,962. This consisted of 96% urban and 4% rural. The amount of county owner occupied houses and condos were 191,722. Renter occupied apartments were 112,025. The percent of renters in the county was 37% which was 7% above the average for the entire state. The county is made up of a land area of 774 sq. miles and a water area of 144.6 sq. miles. The population density in the county is very high as there are 1095 people per square mile (Duval County, Florida (FL), 2010).

At the end of 2009 the cost of living index in Duval County was 84.5. This was less than the national average which was at 100. 82% of the population was thought to have a private wage or salary job. 13% worked for the government and 5% were self-employed. The average wage per job in 2008 was $43,722, while the unemployment rate was approaching 10% (Duval County, Florida (FL), 2010).

The population of the county is made up of 63.5% white Non-Hispanics, 27.8% Blacks, 4.1% Hispanic, 2% blended races, 1.3% Filipino, 1.3% of other races and .8% American Indian. The median resident age is 34.1 years which is slightly younger than the median age for the entire state which is at 38.7 years. 48.5% of the population is male while 51.5% is female (Duval County, Florida (FL), 2010).

The number of crimes reported in Duval County in 2000 included a total of 54,452 cases. Of these crimes 82 were Murder, 464 were Rape, 2,119 were Robbery, 5,842 were Aggravated Assault, 10,430 were Burglary, 30,491 were Larceny - theft 30,491, and 4,687 were Motor vehicle thefts (Crimes reported in Duval County Florida Crime 2000, 2007). For the seventh year in a row, Duval County ranks No. 1 in the murder rate which is a category that no one wants to lead. The county's rate of 11 murders per every 100,000 people is the only one in double digits among large counties according to the latest Florida Department of Law Enforcement statistics indicate (MURDER RATE: No place to hide, 2006).

Given these statistics and the attention that has been drawn to the issue as of late, it could be easy to assume that murder and crime are worse than they've ever been in this community. But in fact that isn't really the case. The murder and violence rates in Duval have dropped dramatically since 1991, despite the fact that nearly 180,000 more people now call the county home. Statistics show that Duval's per capita violent crime rate is less than half of what it was. As a result of a crack cocaine epidemic, murders peaked at 179 in 1991 (MURDER RATE: No place to hide, 2006).

Murders during 2005 decreased by nine after three years of increases. Duval's overall crime rate also declined slightly during the same year. But it is still the second highest in all of Florida just behind Miami-Dade. The Sheriff acknowledges the murder problems but insists the city is safer now than it was five years ago. The incidences of violent crime in Jacksonville fell by about 11% from 2000 to 2005, but many of the people who live in poor neighborhoods where violence is a constant would probably have a much different view (MURDER RATE: No place to hide, 2006).

Authorities say that most of the time Duval County is a safe place to be. But in any case, people are needlessly dying, families and neighborhoods are suffering and taxpayers are spending more for police, jail and prosecutions than they should be. Murder is only an indication of larger violence problems involving many factors, including poverty, education and even race.

Jacksonville has the largest African-American population in Florida, and some predominately black neighborhoods have not been able to shake a cycle of violence. The entire community is influenced, and the entire community must work at coming up with solutions. Duval County is known nationally as an up-and-coming hotspot. "The beaches, warm winters and business-friendly climate are just some of the features that make Duval an attractive place to be" (MURDER RATE: No place to hide, 2006).

During 2008 in Duval County the low birth weight rate was 13.8% for babies born to African-American mothers, compared to that of 7.2% for babies born to white mothers. The infant mortality rate was 14.8/1,000 live births in the Urban Core of the county which is predominantly low income and 4.45 on the Southeast side which is predominantly middle and high income. The Diabetes hospitalization rate was 554.5/100,000 in the Urban Core, compared to 118.6 on the Southeast side. Diabetes mortality rate in the Urban Core was 91.9/100,000, compared to 30.8 on the Southeast side. Prostate cancer death rate in the African-American population was 21.5/100,000, compared to 14.4/100,000 in the white population. Age-adjusted HIV / AIDS mortality rate was 32.7/100,000 for African-Americans compared with 3.6 in the white population (Healthy People HEALTHY COMMUNITIES Duval County Health Department Annual Report 2008-2009, 2009).

In a report released by the Duval County Health Department a number of different disparities were found in the health of this particular community. The infant mortality rate during 2008 was 9.0/1,000 live births, while the Florida rate was 7.1. The age-adjusted homicide death rate was 15.4/100,000, which is more than twice the rate of Hillsborough County (6.3/100,000), which includes the city of Tampa. The death rate related to Diabetes for people in Duval County was 96.1/100,000 compared to 68.5 in all of Florida. STD rates are significantly higher in Duval County compared to the state average. The Chlamydia rate for female's age 15-19 was 4495.3, compared to a FL rate of 2710.5 measured in rates per 100,000. The Gonorrhea rate for females ages 15-19 was 1531.1, compared to a FL rate of 713.0. Diabetes hospitalizations in Duval County were 234.1/100,000 in Duval County compared to 179.7 in Florida. Rates of obesity and overweight are disturbing. In Duval County over 60% of all adults are overweight or obese. 26% of those who are overweight or obese and are 5-10 years old have more than two risk factors for heart disease. Three-quarters (75%) of high school students do not get enough physical activity. 54% of high school students report not being enrolled in any Physical Education class. 78% of high school students were shown not to eat a healthy diet. Teen birth rate for 15- to 19-year-olds in Duval County was 52.1/1,000, compared to 43.2 in Florida. New AIDS case rate in Duval was 29.3 / 100,000 compared to 20.3 in Florida. 14.3% of Duval County residents had no health insurance. 19.2% of Duval County residents had no personal care doctor (Healthy People HEALTHY COMMUNITIES Duval County Health Department Annual Report 2008-2009, 2009).

Overall the health of the community in Duval County, Florida can be seen as low. There seems to be a significant difference between the healths of this county compared to that of the entire state of Florida. They are by far a lot less healthy. The issue also seems to starting with the children and then carrying over into the adult community. There is a very high incidence of no physical education in the schools along with poor nutrition among the high school students. There is also a very high rate of teen birth rates. One of the most alarming statistics is that fact that 26% of the 5- to 10-year-olds that are obese also have more than two risk factors for heart disease. Based upon these statistics it is no wonder that they youth in this county are all growing up to be unhealthy adults.

With more than 60% of the adults in Duval County being obese it is not surprising to find that the death rate related to Diabetes for people in Duval County was 96.1/100,000 compared to 68.5 in all of Florida. Statistics have shown that 14.3% of the county residents have no health insurance while 19.2% report that they have no primary care doctor. People who live in this country are basically unhealthy children that grown up to be unhealthy adults who can not or will not take care of themselves. There is often a correlation found between those who have no health insurance and those who do not see a doctor on a regular basis. Those people often feel that they are not in a position to seek health care and so they don't. This only ends… [END OF PREVIEW]

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