Community Assessment And Analysis Process

Community Assessment And Analysis Process

Community Assessment & Analysis

“Windshield Survey”

Purpose and Background Information

Nurses must be able to knowledgeably plan services for individuals, families and the community. In to effectively plan, it is essential that you assess the current health status of the community and its resources.

Assessment may include the following strategies: Mining of health data bases, windshield or walking surveys, and more formal quantitative and qualitative research investigations involving community members and other stakeholders. A “windshield survey” is conducted from a car and provides a visual overview of a community (may also be done as a walking survey). Conditions and trends in the community that could affect the health of the population (social determinants) are noted. Most surveys of this type must be validated and expanded through data mining of available online and other databases of demographic and health-related statistics.

Evidence collected during a formal community assessment forms the basis for planning to improve the health status of the community, which impacts individuals’ health downstream.


At the end of this activity, the student will be able to:

1. Identify social determinants of health present in assigned community (socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment, social support networks).

1. Identify healthcare resources that are available in the community.

1. Analyze actual health of the assigned community, utilizing resources to gather vital statistics, such as morbidity and mortality data.

1. Create a list of strengths and weaknesses of the community.

1. Prioritize weaknesses to identify the highest priority need of the community.

1. Identify community resources (actual, available resources or proposed resources) to address the highest priority problem.

1. Share community assessment and analysis in a formal, group presentation.

Course Outcomes

This activity aligns with several of the course outcomes as stated below:

1. Examine health delivery systems and resources available at the global, national, state, and local levels.

1. Examine effective methods for health promotion and health maintenance for individuals, families, and communities at every stage of development.

1. Analyze the environmental, biological, and psychosocial risk factors for disease and disability.

General Directions

Working in a small team, you will conduct a formal assessment of a community to which you have been assigned. The assessment will involve a walking or windshield survey which is validated and expanded upon through a deeper dive into demographic and health-related databases/websites available here:

Items Needed

1. Digital camera/phone

1. Map or layout of the neighborhood/community

1. Mode of transportation (not needed if conducting walking survey)

1. Masks if unable to practice social distancing

Part 1: Assessment

1. Your clinical group will be assigned a neighborhood to survey.

1. Review the Windshield Survey Components handout and PowerPoint (see Brightspace Lecture PPTS).

1. Review Community Tool Box resources for Windshield Survey:

1. Use Google Maps (or other navigation software) to identify boundaries of assigned area.

1. Collect assessment data on essential demographic and other aspects of the community using the guidelines below: [Support your assessment data with actual images/videos taken with your camera or available online]

The essential components of the Community Assessment are listed below:

Safety: Is the community safe? Environmental aspects or physical aspects that may compromise safety (e.g. community decay, traffic safety issues, road and sidewalk accessibility and quality, crime rates, lighting, safe drinking water, air quality). How do the community safety issues impact your identified community problem or issue?

Signs of community decay: Identify any areas of the community in which there is evidence of decline of resources, or community decay?

0. Abandoned cars,

0. Visible trash in the street,

0. Levels of noticeable pollution,

0. Abandoned houses, businesses, and unfinished structures (boarded up buildings),

0. Increased numbers of homeless or panhandlers

Media: Identify the types of local media available for the community residents. Does the town have its own paper? Does the area have its own cable television station? What types of magazines and print materials are circulated? (These types of things you will usually find in the front of cafes and stores). Are they bilingual to needs of community? Do you notice outdoor antennas or dishes?

Stores, Services and Service Centers: Evaluate the service industry in the area including various stores and businesses within the community, social service agencies, community outreach programs, recreation centers, e.g. a local YMCA, and other service industries. The community health nurse should analyze access to food, fitness, and health services availability.

0. What is your evaluation of the availability of resources/stores?

0. Are there many fast food restaurants in comparison to healthier restaurants?

0. Is this considered a food desert?

0. Are there significantly more entertainment options (movie theaters, bowling alleys, etc.) than green space?

0. Are there a high number of fitness and exercise service centers?

0. What is your evaluation of the services available?

Part 2: Analysis of Assessment Data

1. Based on your observations from the windshield survey, identify strengths of the community.

1. List and prioritize 5 potential community risk factors (weaknesses).

1. Identify community resources that may help address the highest priority weakness (either currently in existence or something you propose to help address this problem).

Part 3: Presentation

Create a presentation of your findings using the rubric below. The presentation should be visually appealing and well delivered, utilizing technology and media to convey the material.

Part 4: Peer Review/Compare and Contrast

1. Critically assess each other’s presentation and offer suggestions for improvement to meet all elements of rubric.

1. Compare your results with the results from the other section of your clinical group. Notice similarities and differences in categories assessed. Pay special attention to health outcomes (morbidity, mortality, incidence of disease) and demographic differences (race, ethnicity, income levels).

1. Summarize your comparison and provide a reflection on this experience (2 paragraphs minimum) to identify lessons learned.

1. Submit ALL sections (Parts 1-4) by assignment due date.

Grading Rubric:


Possible Points




Discusses each of the 15 elements succinctly

Total of 75 points.

Race and Ethnicity










Housing and Zoning


Open Space








Stores, Service Centers






Health Status of the Community


Case Management


Community Strengths


Community Weaknesses/Risk Factors


Community resources to address highest priority risk factor


Reflection on comparison of neighborhoods

1. Health outcomes comparison (2.5)

1. Demographic comparison (2.5)


Presentation is professional, creative, logically organized, and clear in content. Reflection is provided.


Correct APA formatting and citations, grammar, spelling.


Total Points Possible

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