services provided by a community agency and it's challenges in servicing a certain health issue within the community
The American Red Cross
This research paper looks at the services provided by a community agency and its challenges in servicing certain health issues within the community. The research will mainly dwell on the American Red Cross which is a community agency based in the U.S. that provides public health services not only to the American people but also to other people in other parts of the World who need help.
The research paper will first of all give a detailed description of the American Red Cross that will include the services it provides and the population it serves, secondly it will highlight on some of the roles that nurses play in the agency and how the nurses provide essential services of public health. The third section will spell out notable collaborations that the American Red Cross has with individuals, groups and other agencies in the community, lastly in the fourth section some future challenges that the agency may face will also be mentioned.
The American Red Cross
Also known as the American national Red Cross. It is an agency issued with a corporate charter by United States of America congress and it provides community services or public health services for the entire American community. Its' an affiliate of the Red Crescent societies and International Federation of Red Cross with a nationwide network of 36 blood services centers in addition it has more than six hundred and fifty chapters. The organization which is dedicated to saving lives and assisting the American community to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies has it main headquarters located in Washington D.C.
The American national Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that is mainly driven by the spirit of voluntarism and it is funded by donations from the American community, income generated from blood, safety and health products, and also fees collected from training programs on health and safety. Reports show that in 2006 it had total revenue of more than six billion dollars of which two billion dollars were income generated from blood and blood products. The community agency mainly focuses on providing disaster relief, emergency assistance and informative education to the American community that pertains to public health.
At the present moment it provides other services besides disaster relief and emergency assistance which include; collection of donor blood and blood products, the processing of these blood collected and their distribution to those who need them. The other service is offering comfort and communication services to the American military men and their immediate family members. Providing community services aimed at aiding the needy in the American society is also part of their agenda in addition to providing informative education services on public health, safety and disaster preparedness.
According to information from the organization's website it has a workforce that comprises of more than thirty thousand permanent employees and nearly a million volunteers whom are capable of providing relief services to victims of at least sixty seven thousand cases of disaster in a period of stipulated in their budget. The organization also offers training on medical skills to almost twelve million Americans and in addition to that it facilitates the exchange of emergency messages between America military men and their immediate family members. The America Red Cross also known for its blood services is the largest supplier to more than three thousand hospitals in America which depend on it for blood and blood products. The organization not only offer assistance to the American public but it also offer aid to victims of conflict in other parts of the World and international disasters such as the Haiti earthquake.
Among the notable deeds of the American national Red Cross apart from the blood, health and safety services is the response to disaster. The organization did a commendable work during times of disaster such as the 2005 hurricanes, the Florida and Kansas tornadoes of 2007, the Conair air crash, the Midwest floods of June 2008, the Minneapolis bridge collapse and the recent Haiti earthquakes. Their response to these disasters has propelled them to international spotlight for their community services.
Role and responsibility of nurses in the American Red Cross
The nurses in the American national Red Cross have played a very important role in the historical evolution of the organization; the first role that was remarkably played by the American Red Cross nurses can be traced back to the Yellow fever epidemic in 1888 and the subsequent Johnstown floods that occurred in 1889. According to the chief nurse interviewed for this research, she attributes the critical role played by nurses in this organization as been drawn from the nursing vision which is "American Red Cross nursing, a presence throughout uplifting lives with compassion and special skills, competent and prepared in strengthening the organization with innovation and support to enhancing the Red Cross.
According to Bayona et al. (2004, 434-438) nurses has always been a cornerstone for the provision of services not only in the American Red Cross but also in other health agencies around the World. The role of more than twenty thousand nurses in the organization can be categorized into four activities, the first being nurses role in direct services where they promote blood donation from the public, volunteer in military clinics and participate in first aid centers. Another role played by nurses in the organization is teaching and developing courses such as first aid, nurse assistant training, babysitting and family care giving. The other role played by nurses is acting in management and supervisory roles within the organization and lastly participating in governance roles of the organization such as being a board member to the national board of governance.
The chief nurse interviewed for this research said the responsibility bestowed on her office include maintaining liaison with the national chair of nursing, the state nurse liaison field infrastructure and with the organization business lines, the other role also delegated to her is to support and strengthen the involvement of nurses with the organization both the permanent nurses and the volunteering nurses.
Collaboration of the American Red Cross with others
Due to the fact that the American national Red Cross is a humanitarian organization and also a non-governmental organization it depends a lot on contribution and collaboration from other third party stakeholders within and outside the American community. Apart from the income generated from blood, health and safety products the America Red cross also depends on its collaboration with the American people, and according to the organization's database it has a network of many Americans who not only donate their money and blood to them but also their time to participate in humanitarian activities carried out by the organization.
A remarkable collaboration between the organization and other agencies in the American community was with the federal emergency management agency also known as FEMA which is a branch of the U.S. department of homeland security. The two agencies signed a memorandum of agreement that could see both of them jointly lead the planning and co-ordination of mass care services, which will have the positive effect of strengthening and expanding the resources available for providing food, shelter, emergency first aid and delivery of supplies to victims of disaster in the American community.
In 2007 the American Red Cross and the Lionsgate, which is an independent film entertainment studio formed collaboration in which the organization was set to benefit from a blood drive. The campaign titled "give till it hurts" was to be consistent with release of SAW IV, a production from the Lionsgate and Twisted pictures. The American Red Cross was set to utilize this partnership to expand its support of blood donation that consequently would increase…