Conduct a windshield survey to identify a population and its primary health concern. Develop a 3–5-page report that explains demographic changes for a population and describes the health disparities and social determinants of health that can affect the population.
Note: The assessments in this course build upon each other. You are strongly encouraged to complete them in sequence.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
Over the past few years, leadership for the health care organization for which you work has noticed a distinct change in the population served by the organization. Leadership wants to make sure they are addressing the needs of this population. You have been asked to participate on an interdisciplinary team that is charged with learning how the population has changed and what needs to be done within the organization to develop a wellness education program that will target the needs and concerns of the population. Your first step in this process is to conduct a windshield survey and report your findings back to your team.
A windshield survey is an inexpensive, time-efficient way to assess and better understand a community and the people who live within that community. Understanding the demographics of a community will help you determine the health-related issues that are likely to exist so you can plan the most appropriate types of wellness programs, health education, and disease prevention programs. Windshield surveys are done by making visual observations of a neighborhood or community while driving; hence the name. This type of survey lets you observe the housing conditions, use of open spaces, shopping, schools, types of transportation, human services, protective services, and other aspects of the overall daily life of a community.
Before you start, you need to identify the boundaries of the neighborhood or community you plan to observe. For the purposes of this course, you should keep the size of the area to no more than 2–3 square miles. The area should be large enough for you to gather relevant information, but small enough that your observation does not take you more than 1–2 hours. With this size, it is not necessary to use a car to complete the survey; you can also walk or bike. Whichever method you use, be mindful of your personal safety. It may be helpful to map out the route you will take ahead of time. It can also be helpful (and safer) to have another person do the driving while you observe and make notes.
Once you are on the route, start making observations right away. Stop frequently to write down notes. A template is provided in the Required Resources to help you document your observations.
The timing of your observation can be important in helping you focus on specific items. If possible, consider conducting your survey more than once at different times of the day. For example, if you make your observations too early in the morning, you may miss things that take place later in the day that provide a different perspective of the neighborhood. It is also important to be as objective as possible when making your observations.
Based on your observations and notes from your survey experience, write a report that includes the following:
Now you will need to do some research on the population you described:
Your completed assessment should be 3–5 pages in length, not including the title page and reference page. Support your information with references to at least three professional, scholarly, or government resources, and follow current APA guidelines for your in-text citations and references.