Iowa County Boards of Health Members' Orientation, Training, Functions and Demographic Characteristics
The problem. Boards of Health and public health nurses face increased demands for service and shrinking resources. Little is known about Board of Health member characteristics and functions. Procedure. A questionnaire developed by the researcher was mailed to a randomly selected sample of 100 Iowa County Board of Health members. The questionnaire was designed to elicit information about how board members were oriented and trained, their perceptions of board functions, and selected demographic characteristics. Findings: A majority of respondents were male, over 50 years old, and had served on the board from one to six years. Only a fourth had received initial orientation. The most highly rated functions were assessing community health needs and the appointment of a qualified administrator. Low ranked functions included exercising political influence, appointment of advisory committee members, and improving agency image. Conclusions. Board members demonstrated interest in the topic by their high response rate. Boards may need to place more emphasis on linking nursing agencies to elements of their environment. Recommendations. More research is needed to identify the outcomes of board activities, to assess members' training needs, to identify nurse administrator and board perceptions of each others roles, and to explore the potential use of advisory committees in completing board duties.
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