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COLORADO CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY NUR 470: Population Health: Community Based Care

Windshield Survey
Guidelines for Windshield Survey A familiarization community assessment is a useful community / public health nursing tool in helping to familiarize the nurse to a community or neighborhood. It is often called a windshield survey as nurses frequently conduct the familiarization survey through a bus or car windshield. Other more detailed community assessments are conducted by community / public health nurses including a targeted community assessment (which targets a subset of a population such as teens, the elderly, those at risk for HIV-AIDs, low income families, etc. A comprehensive community assessment would take a comprehensive approach to identifying the health problems and resources for a country or district. This type of survey, while extremely useful, is also expensive and time consuming for a community / public health agency to complete, can take a year to complete, and often involves a team effort. Using the format below as guide, complete a familiarization community assessment of a selected geographical location. Take a bus or ask a friend or family member to drive the car in a geographical area you have selected to collect the information for the following windshield survey. Pay attention to your personal safety, especially if you are in an unfamiliar neighborhood. The area you select should be of interest to you. Record the boundaries of the survey so your instructor and provide an Internet map detailing the area you have chosen. Observe the area for as long as you need to collect adequate data, usually about 2 - 3 hours. You will be using data from this assessment, or repeating the acquisition of similar data, for the Community Assessment and Program Plan you will be doing later this term. You may assess the area in which you live but make sure the area includes some commercial resources within the communitys boundaries. If the resources are absent from an area but listed on the survey guide, report the resources as missing in your report. While not difficult, the report of the windshield survey can be lengthy. When you prepare the paper, feel free to use bullets and single spacing to handle large quantities of data rather than use a narrative style. The easiest way for you to ensure a complete windshield assessment is for you to use headings as they appear on the survey guide below or type your bulleted data in the last column on the form. The final paragraphs of the Windshield Survey need to include a brief analysis of your findings including potential health risks identified through the Windshield Survey. This is where you have the chance to analyze the data you have collected. Data alone do not complete a health assessment. To complete the Windshield Survey, write two to three paragraphs in which you analyze what you have observed and identify health risks, health problems, and health resources / assets for the community. This provides the foundation for the Community Assessment and Program Plan you will be developing.

Colorado Christian University

Windshield Survey Form Adapted from Guidelines for a Windshield survey, Indiana School of Nursing, Department of Community Health Nursing 1

Name of Observers: _______________________________________________________________ Weather: ____________________________ Temperature: _________________________ City: ________________________________ Neighborhood: ________________________ A. Neighborhood Boundaries (5 points) 1. What are the boundaries of the neighborhood? 2. Are there commercial streets or areas? 3. Does the neighborhood have an identity, a name visible? B. Housing (10 points) 1. What is the age of the houses, type of architecture, construction material of houses? How many stories? 2. Are there single, multifamily dwellings, mobile homes? 3. Do houses have space/lawns around them? Are they well groomed? 4. What is the general condition of the houses? Are there signs of disrepair (broken doors, windows, railings?) 5. Are there cars in the driveway? Does it appear everyone is at work? 6. Are there vacant houses, boarded up or dilapidated buildings? 7. Are there many houses for sale? 8. Are there streetlights, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, open drainage ditches? C. Open Spaces (5 points) 1. How much open space is there? 2.Are there parks and recreational areas in the neighborhood? Are they lighted? 3. Is the open space public or private? Who uses it? 4. Is there trash, rubble, or abandoned cars in the open spaces? D. Shopping Areas (5 points) 1. What types of stores are in the area (shopping centers, neighborhood stores, grocery stores, 2. drug stores, laundries, etc.)? 3. How are these resources distributed in the area? Are they spread throughout? 4. Are there ethnic stores, ones that display other than English language? 2 Day/Date/Time: ____________________________________________________________

5. Do signs advertises tobacco, alcohol? E. Schools (5 points) 1. Are there schools in the neighborhood? Are they public or private? 2. Are there play areas, sports fields connected to the schools? 3. Is graffiti evident in the schools? 4. Do the school grounds appear to be well-kept? F. Religion (5 points) 1. What churches do you see? Who uses the churches? 2. Do you see evidence of their use for other than purely religious purposes? G. Human Services (15 points) 1. Where are hospitals and health services located in relation to the neighborhood? 2. Are there physician offices, health clinics or centers, dentist offices? 3. Are there alternative medicine centers (acupuncture, massage, etc.)? 4. Are spiritualists advertised? 5. Are social agencies (welfare, WIC, social services) available? 6. Are there senior centers and child care facilities? H. Transportation (10 points) 1. How do people get in and out of the neighborhood (car, bus, train, bike, walk)? 2. Are the streets and roads conducive to good transportation and to community life? 3. Are the streets in good condition? Are they paved? Gravel? Brick? Dirt? 4. Are formal bus stops or public transportation signs visible? 5. Is public transportation available? If so, how frequently? 6. Is this a high-traffic area? Are speed limit signs or speed zones posted? 3

7. Is there a major highway near the neighborhood? Whom does it serve? I. Protective Services (5 points) 1. What evidence do you see of police, fire, and emergency services? 2. Are there fire station houses, fire hydrants? 3. Do houses have security systems? 4. Is there evidence of Neighborhood Watch programs? 5. Are there emergency shelters for neighborhood use (e.g., tornado shelters)? J. Neighborhood Life (10 points) 1. Whom do you see on the streets (women, men, mothers with children, teenagers, elderly)? 2. What ethnic groups are part of the neighborhood? Bilingual signs? 3. Are there informal gathering places/hangouts? What are they? For whom (teens, men, etc.)? 4. Are there social clubs or cultural organizations? 5. Is there evidence of interaction among neighbors? 6. Is there evidence of homelessness? 7. What animals do you see (stray dogs, watch dogs)? 8. Are there parks or other recreational facilities in the neighborhood? Public or private? K. Analysis of Windshield Survey (25 points) Data alone do not complete a health assessment. Analysis is important. To complete the Windshield Survey.

1. Summarize what you have observed 2. Identify community assets and strengths 3. Identify potential health risks, health problems, and health resources

Barnett E, Anderson T, Blosnich J, Menard J, Halverson J, Casper M. Heart Healthy and Stroke Free: A Social Environment Handbook. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2007. Retrieved from