Brooklyn has two Nurse Family Partnership teams, each with eight nurses, a nurse-supervisor, and an administrative support person who deals with the large amount of data collection required by the program.
The team I visited is in Brownsville is co-located with a long day care centre. Here is a photo of the front of the building; on the roof level you can see the children’s playground. Open space is limited in Brooklyn.
The NFP nurses have come from a range of clinical backgrounds – community nursing, school nursing, mental health nursing, aged care, paediatric nursing, O&G clinic.
One of the NFP nurses, Kima, works and lives in Brownsville, and is a new grad nurse, who has gone directly into this program. I went out home visiting with her to see a young mother living in The Projects.
Brownsville contains the highest concentration of New York City Housing Authority developments in New York City, commonly known as The Projects. The population is approx 95% Black or Hispanic, low income, with high levels of unemployment, low educational attainment, and poor health. I spoke to Kima about working in The Projects, and she told me that she had never felt unsafe. The role of the FNP nurse is generally respected and valued, so she is able to do her work without feeling harrassed.
The young woman we visited was home with her 14 month old. Kima reviewed what had been discussed at the last appointment, which was largely about gross motor development and communication. The opportunity for the child to move around the tiny apartment is limited, as a number of people live there, with a lot of furniture and clothes crammed into the space. This was having an impact on his ability to toddle around. Kima encouraged the young woman to think of ways that he could have more floor time, and ways to make his space safer. I observed one of the central approaches to NFP practice – motivational interviewing. I will speak more about this in a later post, however, in this home visit I observed the – elicit, observe, elicit cycle in process.
• Elicit what the client already knows and wants to know.
• Provide information in a neutral manner.
• Elicit the client’s response to, interpretation of the information.