Community Windshield Survey

Community Windshield Survey


The purpose of this assignment is to complete a direct observational assessment of a community in your area. This windshield survey will help you to identify a vulnerable population, an important community health problem, and a related Healthy People 2020objective for a community in your area.

Course Outcomes

This assignment enables the student to meet the following Course Outcomes.

  • CO2: Assess the health needs of individuals, families, aggregates, and communities using demographic and epidemiological data to identify population health risks. (PO4)
  • CO6: Utilize a systems-based and collaborative approach to address factors that influence the health of a community and population health problems. (PO2)



  1. Introduction to the Community: Identify the community you will be using for this assignment with the city and state, and provide a brief, one-paragraph description of the community. Your community should be the area where you live or the area surrounding your work setting. The community must include a residential area and be a large enough area to answer the survey questions. Do not include epidemiological or demographic data as this is based on what you observe.
  2. Windshield Survey: Assess your community by doing a windshield survey. Information about the components of a windshield survey is located in your textbook, Nies and McEwen (2019). Drive through the area and report your observations by answering the questions on the form. Be sure to include what you observed related to each of these categories, and also include any significant items that are missing in your community because this may be equally important in identifying a community health problem.
    1. Community vitality
    2. Indicators of social and economic conditions
    3. Health resources
    4. Environmental conditions related to health
    5. Social functioning
    6. Attitude toward healthcare
    7. Note: It is helpful to conduct this assessment at least two different times: during the day or evening, on a weekday, and/or on the weekend. If possible, plan on asking someone to drive during your survey so that you can take notes.
  3. Vulnerable population: Identify the aggregate or vulnerable populations that you observed in your community during your drive through. What did you observe about this population?
  4. Community problem: Based on your assessment in the survey above, identify and discuss one priority community health problem that a community health nurse could positively impact.Example: If you observed teens who were pregnant or had young children during your survey and felt this was a priority problem in your community, the diagnosis could be
    Risk of unintended pregnancy among adolescent girls in XXXX community as evidence by observation of pregnant teens and teens caring for young children during windshield survey.
  5. Healthy People 2020 Objective: Go to the Healthy People topic areas at Find a topic area that relates to one of the vulnerable populations you observed. Click on the topic area, and then click on the green Objectives tab. Review the objectives within that topic area to complete the relevant sections of the form. State the Healthy People 2020 objective number (not just a goal) that describes your problem.Example: The topic area Family Planning would be relevant. You would click on Family Planning, and then click the green Objectives tab, and you might choose
    FP-8.1 “Reduce pregnancies among adolescent females aged 15 to 17 years” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Healthy People 2020, 2018, Objectives: Family Planning, para 8).
  6. Summary: Complete the summary of learning section.
  7. References: The purpose of this assignment is to document your observations of your community. Outside sources other than Healthy People 2020 should not be used. We have included this reference on the Windshield Survey form for you.

Note: Please do the survey on the attachment.

Chamberlain University College of Nursing NR443/435/436 Community Health Nursing

NR443/435/436: Community Windshield Survey Form

Directions: Please refer to the Community Windshield Survey Guidelines and grading rubric in your NR443/435/436 course for specific instructions in order to complete the information below. You are required to use this form for your submission.

Drive through the community where you live or work several times. Document your observations in order to complete the tables below. All short answers must be in complete sentences.


Name: Date:

1. Community Description

Name of city or town and state: Mattapan, Massachusetts
Name of the street or road where you live or work in this community: 17 Rector Road Mattapan
Nature of this community (rural, suburban, urban): urban
Describe your community in 2-3 complete sentences:


2. Community Vitality


SomeFew or None
Did the people you observed during your drive though appear healthy?
Did you see people with obvious physical disabilities, such as those using walkers or wheelchairs?
Did you see those with apparent mental or emotional disabilities?
Did you observe people smoking tobacco products?
Did you observe people who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
Did you see pregnant women?
Did you see pregnant adolescents?
Did you see young women or men with strollers or young children?
Answer the following questions using complete sentences.
What was the approximate age range of the people you saw (youngest to oldest):


Describe the general appearance of those you observed (thin, obese, fit, undernourished, etc.):


Describe the dress of those you observed (unkempt, torn, appropriate, well-dressed, etc.):


Briefly describe what the people you observed were doing (driving, exercising, socializing, etc.):





3. Indicators of Social and Economic Conditions

QuestionManySomeFew or none
Did you observe housing that was run down or dilapidated?
Were any areas undergoing renewal?
Was public housing observed?
Was there public transit?
Were there bus stops?
Was transportation to health care resources observed?
Were there job opportunities nearby, such as factories, small businesses, or military installations?
Were there unemployed people visible, such as homeless people?
Did you see people congregating in groups on the street?
Did you note any seasonal workers, such as migrant or day laborers?
Did you observe any children or adolescents out of school during the typical school hours?
Did you observe any political signs?
Do you see any evidence of health education on billboards, advertisements, or signs?
Answer the following questions using complete sentences.
What kinds of housing did you observe (detached homes, apartments, etc.)?


Describe the general condition of the housing you observed:


Describe the forms of transportation you saw people using:


Describe the main types of work you observed that were available to residents?


What kinds of schools and day care centers were observed?



4. Health Resources

Complete the table below with approximate numbers of health resources you observed when you drove through your community.

Health ResourceNumber observedHealth ResourcesNumber observed
HospitalsUrgent Care Clinics
Community ClinicsSkilled nursing facilities
Family Planning ClinicsMental health or counselling clinics
Generalist DoctorsHomeless or Abuse Shelters
Dentist officesPublic Health Department Office
PharmaciesSubstance Abuse Treatment Center
Answer the following questions using complete sentences.
If some of the above health resources were not observed, approximately how far away would a person need to travel to find these resources?


Do these resources seem sufficient to address the kinds of problems that exist in this community?



5. Environmental Conditions Related to Health

QuestionManySomeFew or none
Did you see evidence of anything that might make you suspicious of ground, water, or air pollutants?
Did you observe poor road conditions with potholes, or poor drainage?
Are there adequate traffic lights, signs, sidewalks, and curbs?
Are railroad crossings fitted with warnings and barriers? Are streets and parking lots well lit?
Was there handicapped access to buildings, sidewalks, and streets?
Did you observe recreational facilities, playgrounds, and/or facilities like the YMCA?
Were recreational facilities being used?
Were children playing in the streets, alleys, yards, or parks?
Did you see any restaurants?
Was there any evidence of nuisances such as ants, flies, mosquitoes, or rodents, or stray animals observed?


6. Social Functioning

QuestionManySomeFew or none
Did you observe any group efforts in the neighborhood to improve the living conditions or the neighborhood?
How many churches, synagogues, and other places of worship did you observe?
Answer the following questions using complete sentences.
Describe the general types of churches, synagogues, and other places of worship you observed.


Describe interactions observed among family or friends during survey. Is more than one generation present?


Were children out playing and if so were they appropriately supervised?


Were there any identifiable subgroups either of people socially or geographically?
Describe evidence of community cohesiveness that you observed (such as signs of a neighborhood watch or other social events or clubs).


Describe any observations that made you suspicious of social problems, such as graffiti, evidence of gang activity, juvenile delinquency, or drug or alcohol abuse?



7. Attitudes toward Health and Healthcare.

QuestionManySomeFew or none
Did you observe any evidence of folk medicine practice, such as alternative medicine practices, botanicals, or herbal medicine shops?
Did you observe that health resources were underutilized?
Was there evidence of preventive or wellness care?
Did you observe any efforts to improve the neighborhood’s health such as advertisements for health-related events, health fares, clinics, or lectures?


8. Aggregates or Vulnerable Populations Observed.

Which aggregates or vulnerable groups did you observe during your survey? (Click all that you saw.)
☐ Infants and Children☐ Pregnant women or adolescents
☐ Adolescents☐ Recent immigrants
☐ Seniors☐ Migrant Workers
☐ Those living in poverty☐ Those affected by mental illness
☐ Those who are homeless☐ Disadvantaged ethnic groups
Answer the following question using complete sentences.
Thoroughly describe what you observed about one aggregate or vulnerable group that you identified above (i.e. gender, behavior, age, appearance, etc.):



9. Health Problems and Health Behaviors Observed

Answer the following questions using complete sentences.
Describe positive health behaviors that you observed during your survey:


Describe unhealthy behaviors that you observed during your survey:


Describe health problems you observed during your survey or potential health problems that you would anticipate based on your observations:



10. Health Problem and Healthy People (HP) Objective

Identify one Priority Community Health Problem Diagnosis (other than the problem listed in the example in the Guidelines):
HP Objective Number (other than FP-8.1)
HP Objective for the number you listed.


11. Summary of Learning

Reflect on the experience of completing this windshield survey and summarize what you learned that might impact your current or future nursing practice. This could be something unexpected or surprising that you did not notice before.



12. Optional Community Picture

Insert one or two pictures that you took during your survey that demonstrates some of your findings. Avoid close up pictures of individuals. You may need to resize the photo so that it fits on the page (search the Web for tips). If your document has difficulty loading in Canvas, remove the picture(s) and resave the document and then try loading it again without the picture(s).
Picture 1


Picture 2





Nies, M. A., & McEwen, M. (2019). Community/Public health nursing: Promoting the health of populations (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Healthy People 2020. (2019). Objectives. Retrieved from



NR443_435_436 Windshield Survey Form 05/2019_MM5