Public Surveying Health

Public Surveying Health

A windshield survey is a composite of subjective data collected through personal observations about people, their lifestyles and the environment in which they live and work. The surveyor uses the five senses while driving and/or walking around a community.

For this activity you will be the surveyor. The data you collect will include only YOUR perceptions of what you SEE, HEAR, SMELL, TOUCH, and FEEL. This portion of the assessment does not include interviews or documentary data.

You will complete this assignment individually. However, you may walk, ride, and drive through the community in small groups. You will assess one or more components/elements below. Please keep notes of your findings as you will be expected to discuss the results of your finding in a debriefing session. Individually you will document your findings on a form that you will turn in to your clinical instructor to be be graded (Windshield Survey Form).

Windshield Survey Components-Elements

Survey Components – Elements Possible Trigger Questions
Boundaries: 1. What signs tell you where this community begins and ends?
2. Are boundaries natural (river, terrain change, etc.) or political (city limits), economic (differences in real estate, presence of industry, commercial units), cultural, or ethnic?
3. Does the community have a “local name” (unofficial)? Is the name displayed or verbally used by residents or others?
Housing and Zoning: 1. How are neighborhoods alike or different in age, types of architecture, materials of construction?
2. How are homes spaced out (detached, attached, grass areas, lot size)?
3. What is the general condition of housing?
Space Use: 1. How is land used in the community (open space, residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural, natural land, reservation)?
2. What is the quality of the space: parks or rubble-filled lots, lawns, flowers, pavement?
3. Is open space public or private? Used by whom?
4. What effect does the geography of the community have on its life?

Survey Components – Elements Possible Trigger Questions
Common Areas: 1. What are the “hangout” places where people gather?
2. Do “hangout” places differ by age, sex, socioeconomic status or other factors?
3. Are common areas “territorial” or open to strangers?
Parks and Recreational Areas 1. Are there parks & recreational areas in the neighborhood?
2. Is the open space public or private?
3. Who uses it?
1. How do people get in and out of the community?
2. How do streets, roads and methods of transportation appear to affect the community life?
3. Are potential accidents or problem areas visible?
4. Is public transportation available?
5. Do street names reveal history or other community characteristics?
Service Centers:
1. Do you see social service agencies, health facilities, recreation centers, signs of activity at the schools?
2. Are there offices of doctors, dentists, palmists, spiritualists, etc? Are they in use?
1. Where do residents’ shop?
2. How do they travel to shop?
3. Are there differences in shopping among different neighborhoods in the community?
4. What kinds of goods are available to local residents?
Street Scene:
1. Who do you see on the streets, mothers and babies, teenagers, unemployed, door-to-door salespeople?
2. Are they typical of people you would expect to see on streets at the time you see them?
3. Are the people you see dressed as you would expect to see them? If not, how do they differ from what you would expect?
4. Do you see animals such as stray cats, dogs, pedigreed pets, “watchdogs,” etc?

Survey Components – Elements Possible Trigger Questions
Community Growth:
1. Do you see signs of community growth such as real estate signs, new construction (home/industrial), remodeling, street repair, political posters, neighborhood meeting posters, etc?
2. Do you see signs of community decline such as trash, abandoned cars, real estate signs concentrated in certain neighborhoods, abandoned houses, mixed zoning usage, etc.
Signs of Decay 1. Does the neighborhood show signs of improvements or being “run down”?
2. Is it “alive”? How would you decide?
3. Is there trash, abandoned cars, boarded up buildings, rubble, dilapidated buildings, rubble-filled vacant lots, poor drainage, and potential disease vector areas?
Race, Ethnicity, Religion: 1. What evidence do you see of racial and/or ethnic characteristics of the people? (Food stores, churches, private schools, information in a language other than English?)
2. What denominations are the churches?
3. Do you see evidence of religious homogeneity or heterogeneity?
Politics: 1. Do you see any political campaign posters?
2. Do you see evidence of party affiliations? A predominant affiliation?
1. Do you see TV antennas or satellite dishes?
2. What kinds of magazines, newspapers, etc. are available to residents?
3. Which media seems most important to residents (radio, television, print, billboards)?
Community Personality:
1. How does the community affect your senses (hearing, smell, and feeling)?
2. Does the community give you a “good” feeling or a “uncomfortable” feeling?
3. Can you pinpoint any particular reasons for this feeling?
Class: 1. How would you categorize the residents: upper, lower, upper middle, middle, working, etc.?
2. On what do you base this judgment?

Survey Components – Elements Possible Trigger Questions
Health and Safety: 1. Is there evidence of accidents, substance abuse, poor lighting on streets, poor sidewalk/street condition?
2. On what do you base this judgment?
3. Are cyclists wearing helmets?
4. Are sidewalks clear of snow/ice (in winter), obstacles?
5. Do you see evidence of acute or of chronic diseases or conditions? Of accidents, communicable diseases, alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness, etc.?
6. Describe the type and number of medical facilities available in the community.
7. How far it is to the nearest hospital? Clinic?

Windshield Survey Findings
(Take notes here – those who are driving ask someone in your group to take notes for you)
Group Members:

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