Vulnerable populations are considered “people who require special attention related to well-being and safety, including persons who cannot advocate for their own needs such as children, prisoners, and cognitively impaired” (Falkner, 2018). Vulnerable population include children, prisoners, and the cognitively, emotionally, and physically impaired. Usually the population that falls under the vulnerable category often have SDOH that contribute to vulnerability such as poverty, ethnic minorities, sexual preference, and insurance status (Waisel, 2013). When discussing the vulnerable population we must always remember that there are different reasons that makes them “vulnerable” for instance, children are vulnerable because they lack the intelligence and ability to access healthcare on their own, they do not have the cognitive ability to make decisions on their own. Many ethical issues arise and must be considered when dealing with the vulnerable populations, such as learning barriers, cultural barriers, or anything that may hinder the quality of care provided to the patient; for instance when dealing with a person from a minority group such as the Hispanic population, we must always remember that in the Hispanic culture if the nurse is a male, the elderly female patient will more than likely request to have a female nurse as it is against their culture to be seen by another male. As nurses, we must advocate for these patients greatly because at the end of the day, we strive to deliver the best care possible to any patient no matter where they are from or what age they are.
Grand Canyon University (ED).(2018). Community & Public health: The future of health care. Retrieved from https://Ic.gcumedia.com/nrs427vn/community-and-public-health-the-future-of-health-care/v1.1/
Waisel, D. (2013). Vulnerable populations in healthcare. Current Opinion in Anesthesiology, 26(2), 186-192. doi: 10.1097/ACO.0b013e32835e8c17
Vulnerable populations are those at risk of receiving a disparity in medical care on the basis of financial circumstances or social characteristics such as age, race, gender, sexual orientation, spirituality, disability, socio-economic status and insurance status.( Society of Hospital Medicine, 2006). Examples include LGBTQ, impoverished population, uninsured and under insured among others.
Refugees and immigrants population are vulnerable all over the world. Here in America there has been an increasetoo.( WHO.n.d.) This is because they are often in an unknown environment, no or little understanding of the culture, resources, language, and require a lot of support to acclimatize to the new environment. Public health providers must address their needs with compassion and patience and advocate for them by accounting for language barriers, lack of insurance, provision of resources such as water, clothing, food, housing needs.
In Kenya, refugees reside in camps from war torn neighboring countries like Somalia and Southern Sudan, these countries have been at war for decades. There are people who have lived all their childhood and adulthood lives in these camps. Life in the camps is not easy because there is struggle for the little aid developed countries give, there is no running water or flushing toilets, diseases erupt every day such as typhoid, malaria, tuberculosis and worst of all cholera. Available medical aid is sometimes not enough or if available cannot reach the target population because of poor roads destroyed by flash floods and drought. The United nations help as well as USAID and WHO but some officials steal the aid and refugees suffer.
Chapter 3: Community and Public Health: The Future of Health Care. Retrieved from:https://www.gcumedia.com/digital-resources/grand-canyon-university/2018/community-and-public-health_the-future-of-health-care_1e.php
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