Compare vulnerable populations. Describe an example of one of these groups in the United States or from another country. Explain why the population is designated as “vulnerable.” Include the number of individuals belonging to this group and the specific challenges or issues involved. Discuss why these populations are unable to advocate for themselves, the ethical issues that must be considered when working with these groups, and how nursing advocacy would be beneficial.
Tools for Community Health Nursing Practice-Solution
Comparison of Vulnerable Populations
Vulnerable populations are at increased risk of physical, social, and economic harm, often due to social or economic factors beyond their control. The populations often cannot advocate for themselves and may require assistance from healthcare providers and other caregivers. Several vulnerable populations exist worldwide, including the disabled, the elderly, the mentally ill, and those with chronic illnesses (World Health Organization, 2021). Most people with disabilities are vulnerable and rely on caregivers for support. Elderly populations are vulnerable due to their increased risk of chronic illness and diminished physical and cognitive abilities. The mentally ill are vulnerable to the stigma surrounding mental illness and the lack of understanding about their conditions. Those with chronic illnesses are vulnerable due to the ongoing need for medical care and the high cost of treatment. While these groups differ in many ways, they share a common vulnerability due to social or economic factors beyond their control.(Community Health Nursing Essay-Example)
Example of Vulnerable Population
Homeless populations are examples of vulnerable populations in the United States. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, an estimated 580,466 people experienced homelessness in the United States on a single night in January 2020 (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2020). Homelessness is a complex issue resulting from various factors, including poverty, unemployment, mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Homeless individuals face many challenges, including limited access to healthcare, inadequate nutrition, exposure to extreme weather conditions, and safety concerns.(Community Health Nursing Essay-Example)
Why is the Homeless Population Vulnerable?
Homeless people are vulnerable since they lack access to necessities such as shelter, food, water, and healthcare. They are at a higher risk of developing health problems from poor living conditions and exposure to environmental hazards. Homeless individuals also face significant barriers to accessing healthcare, such as a lack of health insurance, limited transportation options, and distrust of the healthcare system.(Community Health Nursing Essay-Example)
Ethical Issues to Consider
When working with vulnerable populations, several ethical issues should be considered. These include issues of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Autonomy upholds individuals’ right to decide and exercise their will (Weber, 2019). Beneficence ensures the patient’s best interests are met, while non-maleficence ensures they are free from harm. Justice promotes the obligation to treat all patients equally, regardless of their background or circumstances.(Community Health Nursing Essay-Example)
Nursing Advocacy for Homeless Population
Nursing advocacy can be beneficial in providing care for vulnerable populations. Nursing advocacy involves advocating for the patient’s best interests, ensuring their autonomy is respected and receiving the care they need. Nurses can advocate for homeless populations by working with community organizations and social workers to provide access to medical care, housing, and other necessities (Weber, 2019). By advocating for vulnerable populations, nurses can help to address the ethical issues that arise when working with these group(Community Health Nursing Essay-Example)
National Alliance to End Homelessness. (2020). The State of Homelessness: 2020 Edition. Retrieved from https://endhomelessness.org/homelessness-in-america/homelessness-statistics/state-of-homelessness-2020/
Weber, J. J. (2019). A systematic review of nurse‐led interventions with populations experiencing Homelessness. Public Health Nursing, 36(1), 96-106. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/phn.12552
World Health Organization. (2021). Vulnerable populations. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/topics/vulnerable_groups/en/