Many variables exist that could create a vulnerable population. Vulnerable populations are subsets of people from the larger community who experience disparities in health and healthcare due to racial, ethnic, economic, and chronic health conditions (Joszt, 2020). Additionally, social issues such as disability, homelessness, geographical location, sexual orientation, extreme youth, and older age are all factors that create sensitivity towards healthcare disparity (Joszt, 2020). Being part of a vulnerable population can mean many things, but it can also mean that one is part of a group that faces discrimination and reduced access to care in healthcare.

One thing a public health nurse could do to serve vulnerable populations better is to seek out federal grants that would assist in providing the needed care (grants.gov). To better serve these populations, public health nurses should first educate themselves about the available services for those populations; that way, they can inform others. One of the more significant barriers vulnerable populations face in receiving adequate healthcare is their economic status. The working poor and the uninsured often delay or neglect seeking medical care entirely (Duquesne University, 2020). Replacing the existing economic model with one that facilitates care for those that aren’t financially able to cover the costs would ultimately lead to improved health and the enhanced ability of those from vulnerable populations to return to work.

I think the vulnerable populations of the United States could be better served by being given preventative education, awarded grants that would enable the facilitation of care, and receive improved medical coverage. These three actions could theoretically place those from vulnerable populations in a position to rise above that status and live healthier lives.


Vulnerable Populations

The vulnerable populations refer to the individuals having a higher likelihood of facing difficulties as far as health statuses are concerned; they have limited access to resources to take care of themselves compared to other members of the society. Generally, the low resilience of the vulnerable populations to health risks is exacerbated by poverty and the limited access to social, physical, and environmental resources that they require to enjoy the same level of quality of life as other demographics in the society (Palley, 2016). Additionally, vulnerable populations such as teen mothers and migrant workers are more susceptible to various health risks because of their low levels of education, illiteracy, and low-level skills. These factors prevent them from gaining access to the economic opportunities and income necessary to maintain health and well-being. The literature has also discovered that one of the reasons for the high sensitivity of the vulnerable population to health risks is their separation from core elements of society, such as the high rate of disenfranchisement of homeless people as well as prisoners from utilizing some of the public health resources available to all citizens. As a result, because of poverty, local social, economic, and environmental resources, including the high illiteracy, vulnerable populations do not have access to healthcare resources that could enhance their health condition and quality of life.

Strategies to Facilitate Healthful outcomes

The existence of these variables that expose vulnerable populations to health risks has raised the demand for public health nurses to advocate for policies and programs that remove inequities between this population and more resilient groups. A further way that public health nurses can contribute to improving health outcomes in vulnerable groups is through the provision of culturally competent care services that include tools and resources for encouraging healthy behaviors and participating in health promotion activities (Peek, 2017). A good example would be giving language assistance to immigrants and migrant workers when they are on a visit to the therapeutic environment. The bottom line is that nursing practitioners can use advocacy and culturally competent service delivery as strategies for improving the health status of disadvantaged groups in their care.

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