I would define a vulnerable population like Mary de Chesnay states in her book “Vulnerable Populations: Vulnerable People, “Vulnerability is a general concept meaning “susceptibility,” and its specific connotation in terms of health care is “at risk for health problems” (De Chesnay & Anderson, 2008, 3).
I would also add Aday’s (2001) definition to this, “Vulnerable populations are those at risk for poor physical, psychological, or social health (De Chesnay & Anderson, 2008, 3). From the University Library, I choose to read the journal article from Contemporary Nurse, “Nursing care of vulnerable populations using a framework of cultural competence, social justice and human rights” (Pacquiao, 2008).
This article focused on the vulnerable groups of refugees and asylum seekers. It attempted to present a model connecting cultural competence with advocacy for social justice and protection of human rights in caring for these vulnerable groups. She identified compassion as the key component for culturally competent advocacy for social justice and human rights protection of these groups of vulnerable populations (Pacquiao, 2008, 189).
Some barriers that may prevent refugees and asylum seekers from obtaining needed health services could include the following: racism, inadequate transportation, poverty, oppression, violence, culturally incompetent health care services, unavailable health services for refugees or asylum seekers in the new country they live in, inadequate resources of receiving country, sociocultural vulnerabilities, war, natural disaster, discrimination, isolation, and deprivation of available resources from other citizens in the area, or cultural conflicts between the migrant and the healthcare provider (Pacquiao, 2008, 190).
I have had many experiences with vulnerable groups in my life. I grew up in southwest Michigan. In this area, there were many migrant workers who worked in the berry-picking and fruit fields. I grew up going to my primary and secondary school, and also in the community with this vulnerable population. I realized that the population of migrant workers that I grew up with in a small, and in some areas a big way, experienced many of the things that Pacquiao discussed in her article.
I also have had inner city experiences with the poor. Also, in every community that I have lived, there are always vulnerable groups present – whether it is the poor, socially marginal, or culturally different. I also worked with pediatric home health patients who were a very vulnerable population because of their high risk health factors. Overall, this article had many insightful and helpful things to say about health care for the vulnerable populations of refugees and asylum seekers.
January 9, 2018
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