Vulnerable Population in the Workplace
Back in 1999 the U.S. Health Department set a goal to, “eliminate disparities in health and in access to service for minorities,” for Healthy People 2010 (Crist, 2002). 2010 has come and gone, and although there have been improvements that goal continues to be in place for Healthy People 2020. Some vulnerable populations are still at risk and face many barriers preventing them access to proper healthcare. Attempting to overcome these barriers will often fall on the shoulders of healthcare providers; it becomes their job to help decrease the overall health disparity suffered by vulnerable populations. In this paper the subject to discuss is the ...view middle of the document...
A low-level of overall education is especially detrimental to the obtainment of proper health insurance and healthcare. For most, education level is reflective on the type of job that one is able to obtain—low levels of education usually result in low-paying jobs and in some cases unemployment. In 2001 more than one-quarter of the Hispanic population in the U.S. earned lower than $35,000 annually, putting them at risk of not obtaining proper health insurance and greatly hindering their ability to pay for all other aspects related to healthcare—including “costly prescribed medications that are needed to treat most acute and chronic conditions” (Keating, et al. 2009).
Lack of proper health insurance, along with a lower level of education can a dangerous combination—especially when the elderly Mexican-American population is involved. Many of these people are still more willing to use the herbal remedies they learned from their ancestors to treat a variety of ailments and conditions. While herbal supplements can be used in conjunction with modern healthcare, it is not advisable for a patient to treat themself or their family without first consulting a medical professional. For those with heart problems, this can be especially dangerous (Cleveland Clinic, 2010). The use of the herbs garlic, arnica, and nettle to fix common aliments can cause people with heart problems, such a cardiovascular disease, to experience excessive bleeding, high blood pressure, and fluid retention (Mroz, 2011).
A Discussion with Peers/Personal Experience
I currently work at a hospice facility for patients who require long-term care; at the facility we often treat patients with congestive heart failure and other heart-related conditions. Although it is not a consistent problem, occasionally we do encounter Mexican-American patients not fluent in English. These patients are always difficult to work with because none of the nurses in the facility are bilingual. Through talking with the other nurses I decided to create a brochure pertaining to congestive heart failure and the Mexican-American population in order to help the, as well as Mexican-American patients, understand what difficulties these people face medically as well as culturally.
While presenting my brochure I brought up specific topics of discussion to obtain a better understanding of their opinions on the situation. Some of the topics I discussed include the need for education about modern medications and traditional herbal remedies, the importance of offering all educational tools in Spanish, the need for the inclusion of family members in all aspects of medical care, and the need for nurses to gain a better cultural understanding of this vulnerable population to gain better social support. The other nurses were intrigued by my questions and came up with a list of barriers we, as nurses, face in our facility that can create disparities in health.
Result of our Discussions: Determining...