Vulnerable Population And Awareness

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Vulnerable Population and Awareness Paper Christina Lanham NUR/440 February, 19, 2014 Mrs. Mendez Vulnerable Population and Awareness Paper The vulnerable population this paper is going to address is the Native American population. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS, 2009) defines members of a vulnerable population as individuals “who tend to have poorer health status and more medical needs then the general populations”(p.22). Native Americans on average live less than any other ethnic group in America” (HHS, 2009). The person Jimmy Bley from the neighborhood is part of such a population. He is a 78 year old Native American with emphysema and hearing loss. His emphysema is uncontrolled and is only getting worse.…show more content…
Native Americans have deep respect for one another especially their elders. They are a humble people live simply and are extremely generous. Before conducting the research on Native Americans some preconceived notions this nurse had were that Native Americans drink a lot and mostly live on the governments dollar. I also thought that they usually died of diabetes or cirrhosis of their liver because of their noncompliance with healthcare and poor lifestyle. During my research I found that most of the time noncompliance of Native Americans with healthcare is the fact that we do not try hard enough to understand their culture so we can better take care of them and educate them in a manner they understand. For example as a nurse we should remember when dealing with Native Americans that “we need to shake their hands when first meeting, talk softly, do not make eye contact, and be humble”(Keltner, Kelly & Smith, pg 181). This will show a respect for their cultural practices and make them more receptive to us as healthcare professionals. Just lecturing about noncompliance is not the answer, we need to get to know them and make them apart of their own healthcare. As nurses we must understand what our patient lacks to manage their illnesses, such as education, money, or lack of knowledge about the disease process. It is no surprise that Mr. Bley decided to stop going to his group meetings for smoking cessation…show more content…
Bley is not a non-compliant patient and he does want to get better but because of the differences in the Native American Culture and the Euro-American culture his plan of treatment has been unsuccessful. If the healthcare team sat together and developed a specialized plan that was geared more towards Mr. Bley in a way that he would understand and carry through, Mr. Bley would be more compliant. First of all everyone involved in his plan of treatment should take into consideration that he does have differences and they need to be embraced. Americans believe eye contact is respectful, Native Americans do not. Euro-Americans tend to over share give advice, and usually benefit from counseling and a direct healthcare approach. In the article Immersion in Another Culture: One Strategy for Increasing Cultural Competence states that “cultural immersion” might be a solution to this problem. In this article it explains that “The immersion experience is based on the premise that meaningful engagement with persons whose shared meanings are different from our own helps us to reflect on the assumptions underlying our own culture” (Wood & Atkins,
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