Vulnerable Populations Essay

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The purpose of this paper is to discuss vulnerable populations. This paper will define vulnerable populations, and will discuss the barriers these populations face in accessing health care. This writer will provide personal experiences with vulnerable populations in healthcare. According to the AHRQ (1999) vulnerable populations can be defined those made vulnerable by their financial circumstances or their living situation. Variables that can make someone a vulnerable segment of the population are health, age, functional or developmental status. Some other factors that can make one vulnerable are ability to communicate effectively, the presence of disability or a chronic or terminal illness or disability. It is the role of the health care community to identify vulnerable populations and make every attempt to provide them with access to healthcare. According to Healthy People (2012) access to health services has a profound impact on every aspect of someone’s life. Nearly one in four Americans are without a primary care provider (PCP) or health clinic where they receive regular medical services. Approximately one in five are without medical insurance. Those who do no have medical insurance are likely lacking a usual source of medical care thus skiping routine medical care due to costs. Not receiving regular medical care increases ones risk for serious and dabilitating health conditions. When someone only accesses health services on emergency basis they are often have astronomical medical bills they are expected to cover out of pocket. The vulnerable population I have the most experience with in the workplace is the homeless population. As a house supervisor in a psychiatric hospital, my role is to treat this aggregate of the population with the same dignity and respect as every other patient, while providing exemplary care. Another important role in the care

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