Vunerable Populations Essay

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Vulnerable Populations
Social groups that have increased susceptibility and are at risk for health problems are referred to as “vulnerable populations.” This paper seeks to briefly define the meaning of the term “vulnerable population,’ describe its characteristics, identify some of the barriers to health care service, and look at cultural attitudes relating to these populations. In addition, a cursory look at nursing theories, and models, concerning vulnerable populations will be presented.
Vulnerability means to have increased risks in the area of physical, psychological, or social health and can be established by evidence of inadequate access to health care, unhealthy living condition, relatively high mortality rates, and low life expectancy. Individuals can become vulnerable due to life changes or unexpected events such as a loss of employment, a major medical event, or natural disaster. Health care professionals that focus on vulnerable populations are concern with whole social groups that are at risk because of social standing. Vulnerable populations include ethnic and racial minorities, persons with chronic or mental illness, the poor, and recent immigrants (Crow, Harrington, & McLaughlin, 2002).
Attending to the needs of vulnerable populations can be hindered by the fact that these groups suffer from discrimination and become marginalized or disconnect from society. In addition, the disfranchisement of vulnerable populations from common social settings, such as school, or work hinders their ability to receive needed help. Often teachers or co-workers are the first contact who recognize risks and reach out to individuals. Vulnerable populations lack personal and political power, due to their low social standing, thus furthering the health risks they encounter.
There are several major theories for approaching vulnerable populations. Each theory

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