Vulnerable Population and Self Awareness Paper - NUR 440


Example 1

After researching and reading about different vulnerable populations, I chose to write about the elderly population. What makes the elderly a vulnerable population? The elderly is one of the sub groups of the population which require special care in specific needs. There is a specialty field in medicine dedicated to the medical care of this group, it is called geriatrics. The elderly are more prone than their younger counterparts in society to have medical problems. With the retirement age of 65, most adults of this age cannot afford to retire due to the ever rising prices of health care. In some instances, the elderly person may have to rely on family members as their source of income, health care, and transportation. This has opened up a wide variety of problems associated with aging. Kennard (2010), states that “elder abuse is defined as a knowing, intentional, or negligent act to a vulnerable adult” (p. 1). This paper will reflect my own personal awareness of the elderly population before studying the demographics; cover attitudes, biases, and stereotyping; the effects of my attitude after my research; and how my new knowledge might affect my health care delivery.

Part 2 of Vulnerable Population and Self Awareness

Some of the stereotypes and biases against the elderly are seeing them as stupid and helpless, someone who is sick or dying, and not having any value in the family. It is no wonder Americans stereotype the elderly, especially after being bombarded day in and day out with ads about how to look younger. This is a part of the reason I did not want to work with the elderly after graduating from nursing school this year, probably because of my own view of the elderly. It just happens that there are ten nursing schools turning out registered nurses several times a year in the Jacksonville area. This makes it hard to get a job in the hospital. I ended up working in a nursing home. My thought process was to get experience, and then apply to the local hospitals because they require at least one year of experience. It turns out that I actually love what I do, and I want to be a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner for the elderly. After serious inward reflection, I have come to the conclusion that I was biased and had stereotyped the older population. I thought that most of the people end up in nursing homes because they did not manage their money correctly, and it was a form of punishment for them. In essence, I thought that these people were stupid. I was wrong. I also thought the elderly were all set in their ways, and were not capable of learning. I realized the majority of my own stereotypes and biases against the elderly were because of my own fear of aging. After all, no one wants to “get old”.

Part 3 of Vulnerable Population and Self Awareness

Demographics of the aging population include an increasing number of older adults whose age exceeds 85 years. By the year 2000, there were 4 million more Americans older than 65 years of age than there were in 1990. This rise in numbers may result in a health care crisis in this group due to the resources for them is shrinking (Gore, 2007). This demographic change introduces many interrelated social, economic, political, education, and health problems. The fact that people are living longer allows for... [continues]

Example 2

Vulnerable Population and Self Awareness Paper

Vulnerable populations are those with a greater than average risk of developing health problems (De Chesnay & Anderson, 2008). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adolescents are the only portion of society in the United States that has not observed a decrease in mortality and morbidity during the past four decades. The CDC has outlined six risk-taking behaviors by adolescents: unintentional injuries and violence, alcohol, and drug use, tobacco use, risky sexual behaviors, poor diet, and lack of physical activity. Teenagers face health issues that stem from overweight, which contributes to other problems like heart disease and diabetes. According to Journal of Pediatrics (2010), “40% of obese children already have 2 or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise is the leading cause. The case study of Jenna Riley presents a 14 year old teenager who’s struggling with her weight and diabetes. In addition, she is very self-conscious about her weight and feels emotionally rejected by her friends because she is overweight. According to National Institutes of Health (2011), "Children with obesity-related diabetes may have serious difficulties making basic lifestyle changes” (Obese teens and diabetes, para.).

According to California diabetes program (2009) "Pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes in children and are growing public health problems. Type 2 diabetes represents 8-45 percent of pediatric patients with diabetes currently diagnosed in large pediatric centers in the United States. Young patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are generally overweight, typically inactive, have a strong family history of type 2 diabetes and often have signs of insulin resistance. The majority of these patients belong to ethnic groups at high risk for type 2 diabetes. Limited data suggest the likelihood of a higher prevalence of microvascular and macrovascular complications among young adults who develop type 2 diabetes during childhood.” According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (2011) “Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person's body still produces insulin but is unable to use the insulin effectively” (JRFD Fact sheet, para. 4), for Jenna this is what she may be facing without a... [continues]

Example 3

Vulnerable Population and Self Awareness Paper

This paper will contain information of a vulnerable population chosen from the neighborhood patient website. The following will be discussed, the patient or population's demographics, describing the writer's personal awareness and attitudes prior to discovering information about the population and after research done about the population. This paper will also define the patient's current disease process and background that identifies the patient as a vulnerable population. "Vulnerability is a general concept meaning "susceptibility", and it's specific connotation in terms of health care is "at risk for health problems". According to Aday (2001), vulnerable populations are those at risk for poor physical, psychological, or social health"(De Chesnay, M., 2008).

Vulnerability in the healthcare setting can be defined in many different ways. Some people may believe that a "vulnerable population" may be another way to label a certain population by the healthcare professions to segregate patients to allow for more monies to come in through federal government subsidies. Vulnerability in healthcare today are considered populations that are at a greater risk of developing any health problems. (Vulnerable Population and Self Awareness Paper)

Background of Jimmy Bley for Vulnerable Population and Self Awareness Paper

Jimmy Bley is a 78 year old Native American man. He has emphysema and hearing loss, Mr. Bley has been married to his wife for 56 years. He has eight children who are grown with grandchildren and great grand children. at this time Mr. Bley denies his hearing loss is affecting his activities of daily living and also denies that his Emphysema is affecting his daily activities as well. At times he has SOB (Shortness of Breath) upon exertion. He uses his inhaler or performs his activities at a slower pace. Mr. Bley's wife complain that his hearing loss is affecting his driving and that he does not pay attention to his surroundings. Mr. Bley does not wear his hearing aids and regularly forgetting to replace the batteries. This person is identified as a... [continues]

Example 4

Vulnerable Population and Self Awareness Paper

When speaking of a vulnerable population, one could think that vulnerable population could be anyone or anything. Patient sub-populations who are at enhanced risk for harm resulting from a disease or condition, or by the effects of a drug, such as people with compromised immune systems (Health Canada, 2011). It also can be thought of as, in the context of an emergency, a person who might need additional assistance because of language barriers, a disability, limited resources or other reason (APHA, 2012). Then it has been said that a group of people with certain characteristics that cause it to be at greater risk of having poor health (Endowment for Health, 2011). Any way that vulnerability is looked upon the bottom line, is that there is a person that is in need of help or assistance. I decided to choose the Ocampo household to evaluate and give a summary on their vulnerability. The Ocampo’s have not only their age as vulnerability, but they also have their culture that makes them vulnerable as well. The Ocampo’s were an elderly couple. Dr. Ocampo is a retired pathologist and lives with his wife Lydia. Lydia has Alzheimer’s. They live in the United States and their only child died at 22 years of age in a motor vehicle accident. Both of the Ocampo’s have no immediate relatives living in the United States. They have only nephews and nieces that live in the Philippines. (Vulnerable Population and Self Awareness Paper)

As we grow older, we face challenges that we think we can handle that sometimes our bodies do not allow us to achieve. This can be assistance with daily living activities, which we did not realize would become a burden on us. As people grow older, they face an increasing risk of loss of autonomy (Bonnet, Cambois, Cases, Gaymu, 2011). When we lose that autonomy, we have to depend on someone else to provide us with help. This can be a burden on someone that has been independent for most of their life, to have to depend on someone else. It is unbelievable when we think of the increase of senior citizens in the country today. Because, the elderly are living longer our population is growing in strength amongst the elderly. In 2000, approximately 12% (489,000) of the South Carolina population was 65 or older (Bondo, 2007). This represented an approximate 16% (+97,000) increase from 1990 (2007). The fastest growing segment of the elderly population was the... [continues]

Example 5

Vulnerable Population and Self Awareness Paper

Abuse around the world is a never ending problem. People around the world are abused all the time and many of these beatings end up being fatal in the end. Children are a huge part of this vulnerable population as they are not always able to defend themselves. This paper will talk about a vulnerable population; it will describe the population’s demographics; my personal awareness of the population; as well as describe the situation the character from the Neighborhood is in.

Vulnerable Population and Self Awareness Paper Demographics

Abuse comes in many different forms. It can be physical, mental, sexual, and psychological or just plain neglect. The abuse usually is at the hands of loved ones or caretakers. Many children suffer from one form of abuse or another in their young life. Some suffer throughout their whole young adult life and only get away from it when they are grown and move out of the house. Others never get away from the abuse even though they are grown. The epidemic of abuse has continued to rise over the years. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway Child abuse has different definitions for different states (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2011). This information can be found on the Child Welfare Information Gateway at their website: (Vulnerable Population and Self Awareness Paper)

In the year 2009 it was estimated that more than 800,000 children had been confirmed as abuse or neglect victims in the United States (The State Library of Kansas, 2009). It is also estimated that one in every four girls and one in every seven boys are subject to sexual abuse before they see their 18th birthday (The State Library of Kansas, 2009). The most common form of child abuse is neglect. Children under the age of 7 made up 56% of these cases (Beddoe, 2011). In the United States... [continues]

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