VulnerablePopulation Assessment: PrinceGeorges County
PrinceGeorges County is among the most culturally and ethnically diversecommunities in the Maryland state. According toYoon & Justin (2015), thecounty is popularly referred to as a “get away suburb” thusexplaining its nature in the varying composition of residents. Thecounty’s foreign-born residents have increased from 12% to over 30%in the past two decades(Tarren & Vetere, 2014).Not only do the immigrants cause great vitality to this community,but they also pose challenges to the medical and other servicedeliverers, to know and deliver on their various needs(Stanhope & Lancaster, 2012).Soniat& Micklos (2010), point out that mostof these foreign-born residents comprise of blacks of whom about 60%have no health insurance which is significantly risky to theirwell-being. In my analysis, I intend to uncover the various factorsthat weigh down the group’s ability to acquire and afford qualityhealth services
Informationfrom Rossi,Mangasaryan & Branca, (2005), show that theAfrican-Americans in Prince Georges County are highly unemployeddespite the region`s low rates of unemployment. High-income levels ofthe county do not help to diminish the rate of infant mortality amongthe African Americans(Yoon & Justin, 2015).The African American households have a combined annual income offewer than 75000 dollars.
Morethan half of the residents in the county are well educated andpossess certificates such as degrees however, there are higher casesof illiteracy among theAfrican-Americans (Soniat & Micklos, 2010).Most professions in the county require people who speak formalEnglish. However, most of theAfrican-Americans are not formal English speakers because of theireducational background, which blocks them from obtaining employmentopportunities (Stanhope& Lancaster, 2012).TheAfrican-Americans live low-quality life as they have no source ofincome and thus they even find it challenging to get some basicservices such as health care.
Theblack people in the region have some level of an advantage as thehospitals have the full capacity to provide quality health services(Tarren& Vetere, 2014).However, most of them lack health insurance which makes medicalaccess to them quite costly. Due to their high levels ofunemployment, theAfrican-Americans are most likely to indulge in some activities thatpose some significant risk to their health (Stanhope& Lancaster, 2012).Some of these practices include drinking and smoking. The type oflife they live may have such a great impact on their health. Theblack people may not observe the required levels of hygiene in theirhomesteads which lead to brooding of diseases and therefore constanthealth issues and they further experience many cases of infantmortality resulting from neglected prenatal care practices(Rossi, Mangasaryan & Branca, 2005).These habits may cause the draining of finances into medicine andalso weaken healthy workers.
Accordingto Egbert& Nanna (2009), some of the factors that pose a threatto the vulnerable group’s health are those of obtaining informationon health care. They have low levels of income and are not wellconnected to some crucial services such as the internet. Anotherchallenge comes in when they obtain the information. It might not behelpful to them as they cannot understand it and interpret it due tohigh levels of illiteracy. It, in turn, leads to reduced usage of theinformation and thus their health remains to be always at risk.
Itis not easy serving the vulnerable people in this society. Not onlydo they have ideological differences while assessing the concept ofresponsibility but also they are characterized by low levels ofpublic awareness and priorities (Soniat& Micklos, 2010).The vulnerability arises from the degree of interaction between anindividual and community resources (Yoon& Justin, 2015).It may result from developmental problems, small networks with peopleand support, low social status, personal incapacities, degradedenvironments and the complex relationship between all these factors.
Accordingto Egbert & Nanna (2009), the society is aiming at empoweringthese groups to facilitate their self-reliance. For instance, thereare programs in place about child and infant health care. A lot oftraining programs have also been launched to promote the acquisitionof skills among these groups of people. Free education programs arein place to ensure there is efficient human resource developmentamong the people of these societies. Many communities have initiateda comprehensive environmental conservation program to ensure that theliving conditions of the vulnerable people are of high quality(Tarren& Vetere, 2014).This program includes their housing among other requirements such assanitation. There are also free health programs where these peoplecan be attended to without any cost or with lower subsidized costs.
Theseservices have proved to be helpful in helping to boost the livelihoodof the vulnerable people. They can get access to the essentialservices at affordable or no cost hence they do not have to draintheir finances into hospital bills (Soniat& Micklos, 2010).They also acquire useful skills which make them an integral part ofthe economy. They can, therefore, earn some revenue to help themsustain a good livelihood. However, a lot needs to be done to ensurethese people acquire health insurance. To be insured means that yourhealth bills will be well covered, and one is entitled to the bestmedical services.
Acommunity nurse can bring about positive changes in reducing the rateof infant mortality among the black people of Prince Georges County.This change can be initiated through the nurse’s effort to increaseaccess to quality preconception and inter-conception care. Qualitycare can facilitate the birth of healthy infants, detection, andtreatment of child health problems (Tarren& Vetere, 2014).It prevents the baby’s death and the possibilities of developingdisabilities thus the child can reach their full growth potential.The objective is to reduce the rate of fetal and infant deaths duringprenatal period (28 weeks of gestation to 7 days after birth) (USDepartment of Health and Human Services: Healthy People 2020, 2016,Objectives: Maternal, Infant, and Child Health, para1.2)
Theblack people are still suffering today in many ways such as healthwise. They may have contributed to their condition through their highlevels of illiteracy which consequently blocks them from real incomegenerating opportunity. As a result, health education becomes hard tounderstand, and thus they are exposed to bad health. The societyshould provide the vulnerable groups with adequate resources to boosttheir capacity building.
Egbert,N., Nanna, K., (Sept. 30, 2009) "Health Literacy: Challenges andStrategies" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in NursingVol.14, No. 3, Manuscript 1.
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