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According to Waisel (2013), “vulnerable populations include patients who are racial or ethnic minorities, children, elderly, socioeconomically disadvantaged, underinsured or those with certain medical conditions” (para, 1). In my community, I feel that people that are non-english speakers are a vulnerable population. Although non-english speaking patients may have access to healthcare services, when they are sick it is still important for them to be able to communicate with first responders. Language barriers can lead to poor health outcomes.

They are at an increased vulnerability risk because language barriers in healthcare lead to miscommunication between the healthcare team and the patient. This leads to reduction in both parties’ satisfaction and decreasing the quality of healthcare delivery and patient safety. Patients may feel frustrated not being able to express their health concerns, while providers might miss essential information from patients. According to Shamsi et al., (2020) studies found that interpreter services contribute indirectly to increased cost and the length of treatment visits. Often healthcare providers are on a time crunch so using translators is not ideal for them.

In an advanced nursing role, I will always advocate for patients’ rights to the use of an interpreter. The use of interpreter services would be supported as it contributes to increased patient satisfaction and improved patient care among patients with language barriers (Shamsi et al., 2020). Translation services such as MediBabble should be used. This is an app created by medical students that use voice recognition software and offers translations for thousands of medical instructions, as well as the questions for a standard medical history (Shamsi et al., 2020) I will also encourage healthcare providers to always encourage their patients to ask questions. No matter how rushed healthcare providers are feeling they shouldn’t avoid taking the time to ask their patients for questions so they can make the best decisions for themselves.





One of the most vulnerable populations in California, where I reside, is the homeless population. According to Kirkland-Kyhn (2020), California has the highest number of unsheltered homeless people compared to any other state in the U.S. It is shocking that in 2017, there were an estimated 134,000 homeless people in California, which makes up 24% of the nation’s total (Kirkland-Kyhn, 2020). One of the reasons that make homeless people vulnerable is their lack of a regular source of primary care, and their high usage of emergency departments (Dickins et al., 2021). Without a stable insurance coverage, many homeless people wait until their symptoms are severe before accessing healthcare services. Additionally, homeless people often face real or perceived feelings of discrimination and negative relationships with providers (Dickins et al., 2021). The stigma associated with homelessness often leads this population to be fearful when seeking healthcare, which result in delayed care and mistrust Kirkland-Kyhn, 2020). Furthermore, the chaotic lifestyle, often combined with substance abuse and mental illnesses, makes it difficult for homeless people to receive consistent healthcare (Kirkland-Kyhn, 2020). These are but a few barriers that homeless people face in healthcare, which makes this population especially vulnerable in healthcare.

As a NP, one can work as a part of a community team to assist the homeless population in receiving quality healthcare. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, Medicare has expanded primary care access to more homeless patients (Dickins et al., 2021). Therefore, it is increasingly important for NPs to be aware of how to assist the homeless population, especially in California. For example, Kirkland-Kyhn (2020) suggests that a team of street nurses, community clinics, local hospitals and ED, churches, food cupboards, and mental health providers are some of the members of a team that can work together to provide care to the homeless people. Since I hope to work in community clinics when I become a NP, I believe that I will be able to identify patients who are in need of special care due to homelessness. For instance, many homeless people may require extensive assistance with discharge, including plans for shelters and access to prescribed discharge medications. This ongoing care will require the NP to educate the patient on community resources that can be easily accessed after discharge. Thus, as a NP, I plan on staying informed on the most current information regarding community resources for the homeless population, so that they will be more likely to seek care early and receive respectful care.

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