Vulnerability and Role of Nurses
The vulnerability can be defined as the degree of the inability to cope with, resist, and recover from a disease or a disaster. In fact, individuals and groups are at different chances of getting ill due to personal strengths and the environmental conditions (Lundy & Janes, 2009). Essentially, many people, including the children, pregnant women, the aged, and the malnourished are at higher risks of suffering from illnesses than the rest of the population. It is worth noting that poverty is a critical factor leading to the vulnerability irrespective of the category of the individuals. Indeed, the common consequences of poverty such as malnutrition, homelessness, and destitution contribute largely towards the vulnerability of the groups and individuals. In essence, an individual can be less susceptible in a given environment but becomes at high health risk due to the adaptability issues (Lundy & Janes, 2009). In other cases, susceptibility is brought by the perceptions and behavior of individuals. As a matter of fact, persons taking their health with the seriousness must take the necessary care on a regular basis. Consequently, their propensity level is likely to reduce adequately compared to other people. For instance, when two individuals live in a village with an insufficient supply of clean water, the environment exposes them to water-borne diseases. In line with it, some people boil the water for drinking and cooking while other individuals do not, then their exposure to the illnesses would differ.
Particularly, nurses have a critical role in assisting the vulnerable populations in reducing their exposure to the health risks and illnesses (Kulbok et al., 2012). The public health nurses are responsible for working in collaboration with the community members in eradicating some of these health problems. In fact, the caregivers possess knowledge at a higher level; hence, they can impact the sensitivity of population through training. In addition, nurses can the members of the susceptible communities on how to prevent and deal with illnesses. For example, through community leadership, the professionals can also educate the members on how to maintain hygiene not only at home but also within the villages. By and large, the knowledge on better drainage and disposal of waste matter can assist communities in living in slums to minimize cases of cholera and other related diseases. Furthermore, the nurses can share the best practices with the caregivers, particularly those who are at home, that will assist them to achieve the preferred outcomes. Therefore, educating them about how to administer medicine and support the patients would reduce the vulnerability level in the absence of health professionals.
Besides, the nurses have the role of undertaking analytical research to evaluate the vulnerability of the population and share the findings with the relevant authorities and interested nongovernment organizations. After analyzing the results, recommendations can be made on how to assist the community under review to deal with the health issues. Indeed, the local and national governments can use the information to prioritize areas of intervention and give priority when and where the resources should be allocated (Kulbok et al., 2012). Consequently, the communities receive a considerably fair amount of resources depending on the intensity of the health issues and hazards at hand.
Subsequently, the nurses could apply their skills, knowledge, and experience in treating individuals within the community. Indeed, the intervention would be curative. Therefore, the individuals who are already suffering from illnesses should be trained to cope with the disease, reduce their effect, and where possible get healed. As professionals, the nurses should assist the sick in accessing healthcare medication and educate them on how to tackle infections. Additionally, the practitioners can refer those who are ill to the healthcare facilities where their conditions could be treated satisfactorily.
In fact, the definition of the term would differ from the perspective of the person, organization, or institution under discussion. Nevertheless, rural health is the system that is concerned with those people living in areas other than the urban centers (U.S. Department of Human Health Services, 2015). The U. S. Census Bureau defines the rural health system as the institution that concerns population, housing, and territory not classified as urban. Conversely, the Office of Management and Budget defines it as the health system or issues affecting individuals living in regions of at least 10,000, but less than 50,000 in population.
In essence, the rural and urban centers differ in various ways including the social effective factors and the access to health and other social services. Notably, the urban population lives in a social environment characterized by disparities in socioeconomic status, high crime rates, high exposure to psychological stress, as well as diversity and density in population. People in such areas can considerably access healthcare services in well-equipped and staffed facilities (Kulbok et al., 2012). Nevertheless, the rural population constitutes of primarily the elders and the poor living in relatively lower densely populated areas. Hence, the rural population has less access to healthcare services due to the highly dispersed health facilities that are inadequately equipped and staffed. In reality, the large number of people does not have the means to afford quality healthcare services compared to the majority of those living in the urban centers. For example, the elderly who are not covered by any healthcare insurance and their poor families are likely to remain untreated on chronic illnesses.