Barriers to Healthcare for the Homeless Population

1416 words 6 pages
Barriers to Healthcare for the Homeless Population
Dana Duggan
University of Phoenix

Sheila De Vaugh, APRN, BC
August 3, 2009

Introduction A homeless person is defined as someone “who lacks a fixed, regular adequate night time residence or a person who resides in a shelter, welfare hotel, transitional program or place not ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations, such as streets, movie theaters, cars, abandoned buildings, etc.” (Cone, 2008, p. ). Homelessness is a growing problem in the United States that affects the psychological and physical aspects of its victims. Two of the fastest growing subpopulations of the homeless are single mothers and families. The word homeless implies being extremely vulnerable and
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They provide free healthcare for the homeless, which is tailored to meet the special needs of this vulnerable population. They not only provide free healthcare, but they help them to find housing, substance abuse programs and mental health counseling and medications. The NHCHC website also has a wealth of information on how to care for the homeless with different medical problems as well as how to manage their care from a hospital’s point of view. The NHCHC are available to all emergency rooms and hospitals for intervention with the homeless. Their normal day of operation is conducted from a mobile clinic, providing free medical care in areas where high populations of homeless people congregate. The NHCHC have store- front clinics that are readily accessible to the homeless. Some of the mobile clinics will attempt to make contact with the most secluded of homeless people to ensure that their medical needs are met (NHCHC, 2008). For the individuals that want help getting off of the streets, the case managers and social workers place them in housing, admit them into detox programs, and help them find jobs. This organization has decreased the homeless populations in the Berkeley area by 60%, while also reducing the return visits to the emergency room and hospitalizations in those areas.
Nurses are patient advocates. Being an advocate entails providing


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