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Nursing and Health Care for the Homeless

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The main aim of the article was to assess whether homeless adults have access to health care services. The article looks at the prevalence of five unmet healthcare services and how these impact on the needs of the homeless adults. The research findings indicated that a considerable number of homeless adults had no access to health care facilities despite the fact that more than three quarters of them had a need for health services. Some of the health needs that the adult homeless population was facing include medical, surgical, mental, dental and counseling services. The adult homeless population had a dire need for medicine and eyeglasses (Baggett, O’Connell, Singer, & Rigotti, 2010)

The research findings also indicated that the level of unmet health care needs among the adult homeless population was six to ten times higher as compared to the needs of the general public. The findings also indicated that insurance acted as an enabling factor towards facilitating or impeding the access of healthcare services. Further, scarcity of food was directly related to the limited access to healthcare services. This has been attributed to the fact that most homeless people would rather meet their food needs rather than their health care needs (Baggett et al., 2010).

The article concludes that there is need to come up with a health care system that offers affordable healthcare services to the homeless population. The article highlights the need for the government agencies to ensure that there is adequate food supply for homeless people in order to curb some of their healthcare issues. Policies should be put in place to ensure that homeless youths have assess to training and that a more comprehensive health care model should be put in place to cater for the health care needs of the homeless people (Baggett et al., 2010).

Homelessness is a national pandemic that is quite rampant through out the year. It is true that a large number of homeless people have minimum or no access to health care services based on the fact that meeting healthcare needs is not among their top priorities (Hunter, 1993). As a registered nurse, it is sad to note that the present health care system model does not ensure that the health care needs of the vulnerable homeless population are fulfilled. And with such a trend, the health standards of the nation are compromised.

This explains why some of the homeless people come to hospitals under critical conditions in their quest to seek medical services as the last remedy. On the other hand, it is saddening to find out that my access to medical services is determined by factors such as insurance, my access to food and employment. It scares me that if due to one reason or another am not able to meet my daily needs I might become homeless and thus, my access to health care services might be reduced to almost zero percent.

After reading this article, I was able to understand the plight of homeless people in the society and therefore, I feel compelled to act as an agent of change from a personal capacity. I intend to create more awareness of the current situation with regards to the access of health care services. This is intended to make the people around me to be more accommodating, remorseful and understanding to the homeless people. Health care is a prerequisite towards leading a healthy life (Hunter, 1993).  Therefore, as a nurse I intend to offer free healthcare consultancy to homeless people. In addition, supplying healthcare necessities to homeless people is going to be among my major concerns.

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