Vulnerable Populations – Homeless People
Community nurses can operate alongside other nurses on a voluntary basis within drop-in centers and other shelters. Through various outreach programs, the community nurse can identify the homeless in the streets since they have been known to shun mainstream services. Collaborative programs can assist to enhance access to social and health services and can also empower the homeless individuals towards greater self care and life control. This can be achieved through drop –in centers where nurses provide the homeless with safer resting places, nutritious food and bathing as well as laundry facilities.
Nurses can get to the homeless through individual advocacy as well as through public education. In this way, the nurse can help the homeless individuals in case they have mental health problems. This is most suitable to the elderly. Nurses can also assist them in accessing nursing care which involves a wide range of help for prevention, primary care and placements. Additionally, they can provide emergency intervention, legal services, and facilitate access to crucial community resources among other support services.
Apart from this, a community nurse can provide the homeless with peer support and referral services in order to assist in case of addiction and substance use. The activities may involve distribution of needles, education about potential sources of help and safer crack kit distribution. The homeless are also vulnerable to loss of identification documents as they move and due to instability. The nurse can give referrals for access to health cared as well as for safe storage of identification documents required for access to social and health services.
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