Diabetes and Hypertension Prevalence in Homeless Adults in the
United States:Module 4 Discussion
Population and community health are extremely important for the well being of our population. Healthcare providers play important roles in improving population health and are also the health educators for their community. Population health is the outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group. Community health is a branch of public health which focuses on people and their role as determinants of their own and other people’s health in contrast to environmental health, which focuses on the physical environment and its impact on people’s health. All healthcare professionals can take many actions to promote population and community health. There are many ideas about actions that need to be taken to improve the health among the population in Miami and the communities within the city.
I went to Broward College for my BSN and the last class we had to take before graduate from the program was community health. The purpose of this class was to integrate us as healthcare provider in the community which allowed us to help the less fortunate people or the vulnerable population. A group of us chose to complete the class with the homeless population in Broward county. We went to the homeless shelters to provide primary care to the homeless individuals by taking their blood pressure, blood sugar, and so on. We literally had an open clinic at each of the homeless shelters. We had doctors and nurse practitioners that volunteer to provide care to them. It is extremely important for healthcare professionals to promote community health to the homeless population because it can help decrease illnesses and many diseases among them.
According to Tsai, Jenkins, & Lawton (2017), individuals who are homeless represent the most vulnerable, indigent group in the United States and thus may have great medical needs that must be addressed to prevent sicknesses and illness. A few studies have shown access to healthcare can improve the health and lives of various patient populations (Tsai et al, 2017). Lack of access to healthcare or lack of health insurance is one of the major issues in the United States. The homeless population is among the vulnerable populations that suffer more due to their lack of healthcare coverage. By volunteering to help, healthcare providers can improve their quality of life. These individuals are not able to purchase or pay for the most basic health insurance and will not be able to get any treatment without us (healthcare providers) volunteering to help at their shelters.
According to Bernstein, Meurer, Plumb, & Jackson (2015), reported rates of diabetes and hypertension in the homeless population range from 2% to 18% for diabetes and 18% to 41% for hypertension. The percentages of homeless individuals being diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension will continue to increase because they do not have access to healthcare. there is also a growing consensus that the adult homeless population in the United States is aging and this trend is cause by multiple economic and social challenges facing individuals in this country.