Please discuss the following issue in one page (APA style) using the attached reference book (using other references in addition to the book).
Community/Public Health Nursing Practice: Health for Families and Populations (Required)
Maurer, F.A, & Smith C.M.
St. Louis, Missouri: Saunders Elsevier, 5th Edition, (2013)
Declan is a nursing student enrolled in a public health/community nursing course. As part of Declan’s clinical rotation, he visits a homeless shelter twice a week to provide nursing care to the shelter’s occupants. Declan’s clients experience health issues such as malnutrition, communicable diseases, chronic illnesses, mental health issues, and substance abuse.
- On Monday, Declan screens the shelter’s children for signs and symptoms of ear infection. The rate of ear infections is ___________ higher among homeless children than the national average. Why?
- Many of Declan’s clients in the homeless shelter experience mental illness. Declan knows that this subpopulation has a limited chance of escaping homelessness. Why is this? Discuss.
- When Declan assesses the shelter’s occupants for mental health illness, to what mood disorder should he pay particular attention? Why? Discuss.
Nursing Care to the Shelter’s Occupants
Homelessness remains a distressing experience for many citizens because it upsets family life, impedes childhood development, and dents the family members’ emotional and physical health (Maurer & Smith, 2013). Homelessness affects the wellbeing and health of family members. When children are homeless, they are vulnerable and experience poor health leading to over 25 percent higher rates of ear infections, speech problems, and asthma (Ambrosino, 2012). They further experience mental health problems like withdrawals, depression, and anxiety. The infectious diseases are common among the homeless families because they live in crowded conditions; hence making them vulnerable to common infectious diseases including diarrhea, ear infections, and respiratory tract infections. The unhygienic conditions also contribute to increased ear infections. This could lead to swimmer’s ear which is caused by bacteria and water getting trapped inside the canal leading to the buildup of wax.
In most cases, homeless children come from a background of substance abuse, mental illness, and domestic violence. With these stresses of poverty and homelessness, their psychosocial wellbeing is affected. People who are mentally ill have high chances of becoming homeless because mental illness and homelessness are connected. Maurer and Smith (2013) found that about 13-15 percent of the mentally ill individuals show the symptoms of delusions and paranoia. Homeless families are thought to have spent some time in the streets; thus increasing the incidence of mental illness. According to Holland (2017), the Los Angeles authority estimated that about 30 percent of the current homeless people suffer from mental illness. Besides, Holland found that most of the mentally ill individuals have unstable income and jobless; thus making it difficult to escape the syndrome.
Declan can diagnose mental health among the homeless using dementia, personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression. However, Declan needs to pay attention to depression which is a common mental illness. In fact, the majority of patients with depression experience unmet needs. These patients must have not received proper treatment. Declan must understand that depression remains a manageable condition and the nurse can use medication and therapy to manage it.
- Ambrosino, R. (2012). Social Work and Social Welfare: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Brooks.
- Holland, G. (2017, August 7). Mental Illness and Homelessness are connected. But Not How You Might Think. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-mentally-ill-homeless-20170807-htmlstory.html.
- Maurer, F.A, and Smith C.M. (2013). Community/Public Health Nursing Practice: Health for Families and Populations, (5th Ed). St. Louis, Missouri: Saunders Elsevier. ISBN-13: 9781455707621.