My childhood dream was to be a clinician, and thus, I volunteer since high school in a local health centre during my long vacations. At one time, I encountered a Hispanic lady who had suffered from a cold. The nurse on duty had served her, and she was on her way out when I realized that she had some signs of a drug addict. I tried conversing with her, but she could barely speak English, and thus, we could only exchange a few words. I offered her a cup of coffee as we talked, and she opened up that indeed she was a drug addict but had been trying to abstain from drugs for nine days, which had made her sick. She was homeless and struggled with meals.
I shared her story with the lead nurse in the facility, and upon assessing her, she concluded that the lady was well enough to be discharged but was not strong enough to go back to the streets. The further assessment indicated that she was pregnant, even though she did not know who was responsible. The nurse admitted she suspected an issue with her, but the language barrier had affected her intervention. We made arrangements, and she was admitted to a nearby emergency department for the homeless. She recovered from addiction, got her baby girl who turns two next month and she has since started working as a shop attendant. The experience made realize that healthcare workers should not have boundaries in the provision of service. Moreover, I learnt that some people in society need help but would never come asking, and it is thus vital that healthcare workers reach out to them, and they may be saving lives without knowing.
ReferenceSeiler, A. J., & Moss, V. A. (2012). The experiences of nurse practitioners providing health care to the homeless. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 24(5), 303-312.
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