Homelessness and health hazards go hand in hand. People without a reliable housing arrangement are often exposed to many negative health situations. The rates of homelessness in California are high given its proximity to Mexico. The immigrants often cross over and get stuck without jobs and homes in California. There are many elderly people in California living in poverty. The cause of the high number of homeless people has a lot to do with the cost of housing. More often than not, the states that host the most expensive homes are often the ones with the highest number of homeless people. People being homeless often exposes them to a wide array of health hazards. California is one of the states that have a higher cost of housing compared to what the citizens can afford (Horowitz, 2016).
The people who qualify for social services are often those who have no income, pension and homes. The state of California at the moment is experiencing a shift in poverty levels from the middle aged individuals largely to the senior citizens who mainly are women and single at the same time. People live in abject poverty to the point where they depend on state handouts for survival. It is very common to find people sleeping outside on corridors because they cannot afford rent and even food, the most basic needs.
Within California, the number of people who end up depending on community resources are many (Buck & Reese, 2016). Considering the number of senior citizens being thrown into the streets yearly, the numbers are on the rise due to the great recession in the economy when they were at the ages of establishing themselves for future use. This means they depend on meal vouchers from the state and soup kitchen handouts every so often. The bigger picture in this case is that these people have many health issues as a result of being out in the cold without proper clothing, or lack of air conditioning in the very hot period of the year.
The people out in the streets are often signed up for aid by the social services but how they access them is determined by the social services workers. It is never a guarantee that an individual signing up for the aid is immediately legible for social welfare assistance. The social workers are often faced with the hard task of distributing the aid items to people who more often than not are usually more than the items. For instance, a woman, Margie Ann Powell who is eighty years old, in California together with her daughter live on the streets because the money they receive form social services is barely enough to sustain them (Buck & Reese, 2016). Theirs is a classic case of poverty and homelessness. First the daughter has no pension after her retirement which means that they share the mothers fifteen hundred dollar a month from the social security fund along with her pension. This case shows how the senior citizens end up homeless and dependent on the social services. Powell has so far signed up for consideration for affordable housing up to seventeen times and she still has got no response.
The nurses in management of disasters have a huge role. They have to offer immediate help to manage heath situations in form of first aid and support care before the actual paramedics can attend to the emergency. All disasters are usually emergencies. The public health nurses are usually trained on how to manage such cases. They always have to be ready for any eventuality in terms of health management and ways of handling people when a disaster occurs. The response time of an emergency is usually immediate. There is never time to prepare for an emergency which makes it important for the nurses to always be prepared at all times. Public health nurses are trained to identify signs and symptoms of public health hazards such as an outbreak of diseases. This means that when an outbreak of yellow fever strikes, the nurses will be quick to note and act accordingly by creating quarantines as a matter of urgency to prevent spread of the same until the doctors confirm that it is safe for people to mingle with others (Role of Public Health Nurses, n.d.). After a disaster strikes and has finally passed, it is important for people to receive follow up care. This means that the nurses have to ensure people are well adjusted to the aftermath of the disaster by offering counseling services and psychological follow up care for the affected individuals.
The public health nurses are suited for outside the hospital operations because they have more exposure to the outside world. They mingle with people and know the dangers that people live in. They are trained to deal with extreme cases of health situations. They are often trained on how to deal with people in their natural environments. This makes them most suitable for working with the homeless and poor people who are not used to the services of hospitals (Role of Public Health Nurses, n.d.).
This case has a lot of factors in play. The environment is controlled and enclosed which makes it easy to trace the source of infections if any. In this case Influenza. The biological factors in this scenario is the infection channels and mode of infection in which case influenza is airborne. The psychological factor would have people feeling sick even if they have not been infected just because they imagine they have been infected by being in contact with the infected inmates. This situation would affect inmate behavior by making them seclude the infected or anyone of them that looks sick. Inmates would find reasons to be disorderly in protest. The fact that the health system can run out of vaccines at such at time means the system is not efficient. In normal operations, the system is supposed to be well equipped especially considering the fact that the correctional facility is crowded. Crowded areas like this have very high infection rates of airborne diseases and influenza is no different.
In relation to prevention of illnesses, resolution of health problems and health restoration in the facility, a number of things can be done. In prevention of illnesses, it would be prudent to ensure any person with access to the facility including the inmates are vaccinates prior to their entry into the premises. Regular checkups while in the facility are also necessary to ensure that the inmates do not contract a disease while locked up without it being noticed. Once a health problem has been detected, as in the case of influenza, the first case to be confirmed should be followed by the treatment of all inmates for influenza. This means that the facility must have enough funding to take care of the health of the inmates. This procedure ensures that the inmates’ health is restored and well managed at all times.
Buck, C., & Reese, P. (2016, March 26). Poverty Rte Jumps among Senior California Citizens. Retrieved from The Sacrameto: www.sacbee..com/news/investigations/seniors-aging/article68427482.html
Horowitz, E. (2016, August 24). Poverty Drives Homeless Rates? Retrieved from Bostone Globe: www.bostonglobe.com/2016/08/24/poverty-drives-homeless-rates-fast/fvvSKgNUg4l5TfqbdEGrM/story.html
Role of Public Health Nurses. (n.d.). Retrieved from Missouri Department of health and senior services: health.mo.gov/living/lpha/phnursing/phnroles.php
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