Engaging with Vulnerable People

Topics: Health care provider, Health care, Patient Pages: 5 (1982 words) Published: March 1, 2012




This essay will look at the patient in case 6 and discuss reasons why she is vulnerable. It will also look at and discuss the concepts of vulnerability and will explore the ways in which professional values can be demonstrated and developed according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code of Conduct. The name of the patient in Case 6 has not been identified to ensure confidentiality in accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Code of professional conduct, Section 2 (2008). As well as identify ways to empower the patient and maintain her dignity. I will then go on to discuss how I can anti discriminatory practices such as …. Can be promoted and reflect on what I have learned from undertaking this assignment. The department of Health (2000) definition of a vulnerable adult is: “Who is or may be in need of community care or services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or maybe unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.” The definition has been specifically set out for a vulnerable adult but its content can also directly apply to a vulnerable child or young person. In case 6 the patient’s children are deemed vulnerable hence the reason why they have been placed into care. This essay will be looking specifically at certain areas of vulnerability including discrimination, prejudice, mental illness, safeguarding children and adult abuse. Paying particular attention to how the patient is affected and how anti-discriminatory practices can be promoted.

The concept of vulnerability has been used to mean impairment to the physical or mental well being needed for a normal life and that it is at constant risk. The patient has been identified as vulnerable as she displays and fits into certain criteria. People from black and ethnic minority groups suffer from poorer health, have reduced life expectancy and have greater problems with access to health care than the majority white population. (Slides). Everyone has been vulnerable (be it from illness, bereavement or stress) at some point in their lives but some individuals are more vulnerable than others. However, vulnerability can also apply to groups of people. These groups include race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation and those who are sick. Burbank (2006) highlighted that even though these groups are ordinarily classified as high-risk, it may be a case that the individuals within these groups are not vulnerable. It varies on the environment and the circumstances that surround the individual. For example a Black African woman living in South-East London, England may not experience racism or discrimination because there is a large Black African community in the South London area and it is socially accepted. Conversely, if she were living in Southern Italy, she could be subjected to physical and verbal abuse, as well as the unlikely hood of being integrated in society e.g. employment. This may be because of religious and cultural views in that area may not accept Black African people. However, according to DeChesnay and Anderson (2008) vulnerability does not always have a negative effect. It can be a positive implication that enhances progression and change. In the area of race and ethnicity, legislation has been created to enforce the equal rights of minority groups, be it in the working environment or in society. Because of these legislations vulnerable people as a whole have been more integrated and accepted within society allowing them to gain independence and access to support and resources The patient (Case 6) is a mother of two young children and it may be that since her marital break down to her husband two years ago she has found it very difficult to cope being a single mum, thus the reason for her children being in care. She admits guilt for being unable...

References: http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_determinants/life_style/mental/green_paper/mental_gp_co001.pdf. African and Caribbean Mental Health Commission (ACMHC): Improving the mental health of the population. Towards a strategt on mental health for the European Union. A response from the green paper. March 2008
Racism and Mental Health: Prejudice and suffering. Edited by Kamaldeep Bhui 2002. Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd London, Printed in BG by Athenaeum Press, Gateshead.
Ethics in Nursing Practice: A guide to ethical decision making. 3rd edition. Sara T Fry and Megan-Jane Johnstone. 2008 Blackwells publishing.
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