Understanding what resources are available for vulnerable populations is an important aspect of holistic patient care. Many patients lack access to affordable healthcare, have a low income, poor health literacy and experience difficulty navigating the system. As a trusted member of their healthcare team, it often falls to you, the nurse, to make recommendations and referrals to services within the patient’s local area that could improve your patient’s long-term health modifications. What public resources exist within your community that are beneficial for your patient population? Please identify and briefly discuss three (things to include: what type of services does it provide, how is it funded, who is eligible).
For example, in East Texas we have:
- The Salvation Army – Homeless shelter, grocery assistance/soup kitchen, rehab programs, after school programs, employment assistance. Government funded.
- NET (North East Texas) Public Health Center for Healthy Living – Goal is to prevent illness, promote health, and protect the community. Low cost STD testing, Surveillance of emergency & disaster preparedness, affordable immunizations, monitors vital statistics, provides environmental health services. Sets patrons up with free preventative screens, diabetes education classes, substance abuse assistance, and smoking cessation assistance. Government funded.
- P. A.T.H. – People Attempting To Help – not for profit organization that assists individuals with dental, medical, prescription, visual, food, rent, utilities, housing assistance.