Emergency Care For The Homeless Essay

Emergency Care For The Homeless Essay

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First responders such as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) get a good look at the problems presented regarding health care for the homeless. Many emergency calls each day in any emergency system are devoted to dealing with a homeless person who has suffered from a chronic and untreated problem that has progressed unchecked and turned into an acute problem. And where are these patients taken? They are taken to the local emergency room to treat what likely would have been avoided if preventative measures had already been put into place. Studies have found that the homeless are four times more likely to be hospitalized in a year than the U.S. average (Lin et al., 2015). In addition to acute medical problems, the emergency health care system must deal with homeless who are suffering from substance abuse and mental health problems. This further adds burden to the emergency health care system as these individuals end up in the emergency room as well.
Health care is a vital issue regarding the vulnerable population of homeless in the United States. Disease rates amongst the homeless are higher with common problems including chronic mental health and substance abuse problems as well as respiratory problems, trauma, wound and skin infections, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders and peripheral vascular disease (Cousineau and Lozier, 1993). This is a great concern for the health care system as well as our society. Homeless people often come to emergency rooms for basic health care and are admitted more often that the general population (Nelson, 2012). The struggle for survival on the streets means that the health management and treatment become secondary to the need for shelter, food, and safety. And because of this lack...


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...rvice providers to properly train and equip staff to deal with the homeless population. Attention also has to brought to cultural responsiveness to address awareness of individual morals, principles and backgrounds (“Homelessness and housing”, n. d.).
Unfortunately, the homeless population has been labeled and marked when, in fact many have just temporarily fallen on bad times (“Outreach resources”, 2007). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) along with The U.S Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) are focusing on forming coordinated efforts with federal, state and the private sector to reduce and ultimately end homelessness altogether (“Homelessness and housing”, n. d.). Since 2007 there has been a reduction in the homeless population, but in order to attain the goal of getting homelessness there’s lots of work to still be done.

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