NURSING ISSUES AND HOMELESS YOUTH
PRESENTED BY MICHELLE ALLEN AND LORI UMENHOFER
I. Research and Awareness
A. Homeless youth face the same issues faced by children in the general population, but their issues are exacerbated by the circumstances inherent to their homeless status.
B. As touched upon in the skit, some of the health care issues especially prevalent in the homeless youth population are psychosocial issues, nutrition issues, communicable diseases, dermatological disorders, respiratory disorders, dental health issues, sexual health issues, substance abuse issues, and issues related to medication adherence.
II. Psychosocial Issues
A. Multiple studies have identified the ...view middle of the document...
I can understand preoccupation with safety and survival and how that could cause a mother to be unable to provide for her children in other ways and be unresponsive to their other needs. When you are simply tying to survive and be safe, all else falls to the wayside.
D. Homeless children attend school erratically or not at all due to frequent moves and obstacles related to such things as registering without an address, without health care records, or sometimes without a legal guardian. This leads to obvious developmental and psychosocial delays.
E. When children become sick, they often receive inadequate treatment, either because they can not afford it, or because it is low on their or their families’ priority list where safety and survival are at the forefront. Things such as untreated ear infections can lead to hearing loss that can affect speech and language development and impede the ability to learn.
F. The loss of stability and safety, fractured families, overcrowded living conditions of shelters, exposure to disease, witnessing violence, substance abuse, and mental illness are all conditions that exacerbate emotional problems in homeless youth. Again, the treatment of these problems often receives low priority from parents who are trying to ensure the safety and survival of themselves and their homeless family.
II. Nutrition Issues
A. As mentioned in the skit, limited or non-existent financial resources can lead to children not being fed at all if they are not able to obtain shelter meals.
B. When limited finances are available, inexpensive fast food restaurants or convenience stores are the most common source for inexpensive food, which carries little nutritional value. As a result, many homeless children suffer from nutritional deficits including malnutrition, obesity, and anemia.
III. Communicable Diseases
A. Another concern for homeless youth. As a result of staying in crowded shelters where many inhabitants are sick, homeless children are at a higher risk for contracting infectious diseases.
B. Homeless children often experience immunization delays, or are not immunized at all, resulting in an increased vulnerability to communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, chicken pox, meningitis, and influenza.
IV. Dermatological Disorders
A. Another issue. The delicate skin of youth without shelter and regular hygiene is highly susceptible to frostbite, infection, and parasites.
B. Disorders related to staying in...