Immigrant Farm Workers as a Vulnerable Population
August 29, 2011
Doris Chimera, RN, MA, MHA
Immigrant Farm Workers as a Vulnerable Population
This essay will provide an overview of immigrant farm workers as an example of a vulnerable population in society. A sample population demographic and background information about the community provides characteristics and context about why this group constitutes a vulnerable population. A discussion about the challenges and disparities farm workers incur when accessing health care with an assessment of the impact on federal, state, and local health care delivery systems. Key stakeholders in public and private domains are noted outlining the imprint immigrant farm workers have on American businesses as employers and providers of health care. Last, a review on how health care systems can best serve this particular group of people.
Background and Demographics
Frohllch and Potvin (2008) describe vulnerable populations as something different from populations at risk. They propose vulnerable populations are subgroups of populations at risk. They share social characteristics that place them at higher levels of risk. In turn, a population at risk displays a homogenous high- level exposure to one risk factor. For example, environmental toxins would place a population at risk. Socioeconomic status, education levels and language barriers are examples of social characteristics that create a vulnerable population.
Oxnard California located in Ventura County is an agricultural and beach community approximately 60 miles north of Los Angeles. Primarily an agricultural county known for growing beets, the city’s name originates from the Oxnard brothers who made their fortune with this crop in the early 1900s. The last decade has brought tremendous development to the area as beach communities have gained popularity as places to live. With the ability to commute via train into Los Angeles it has attracted more professionally oriented residents in recent years.
According to the United States Census Bureau Oxnard’s population in 2000 was 170, 358 citizens. An estimate in 2006 reports 184,463 citizens indicating an 8.1% growth in population. The community divides equally among men and women with the largest age group consisting of those under 15 and a median age of 30. This indicates a growth population with a composition of mainly young families who are Hispanic. Middle and older age groups are primarily white. From the 2000 statistics 62.2% are Hispanic, 62.1% speak a language other than English, 59.9% of those 25 and over have a high school education, and the median household income is $48,603 (United States Census Bureau, 2000).The City of Oxnard website (n.d.) displays the Oxnard population profile 2000 chart that represents a profile for Oxnard, California based on their two prevalent race mixes (Appendix A).
According to McCauley (2005) “most immigrants come to the United States seeking better job opportunities and higher wages and they tend to be in younger age groups with high labor force participation” (pp. 313). A review of the literature reveals that immigrants hold the majority of farm worker jobs in Ventura County. Most are immigrants from Mexico and are in America illegally. Because of their undocumented status exact statistical information is virtually nonexistent. An annual survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (1998) indicated that nationally more than 50% of farm workers admitted they lacked legal documentation.
Challenges, Disparities, and Impact on Health Care Delivery
Immigrants constitute a vulnerable population primarily because of their low socioeconomic status, language barriers and lower levels of education. Socioeconomic status prevents healthy lifestyle choices....
Despite efforts and goals in the United States to reduce or eliminate disparities in healthcare by 2010, significant disparities, including risk factors, access to healthcare, morbidity, and mortality, continues in vulnerablepopulations. For example, studies find that Americans living in poverty are much more likely to be in fair or poor health and have disabling conditions, and are less likely to have used many types of healthcare. I believe that more effort should be made to bring affordable healthcare to vulnerablepopulationVulnerablepopulations are groups who are not well integrated into the healthcare system because of ethnic, cultural, economic, and geographic or health characteristics (WHO). This isolation puts members of these groups at risk for not obtaining necessary medical care, and thus constitutes a potential threat to their health. Commonly cited examples of vulnerablepopulations include racial and ethnic minorities, the rural and urban poor undocumented immigrants, and people with disabilities or multiple chronic conditions. The reasons for disparities are varied. For example, in access to health care, racial and ethnic minorities may lag behind non-Hispanic whites because patterns of residential...
...Serving VulnerablePopulations in America
In society today we are faced with many challenges, some more difficult than others. Many of these challenges have a huge impact on society today. For instance, vulnerablepopulations present some huge issues such as increased health care expenditures and disparities. Vulnerablepopulations include children, the economically disadvantaged, elderly, racial and ethnic minorities, the uninsured, the homeless, those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and those with other chronic health conditions, including severe mental illness.
To Grow or Not to Grow
Vulnerablepopulations in America is growing. According to (Shi & Stevens, 2010), the prevalence of vulnerable groups in the population is increasing and are at substantially greater risk of poor physical, mental, and social or emotional health and have much higher rates of morbidity and mortality. One rapidly growing population is the elderly, getting old is something no one can escape, which is why this population will continue to grow. The uninsured will experience a decrease with the help of the reform to insure health coverage for individuals without coverage. In study completed prior to the reform, the number of uninsured patients younger than 65 years of age grew by nearly 6 million...
La Donna F. Manuel
HCA430: Special Populations
Instructor: Nancy Silva
October 14, 2012
VulnerablepopulationsVulnerablepopulations include the economically disadvantaged, racial and ethnic minorities, the un insured, low-income children, the elderly, the homeless, those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and those with other chronic health conditions, including severe mental illness.(Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2001) It may also include rural residents, who often encounter barriers to accessing health care services.(Agency for Health care Research and Quality 2004) The vulnerability of these individuals is enhanced by race, ethnicity, age, sex, and factors such as income, insurance coverage (or lack thereof), and absence of a usual source of care.1,4-8 Their health and health care problems intersect with social factors, including housing, poverty, and inadequate education.(Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2001)
According to this article: The term "high-risk pregnancy" describes a case where a pregnant woman has one or more factors that could put her or the fetus at risk for health problems. In general, a pregnancy may be considered high risk if the pregnant woman: is 35 years old or older, is 15 years old or younger, is underweight or overweight prior to becoming pregnant, is...
January 23, 2012
Many factors can affect the delivery of health care. It is believed that environmental, political, economic, medical, demographic location, social, cultural, and spiritual factors can affect certain population groups and can make these groups more vulnerable than the general population. The question of who is vulnerable and what makes an individual vulnerable has caused some debates. Rogers (1997) Vulnerability is a matter of degree. It is situational and is greatly affected by personal perception. There are various terms to describe these populations, such as “underserved populations,” “ medically underserved,” “ medically disadvantaged,” “underprivileged,” and “American underclasses” (Shi & Singh, 2010, p. 255). From the factors mentioned above, socio-economic, health, and geographic locations attribute the most to their vulnerability. Identifying, who is vulnerable can be extensive as there are no specific guidelines to define vulnerability thereby leaving it open to interpretation. Many groups embody this category such as the poor, mentally ill, drug dependents, undocumented immigrants, the veterans, people with disabilities, women, the young,...
...Vulnerablepopulations are defined as those at greater risk for poor health status and health care access, vulnerable groups are categorized by:
• Disease: e.g., HIV, cancer or any chronic health conditions,
• Age groups: e.g., the elderly, children
• Demographics e.g., homeless individuals
• Racial and ethnic minorities,
• low SES populations
• And those without adequate potential access to care (e.g., the uninsured or those without a regular source of care) (NCBI, 2005).
The health domains of vulnerablepopulations can be divided into 3 categories:
1- Physical, those with physical needs include high-risk mothers and infants, the chronically ill and disabled, and persons living with HIV, chronic medical conditions include respiratory diseases, diabetes, and hypertension.
2-psychological, in the psychological domain, vulnerablepopulations include those with chronic mental conditions, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, as well as those with a history of alcohol and/or substance abuse and those who are suicidal or prone to homelessness.
3- Social. In the social realm, vulnerablepopulations include those living in abusive families, the homeless, immigrants, and refugees (AJMC, 2006).
...Assessment Tool Analysis Paper
Direct participation with vulnerablepopulations often causes students to develop a better understanding of self and their own strengths and weaknesses. Students develop skills in problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, and ethical decision-making. An increased sense of civic responsibility, increased political and global awareness, and development of cultural competence may also be outcomes (Mueller & Norton, 1998) developed the Perceived Stress Scale (PSQ) to assess stressful situations and stress reactions on a mainly cognitive degree emotional level. With regard to stressors, the aim was to assess the subjective experience of their quality as stressful.
The first assessment tool that I looked at was the Perceived Stress Scale, in the revised stress measure “Hassles and Uplifts Scale,” students see both an environmental and an appraisal measure of stress, because the PSQ assesses not only if a hassle occurs but the perception of the severity or intensity of the stressor. Ten years ago, Levenstein, published the “Perceived Stress Questionnaire” (PSQ), which measured the stress by putting the focus on the individual’s subjective perception and emotional response, mainly cognitive and some degree to emotional level. The aim is to assess the subjective experience of patients’ quality as stressful Levenstein (1993). This tool has 30 questions that ask the patient how many times experiences of...
...Running head: Children: A VulnerablePopulation
Children: A VulnerablePopulation
Children: A VulnerablePopulation
When thinking of vulnerablepopulations, at first thought one thinks of culture and minorities. Regardless of race, gender, ethnic background, or age children are classified as being vulnerable. Children are dependent on adults for virtually everything and it is this aspect that makes them vulnerable. From health care, nutrition, emotional, and social well being children look to adults for guidance and help in times of need.
Many people view children as “tiny adults.” With this type of view, one can see how easy it is to push them into the background, therefore, becoming invisible and easily forgotten. After much research, one can see the importance of bringing them into the foreground. When dealing with children it is important to look at things through the child’s perspective and understand that children are capable of thinking, feeling, and creating, and that they learn by practicing these capabilities (Canning & Mullin). An assessment tool that can be used to aid staff in looking at things through a child’s perspective is the letters PPA. Position is the stance one takes in relation to the child or children. Children attend to the present. Looking at Attitude addresses...
...VulnerablePopulations in the Workplace
Depression in the Oncology Patient
Imagine you are going to the doctor for an annual check-up. No real problems have plagued you over the past year, except a few colds. However, the past few weeks you have been extremely tired. The doctor, being thorough, decides they want some blood work drawn. A day after getting the blood work the phone rings. The doctor wants you to have more blood work done because there has apparently been a mistake with you labs. After the blood work has been drawn the doctor calls you again, and this time you are told that you need to seek follow up with an oncologist because the blood work has revealed what appears to be leukemia. This news can be met with many different feelings. Initially shock and denial are at the forefront, and then followed by sadness or anger, fear, and then depression. Many oncology physicians and nurses are great when it comes to assessing lab work, and physical characteristics of the various cancers, the assessment of the patients psychological health though sometimes goes by the wayside. Many of these patients are excellent at masking there emotional distresses but that does not mean they aren’t there. It becomes essential that nurses become proficient in identifying the signs of depression and educate the patients that this is not rare occurrence and that they need to talk to their healthcare providers about their feelings....