Vulnerable Population Assessment

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VulnerablePopulation Assessment

VulnerablePopulation Assessment

LangleyPark is a community, situated on the Northwest edge of PrinceGeorge’s county. The county is in the capital Beltway, whichborders the Montgomery County. The community can be defined bynightclubs, micro-firms, international restaurants, retail stores,and groceries. However, due to multicultural differences in thecommunity, groups that uphold different interests have formed. Theyare mostly defined by social issues, business development, youthhealth and even immigration as well as jobs. Clearly, Hispanics forma huge part of the population. Most of them have originated fromGuatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras as well as from other South andCentral American nations. The area also embraces multiple publicschools, which are run by Prince George`s County Public Schools.Meanwhile, the economically disadvantaged people constitute avulnerable population that can be clearly viewed at Langley Park.Their modes of eating as well as the rate of obesity show that mostpeople in the area live below the poverty line. Such people struggleto survive. Because of the need to understand the economicallydisadvantaged people at Langley Park, it is significant to assess thepopulation through perceiving the barriers, risk factors and/orstrengths that impact their well-being, their access to communityresources and a priority community health issue.

Overviewof Vulnerable Population

Thehighest percentage of economically disadvantaged people at LangleyPark comprises of Hispanics from different origins. It is also one ofthe minority groups in the United States, hence subjected to distinctproblems. Hispanics and blacks at Langley Park live poorly because ofunemployment, and illiteracy. Obesity among adults and children hasbeen reported as a major characteristic defining the population(Shook et al. 2014). Low-income levels have forced the population toengage in overeating as well as sedentary lifestyles. Parents in thepopulation also lead their children to substandard eating habits,which subject them not only to obesity but also to other severehealth conditions. Besides, inactivity among the children increasestheir chances of becoming obese, an approach that reflects poverty.

Apparently,most of the poor people at Langley Park live in unsafe, dirty andeven unmanaged homes. Most people are unemployed in the area hencethey spend most of their time searching for jobs. Other individualsremain jobless, hence drinking alcohol and using drugs. Publictransportation also seems to be the major means of travel in the area(Shook et al. 2014). Most people cannot afford to purchase personalvehicles. Further, most women stay at home while they take care ofthe children. In most cases, it is difficult for them to meet theirfamily needs, hence mostly relying on social welfares.

Barriersand Risk Factors

Tobegin with, economically challenged population is at risk. Poverty,which is motivated by the extremely high rates of unemployment,denies most individuals a chance to seek competent healthcareservices (Baruth et al. 2014). Such people cannot afford to consultdietetics regarding their eating habits. Besides, they cannot affordto keep up with the eating modes suggested by diet experts followingtheir tight schedule. Typically, most of the health problemsexperienced by the members of the population are diet related (Baruthet al. 2014). Adults and children suffer from malnutrition, which hasweakened their body. In such case, chances of becoming ill are highamong the population.

Furthermore,illiteracy is a primary barrier to the health of the vulnerablepopulation. Firstly, the individuals lack the basic knowledge ofhandling themselves. They cannot understand the best foods that canhelp the body grow healthy. Irrespective of low income, there aremany cheap healthy foods in the market (Braveman &amp Gottlieb,2014). Next, most Hispanics value their traditional healings hencethey fail to seek health care services until they become extremelyill. The act of seeking healthcare at the last moment has jeopardizedthe life of many people in the population (Braveman &amp Gottlieb,2014).


Nonetheless,various health resources are available at Langley Park, which theeconomically disadvantaged people can access. They include theavailability of healthcare practitioners as well as facilities. Allover the community, one can seek gynecological, pediatrician,orthopedic and dental services with ease. The population is alsosubjected to competent healthcare facilities such as laboratories,clinics, veterinary hospital, and offices. At Langley Park, theeconomically disadvantaged people are surrounded by hospitals. Theyinclude Washington Adventist Hospital, Laurel Regional Hospital, andeven Walter Reed National Military Center Hospital.

Notably,the resources are inadequate in the sense that not many people fromthe population have the money needed to fully access the services.Most individuals live below poverty line, hence making the healthcareresources at Langley Park unavailable for the economicallydisadvantaged people irrespective of their needs. The gap between thepoor and rich is huge at Langley Park. Poor people have to struggleto maintain their wellbeing, which includes their health.

Diagnosisof Community Health Issue

Meanwhile,the increase in teen pregnancies is a priority community health issuethat can be affected by a nurse in the community health. In mostcases, teenagers in an economically challenged community tend to losefocus, hence engaging in early intimate relationships. Parents alsospend limited time with their children, an approach that gives themthe authority to make incompetent choices. There is a huge gapbetween children and parents in an economically challenged society.Teens lack the knowledge and expertise to handle the life mostdemanding issues, hence increasing the chances of early teenpregnancies.

Additionally,considering the problem addressed in this project, the topic,Educational and Community-Based Programs is effective. The HealthyPeople 2020 specific numbered objective is ECBP-4.1 “Increase theproportion of elementary, middle, and senior high schools thatprovide school health education in hand washing or hand hygiene topromote personal health and wellness” (Healthy People 2020, 2016).


Theeconomically challenged population is continuing to increase,especially as high numbers of young people start to drop out ofschool. Hispanics and blacks at Langley Park, who also form a hugepart of the population, lack education, hence they have to struggleto survive. Meanwhile, illiteracy, as well as low income, has been amajor threat to their healthy lifestyles. Most of the individualscannot afford to access quality care because of financial problems.Other people feel that seeking healthcare help is a waste of timesince there are traditional alternatives that are also cheap andreadily available. Nevertheless, increase in teen pregnancies is apriority problem that is continuing to distract the welfare of youngpeople. Teens engage in activities that cost their life because ofthe harsh environment. Apparently, the government can help the peoplethrough programs that create jobs, reducing health care costs andalso helping young people to enroll back to school.


Baruth,M., Sharpe, P. A., Parra-Medina, D., &amp Wilcox, S. (2014).Perceived barriers to exercise and healthy eating among women fromdisadvantaged neighborhoods: results from a focus groups assessment.Women&amp health, 54(4),336-353.

Braveman,P., &amp Gottlieb, L. (2014). The social determinants of health:it`s time to consider the causes of the causes. Publichealth reports, 129(1_suppl2),19-31.

HealthyPeople 2020 (2016). Objectives: Educational and Community-BasedPrograms. Retreived from

Shook,R. P., Blair, S. N., Duperly, J., Hand, G. A., Matsudo, S. M., &ampSlavin, J. L. (2014). What is causing the worldwide rise in bodyweight? USEndocrinol, 10,44-52.