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Vulnerable Population

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word vulnerability means “capable of being physically or emotionally wounded” or “open to attack or damage” (Merriam-Webster, 2007). Every person, at some point in his/her, can be vulnerable-may it be permanently or temporarily. His/her everyday experiences, activities, and encounters may lead him to become either less vulnerable or even more vulnerable. Nurses specifically, are being exposed to different vulnerabilities in their daily lives. They encounter different vulnerable people who are experiencing different problems, that most of the time affect their health.

According to a research paper published by the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) entitled, “Position Statement on Vulnerability” (2005), the determinants of health that can influence vulnerability include income and social status, social support networks, education, working conditions and safe work environments, physical environments, supportive communities, shelter, nutrition, biology and genetic makeup, personal health practices and coping skills, healthy child development (including prenatal and early childhood experiences) and access to health services.

It was also mentioned in the paper that, “Vulnerable people often become ill, and are more likely to have other difficulties in life. Vulnerability means more stress and more barriers to overcome in every day life. ” Having known these facts, nurses may do ways that may be beneficial to the patients for them to recover not only from their sickness but also from their vulnerabilities. Moreover, it is important for nurses address to issues of vulnerability because they can be of big help or influence to people, especially their patients, who are experiencing similar conditions.

I addition, addressing this issue is in line with social responsibility of every individual. In short, being a nurse does not only mean that you are responsible of taking care of your patients but as well as establishing a connection with them and helping them live a healthier and happier life. In this world where almost every person is vulnerable, nurses should prove that they can make a difference by making this world a better place to live in.


College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta. (2005, September). Position Statement on Vulnerability. Retrieved April 12, 2008, from www. nurses. ab. ca/Carna-

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