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Vulnerable Population Assessment: First Nations


Vulnerable populations are those individuals faced with adverse conditions such as a lack of financial resources, being homeless, and being among ethnic and racial minorities. In this case, the clients are the Aboriginal populations of Canada and Australia. According to research, despite being among the First Nations, they comprise about 5% of Canada’s total population (Fuller-Thomson et al., 2019). The aspects of Aboriginal people’s culture include a lengthy heritage of ceremonial and civic culture, agriculture, and permanent settlement. The interview process included both verbal and written questions to examine this particularly vulnerable population. These were essential in collecting vital data concerning health determinates, which would later be used to provide solutions.

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Health Determinants Assessment

The social status of Aboriginal people is lower than that of non-Aboriginal people. Research shows that the employment rate of indigenous people in Canada was below the average employment rate of non-indigenous people (Fuller-Thomson et al., 2019). Furthermore, the Canadian average salaries for non-aboriginal people tend to be higher than that of the First Nations (Fuller-Thomson et al., 2019). In terms of education, indigenous people have lower education levels compared to their non-Aboriginal counterparts. Studies show that slightly above 50% of the non-Aboriginal groups have attained certificates at higher learning levels. From these statistics, one can deduce that education levels and salary rates among Aboriginal people are directly proportional.

As members of the vulnerable population, aboriginal people have a distinct physical environment. According to studies, one out of five Aboriginal people lives in structures that need repairs (Julien et al., 2018). Furthermore, these dwellings have insufficient facilities to keep them warm during winter and are associated with bug infestation and mold (Julien et al., 2018). Their environment is characterized by contaminated water and poor sanitary conditions that negatively affect such groups of people. The other health determinant is that these individuals live in overcrowded groups. Compared to non-Aboriginal people, a large number of Aboriginal people lived in crowded surroundings (Julien et al., 2018). Furthermore, more First Nations people lived in overcrowded reserves compared to their non-Aboriginal counterparts. These physical environments cause numerous health issues, which further negatively affect the population of Indigenous people.

In recent years, there has been an improvement in the general health of Aboriginal people; however, it constantly remains lower than that of the general population. For example, the infant mortality rates are at least three times higher for indigenous people (Fuller-Thomson et al., 2019). Additionally, the rate of tuberculosis infection among First Nations is over 200 times higher compared to non-Indigenous people. Similarly, First Nations people’s suicide rates are at least five times higher among Aboriginal people (Julien et al., 2018). The high suicide rates can be attributed to depression due to substance use, cultural and social beliefs, and poor housing conditions. Furthermore, as a result of the high rate of technological advancement, there has been an emergence of different characteristics of diseases. These illnesses include type II diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Since these individuals are unable to afford quality healthcare, they are at a higher risk of succumbing to manageable health conditions.

Indigenous families and children are further adversely affected compared to the families and children of non-Aboriginal people. Research states that above 50 percent of Indigenous children below six years lived in a household with two parents (Julien et al., 2018). Additionally, about 30 percent of these children lived in households with one parent. On the other hand, close to 90 percent of non-Aboriginal children live in families with two parents, and only 9 percent live in a one-parent environment (Julien et al., 2018). As a result, more Aboriginal children are under the care of social agencies. These disparities are a challenging factor when it comes to addressing the needs of Aboriginal people.

Analysis of Assessment

Even though Aboriginal people have numerous negative factors that impact their health, resources are available that can address them. Education is one of these essential resources that can positively impact the health of aboriginal people. Through education, Indigenous people can access better employment opportunities and health services. To address the issue of the physical environment, the government can provide better and more affordable living facilities to ensure that every individual is catered to. These are vital requirements for Aboriginal people; however, there are challenges for the client. For instance, there may be inadequate funds to ensure that additional education facilities are in place to remedy the situation of Aboriginal people. Additionally, the community organization has two challenges: a lack of experts and enough evidence-based literature to guide their decisions. To solve the issues that face vulnerable populations, the community needs qualified individuals. If they are not available, then it poses difficulties in addressing the different needs of Aboriginal people. Similarly, evidence-based research is required as a reference point when it comes to solving the different challenges of this specific group of people.

Nursing Care

One of the diseases that is currently affecting Aboriginal people is Cancer. An actual nursing diagnosis, in this case, is identifying their perception of cancer. Today, cancer prevalence among Aboriginal people is a concern and further causes a higher mortality rate among them. Therefore, one year from now, the community organization would have laid down measures that would reduce cancer among Aboriginal people. One nursing intervention is that they should expect disbelief and shock among patients diagnosed with cancer. The other intervention is that nurses must provide a non-judgmental and open environment for patients found with cancer. The reason for this is that it encourages and promotes realistic dialogue between the patient and the nurse.

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Fuller-Thomson, E., Sellors, A. E., Cameron, R. E., Baiden, P., & Agbeyaka, S. (2019). Factors associated with recovery in Aboriginal people in Canada who had previously been suicidal. Archives of Suicide Research, 24(2), 186-203.

Julien, N., Lacasse, A., Labra, O., & Asselin, H. (2018). Review of chronic non-cancer pain research among Aboriginal people in Canada. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 30(3), 178-185.


Graph showing Aboriginal Graph showing Aboriginal
Population Population of Aboriginal people is about 1.6 million
Education statistics 55% of Aboriginal people have no higher learning certificate
Image of an Aborigian Image of an Aborigian
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