Needs & Data Assessment for the At risk Group Population
The incarcerated population in Dade County, Florida are underserved in terms of the access to healthcare services. There are about 28 Jail and Prisons in the county and a single jail serves about 100,000 people. According to the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC), the state spends a budget of $2.7 billion for the correctional services and over 200,000 people are imprisoned (Miami-Dade County, 2022). The population that is handled is high and becomes a challenge for them to access primary care. The high incarceration rate results to congestion that leads to a higher rates of diseases in the facilities as compared to the general population. There are great numbers of infectious diseases that are experienced in the prisons and jails in Dade County and there were limited resources available in preventing the kind of diseases and also the treatment of the affected people. The people that are in the incarcerated facility are more likely to have HIV/AIDS disease as compared to those in the general public. There are also the diseases that include the tuberculosis and hepatitis C. However, the access to screening and the evidence based treatment for diseases like HIV/AIDS is not available in the Dade County prisons and might be offered in some periods making the access to primary care difficult. The other issue of concern on the primary care is that there is a high population of those incarcerated in Dade County have a history of drug abuse and dependence based on the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM)-IV criteria (Miami-Dade County, 2022). After incarceration, the population experience a higher risk of withdrawal and then overdosing when they return back to the community. The challenge of primary health contribute to high mortality rate in prisons and jails in Dade County. Needs & Data Assessment for the At risk Group Population
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There is much difference between the healthcare provided in the general population as compared to the incarcerated population and this is much expressed by the nature of care interventions. In the prisons/jail, the population fails to receive a consistent evidence-based care where most of the medication are sourced from the counter based in the patient symptoms. In the general population, evidence based treatment and care is consistent and offered in a quality manner since more time is dedicated in handling a patient case. In the prison, the healthcare services is the prisoners right and also offered for free while in the general population access to healthcare should be paid by the patient through insurance cover of cash from the pocket. There is a higher cases of substance abuse and mental illnesses in the prison as compared to the general population worsening the cases in the facilities and this is a threat to the health of the prisoners. There is an easy access to primary care for prisoners in the Dade County because even trivial complaints gets the necessary attention as compared to those of general public minimizing chronic cases of illnesses (Bui et al., 2019). The approach leads to a low costs of healthcare access in the prisons because simple cases are medicalized. Prisoners that are at high risk of infections and this makes their access to care challenging since a disease can spread easily within the population stretching the available resources resulting to poor access to healthcare. In the general population, there is less spread of an infectious disease as compared to the incarcerated population.
The inequalities that is present in the incarcerated population as compared to the general public is the fact that racial and ethnic discrimination where the African-Americans and the Latino-Americans are the majority being incarcerated and face challenges in access to care. The minority groups in the prisons finds it hard in getting the right and healthy diet and also managing chronic illnesses compared to their colleagues that are in the general public (Binswanger et al., 2017). There is the issue of increasing demand for prisoners to make co-payment in Dade County for medical appointments creates inequalities because of the overcrowded and limited prison resources. There are the prisoners that would have the ability to access the payment for a quality care since they acquire job opportunities. The access to job opportunities for other prisoners gives them privilege to access a better access to healthcare and also better and quality food. The inequality becomes different to the general population that everyone has a equal chance of accessing healthcare through insurance policy (Bui et al., 2019). The issue of racial and ethnic discrimination in the prisons would affect the access to healthcare for the Hispanic and African Americans especially for a specialized care as compared to the general population.
The incarcerated population that is underserved when it comes to access to healthcare has a huge impact in the community. Poor treatment of the incarcerated population and limited access to healthcare services due to inconsistency creates chronic illnesses that result to hospitalization stretching the available resources in the healthcare sector. The high infectious diseases are common for the underserved population that are subjected to an overcrowded area resulting to emergence of many diseases that include hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS among others. The highly infectious diseases are then spread to the people working in the prisons then to the entire community increasing cases of hospitalization stretching the healthcare delivery system. The stretching of the healthcare system affects the community access to care and the Dade County would have to spent more resources in service delivery (Bui et al., 2019). The increase of incarceration in the community is a threat to public health especially those that are close to the incarcerated individual. The family members would experience mental and physical illnesses because the person they once loved or depend on is placed in a prison or jail. The family members might also lose a bread winner to incarceration that makes their access to basic needs like the healthcare challenging. Needs & Data Assessment for the At risk Group Population
Nursing is a career that is likely to be affected by increasing incarceration in the community where an introduction of correctional nursing would serve the purpose. Because of the high number of people behind bars, nurses need adjust their approach to patient care. Prison health disparities must be better understood by nurses, who should conduct health research, think about pursuing a career in correctional nursing, push for legislation that benefits the prison population, and encourage organizations to partner with prisons in order to ensure strong referrals and better prepare prisoners for re-entry (Goshin et al., 2015). Those who are incarcerated are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses, infectious diseases, mental health problems, and substance abuse. Nurses must address these concerns if they are to aid in the recovery of their patients. There is a huge difference between the population in the general community setting and the incarcerated population and this is where nurse changes and advancement to accommodate the culture and needs of the incarcerated is essential. Needs & Data Assessment for the At risk Group Population