Public Health Care Delivery and Moral Issues

What are the ethical and moral issues that present themselves when communities/cities/states choose to address or not address the health needs of the underserved populations? Choose one of these populations and discuss what resources may be available to them

When focusing on the needs of the underserved populations, communities can face various issues due to the conflicts associated with their moral standards. For instance, they may deal with ethical distress. It can be observed in a situation when a community is aware of the needs of the deprived groups but cannot satisfy them because of the lack of resources. When competing needs coexist, communities may face ethical dilemmas. If a new vaccine is needed for uninsured children and HIV testing is needed for the homeless, there may be a necessity to choose only one option. Finally, ethical quandaries may arise. They usually occur when it is not clear who should make a decision.

One of the most frequently discussed underserved populations is homeless. They do not have health insurance and money to pay for health services that is why they have problems when accessing them. However, there are special healthcare facilities where they can receive basic services. As a rule, those professionals who work there are volunteers. They may also receive a salary provided by the government. Moreover, social services are available for the homeless.

They are free to ask for assistance with finding a shelter and job. In addition to that, volunteer and charity organizations (including churches) supply them with clothing and food (Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, 2017). Even though these services may not be regular, they have a great potential to enhance the well-being of this population. Nevertheless, it is also vital to consider the fact that a lot of the homeless reveal no desire to change their lives. They do not take advantage of those services that are already available and do not try to alter the situation themselves.

What is the difference between a protocol, standard of care delivery, and policy at the practice, state, and federal level? Identify and discuss Nurse-Managed Health Clinics and identify the challenges they are facing and how can they be overcome?

Protocol points out those healthcare services that are needed by a client and will be obtained by him/her, including their rationale, provider, time, and place of provision. No additional description is needed. They can be used at different levels to outline the work that has to be done, similar to the plan of action. Standards of care delivery are developed for the professionals to follow particular guidelines when providing services. They are the same for the whole nation, but state and local standards may be added. However, they cannot interfere with federal ones. Policies identify what actions should be taken in particular situations. They may be implemented at different levels as well, but those established by the highest authority are to be emphasized. Hospital policies, for example, may differ in various states.

Nurse-managed health clinics are healthcare establishments that are run by experienced nurses who can “diagnose illness and prescribe medication, to make referrals to specialists, to provide pre-and post-natal care, and to offer a wide variety of other primary health care services” (NNCC, 2016, para. 2). They are mainly focused on the underserved and vulnerable population that requires additional assistance.

As a result, nurse-managed health clinics are usually found near public housing, homeless shelters, and schools, etc. The main issue faced by these organizations is a lack of financial stability. They can deal with it with the help of volunteers and donators. In addition to that, they should search for federal funding. A lack of nursing staff can be avoided in this way, as nurses will be aware of the stability of this occupation. Moreover, it is possible to encourage students to practice in nurse-managed health clinics while studying with the future opportunity to be employed.


Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. (2017). Resources for persons experiencing homelessness. Web.

NNCC. (2016). About nurse-managed care. Web.

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