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Promoting a Collaborative Approach in Treating the Complex Issues of a Homeless Veteran

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Promoting a Collaborative Approach in Treating the Complex Issues of a Homeless Veteran

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Overview of Teaching Strategy

Homelessness evokes many feelings from the non-homeless ranging from pity to disgust to empathy. The notion of preference to homelessness is foreign to most who have an inclination to "fix" the situation, without fully understanding the implications of both the underlying causes or the solutions. While the physiological aspects of health may be very obvious, it is often the psychosocial aspects of one's life that predict outcomes. Social determinants of health, in part, include factors such as education, environment, resources, and economic stability. Many of the issues around homelessness and health care encompass a complicated trajectory for outcomes.

This teaching strategy helps students better understand the evaluation of the risks and benefits of homelessness and collaboratively optimize a client's expectations. Through the utilization of a motivational interview approach, reflection on feelings of homelessness, and assessment of underlying mental health co-morbidities, the student explores how to maintain a client's independence and develop a plan of care for a homeless Vietnam War Veteran. Communication techniques are greatly emphasized.

Learning Objectives

Students will: 
  • Explore myths related to homelessness Explore their own feelings regarding homelessness
  • Assess identified expectations of both the client and health care team in the context of client functioning
  • Reflect on their own feelings about their own right to independence
  • Utilize a motivational interviewing approach to collaboratively plan care based on the client's needs
  • Assess and understand co-morbid mental health concerns

ACE.S Knowledge Domains 

  • Individualized Aging
  • Vulnerability During Transitions
  • Complexity of Care

ACE.S Essential Nursing Actions 

  • Assess Function and Expectations
  • Coordinate and Manage Care
  • Make Situational Decisions 

NLN Competencies for Graduates of Nursing Programs 

  • Human Flourishing
  • Nursing Judgment
  • Spirit of Inquiry

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