Every community is composed of different groups. In South Florida where I work as a registered nurse, we have the adolescents, parents and the elderly. The population is divided into that at risk and the population of interest. They all face different health problems, and most vulnerable are the adolescents or teens. On a narrow perspective, the female adolescents are affected most. The most common health problems are obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and of concern is teenage pregnancy. It is a challenge to the community as a whole and not only professionals dealing with the issues. It is important that we identify the gaps in the society and advocate for the population at risk.
One working day at the emergency room we got an admission of a 14-year-old girl with complaints of contractions. She had labor pains but had no idea she was pregnant. On the course of history taking, she had been overweight all her life and thus was unable to recognize the weight gain due to the pregnancy. Further interrogations on the family and personal history I noted that she has been living with one mother, under poor living conditions and had a sexual encounter at the age of 10.
In my practice in South Florida Community the most prevalent health problems was that of teenage pregnancy. Previous research shows that about 13 % of births in the U.S. are to adolescents. Contributing factors to this are the peer influence. Adolescents are more concerned with how others view them and readily engage in risky behaviors (Montgomery, 2003). Early adolescence and late childhood are critical factors to the teen pregnancy. An unfortunate instance is the abuse of adolescents who get pregnant. It usually comes with great fear as most adolescents face stigmatization. They risk losing their friends and the fear they might not move on to their studies.
With the determination of societal gaps, we can find ways to help address the issue of teenage pregnancy. The Centre for Disease Control and the federal Office of Adolescent Health is a greater boost in prevention of teenage pregnancy. Stakeholder education is of significance. Parents and civic leaders should be educated on the strategies that can help reduce teenage pregnancy and improve health of adolescents.
Community mobilization. All sectors of the population should be engaged to address teenage pregnancy. This entails mobilizing the necessary resources, providing support and passing information to facilitate change in the community.
Making the reproductive health cares and contraceptives available to the youth. It is a dilemma to the youths how they can avoid pregnancy. Accessibility to the facilities will be of the essence. This will ensure the youth get advice and have a place to run to in times of difficulty.
The society should offer support to the young mothers and not have their dreams of life shuttered. It is noted that the pregnant adolescents who sought prenatal care early were in a better position receiving family support; it also meant they understood more about pregnancy (Montgomery, 2003).
Race and socioeconomic play a role in the difference in adolescent pregnancy rates. Latina teens recorded a minimal decline in the teen pregnancy in the past decades. The recent increase in teenage pregnancy in 2006 showed that African-American teens had a 2.4 likelihood to become teen parents while Hispanics had a 3.3 likely than white peers. Research shows that Latina teens are over-represented in the recent increase as they do not benefit from the prevention programs (2009).References
Keller, L., Strohschein, S., Lia-Hoagberg, B., & Schaffer, M. (1998). Population-Based Public Health Nursing Interventions: A Model from Practice. Public Health Nursing, 15(3), 207-215. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1525-1446.1998.tb00341.x
Montgomery, K. (2003). Nursing Care for Pregnant Adolescents. Journal Of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 32(2), 249-257. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0884217503252191
National Conference of State Legislatures,. (2009). teen pregnancy prevention (p. 6). washington D.C: George Gund Foundation.
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