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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Healthcare Worker Preparedness Among Clinicians Treating the Forced Migrant Population

  • Author(s): McMann, Tiana
  • Advisor(s): Csordas, Thomas
  • et al.

In the midst of refugee crises, the proliferation of resources and healthcare services is the cardinal focus to address the acute need of those displaced. While much data is provided regarding the volume of refugees and asylees and the necessity for medical services, far fewer information exists discussing healthcare workers and their preparedness in dealing with the acute needs of those they are treating. Of those that have, many challenges are identified in all aspects of a healthcare provider’s experience of treating displaced individuals. While healthcare workers are vital to aiding in the critical needs of refugees and asylees, this can be more effectively accomplished when they are equipped to handle the unique health needs they encounter. The current study aims to explore healthcare providers preparedness in treating refugee and asylum seeker populations within San Diego County and how the level of preparedness effects the treatment delivered. In-depth interviews were conducted to support a literature analysis. Interviews and existing literature reveal that many limitations remain for healthcare workers to provide adequate care to the migrant populations. These barriers include institutional barriers which are heavily influenced by the political climate, as well as clinical barriers. Clinical barriers result from traditional medical training and the overspecialization of medicine in the US. This thesis also analyzes the influence of increasing political hostility and targeted threats on healthcare workers as a result.

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