Vulnerable Population Essay

1964 words - 8 pages

NUR 471University of PhoenixFemale genital mutilation, also referred to as female circumcision, has become a controversial issue within the medical, legal and women and children’s activists’ rights groups within the last few years. Exodus of refugees from African countries in which female genital mutilation is currently practiced to the West has created vulnerable populations within the United States in regards to the health concerns that surround female genital mutilation. Using Orem’s nursing model as a guide, this paper will describe this vulnerable population, the health problem and propose interventions.Female genital mutilation cuts or removes the tissues around the vagina that give women pleasurable sexual feelings. This procedure is used for social and cultural control of women's sexuality. In its most extreme form, infibulation, where the girl's vagina is sewn shut, the procedure ensures virginity. In some cultures where female circumcision has been a tradition for hundreds of years, this procedure is considered a rite of passage for young girls. Families fear that if their daughters are left uncircumcised, they may not be marriageable. As in most cultures, there is also the fear that the girl might bring shame to the family by being sexually active and becoming pregnant before marriage (Heitman, 2000).It is illegal to perform female genital mutilation (FGM) in many countries, including the United States. Due to the illegalization of FGM, the procedure is hard to track statistically in the United States and although it is known that the procedure is being done illegally, the exact number is not known. The laws enforced by America cause this procedure to be done in the home or somewhere other than a medical setting. Often, it is performed by a family member or by a local "circumciser," using knives, razor blades, or other tools that may not be sterilized before use. In an effort to integrate old customs with modern medical care, some immigrant families have tried to request that physicians perform the procedure. Some families who are intent on having this procedure done will take their daughters back to the country they immigrated from in order to have the girls circumcised (Heitman, 2000).Female genital mutilation may have serious short-term health consequences. Hemorrhage is a common and almost unavoidable immediate result. Amputation of the clitoris involves cutting across the high pressure clitoral artery. Hemorrhage may also occur after the first week as a result of sloughing of the crust over the artery, usually because of infection. As a result of the severe bleeding, serious collapse or sudden death may occur in the case of massive hemorrhage. Shock is another complication that can occur immediately after the procedure due not only to the bleeding, but also to the severe pain and anguish. Most procedures are performed without anesthesia. Traumatic or neurogenic shock has sometimes been reported to cause death (World...

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