Sample Term Paper

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The residents of Watts, and especially the Vietnamese refugees, being poor, are more dependent upon the public transportation system than are residents of other parts of the city. Unfortunately for them, Los Angeles is not a city that welcomes public transit (or at least it has not since the highway system was built). Because of this fact, clinic staff operates mobile nursing offices (in vans and RVs) that go into the community (to schools, churches, and senior centers) to provide screening services and other primary-care services such as giving childhood vaccines and flu shots to seniors.

Watts is one of the most undesirable neighborhoods in Los Angeles if measured by a number of standard criteria:

  • Of Watts’s 33,918 residents  66% are on welfare
  • The per capita income is $4,469, or about one-fourth the countywide average of $16,149
  • 66.2% of the 19,086 residents 18 and over have less than three years of high school (Lavin, 1994, p. A17).

The clinic is designed with the reality of this neighborhood in mind. Through a patchwork of grants from the public and private sectors, the clinic is able to offer medical care to all of those who come regardless of whether they can pay, although the majority of patients do pay something. While one of the nurses at the clinic said that their patients would be able to receive free care that was more appropriate for certain serious conditions from a county hospital, the lack of such a facility close by to the residents, the lack of public transportation and the fact that many of clinic’s patients are not legal U.S. residents tends to keep them away from larger, better-equipped county facilities.

No major hospitals lie within the borders of the neighborhoods, but three clinics are located in Watts. A number of health programs have temporary sites in the neighborhood in the form of monthly clinics run by city health officials as medical schools whose students wish to donate their time. Health programs are also sometimes situated in the public schools such as eye exam programs, vaccination programs and HIV-awareness programs (Hong, 2002, personal communication.)

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