Review your classmates’ threads, and respond through considering:
· Do you have a similar or different healthcare policy KSA as your classmate?
· Apply the Code of Ethics for Nurses. Do you agree/disagree? Explain. Add additional insight to the application of the Code to healthcare policy.
· Review SMART goals. Add additional creative action steps to achieve goal. Add additional resources for your classmate to consider.
Classmates’ Tread 1.
Part I: I’m pretty comfortable and actually excited to be in this course this semester. I have always been interested in possibly perusing a law degree, so focusing on healthcare policy and legislatures really sparks my interest. I’ve been a NICU nurse for 5 years before going active duty and doing PICU. I think with me being in two highly specialized areas I would be somewhat uncomfortable advocating in the political arena, unless I was advocating for PICU/NICU patients exclusively, as I’ve lost many of my “adult” patient skills. Although, I have limited knowledge on the processes of legislation and regulations, I do try to keep up with high profile cases, such as the case of the nurse who unformtably killed a patient by giving them vecoronium instead of versed. I’ve always been interested in the court proceedings on these kind of cases. I’ve never actually reached out to any personal federal or state representatives. In my undergraduate studies I don’t believe we touched much on why it is important for nurses to be knowledgeable about healthcare policies and legislations. It would undoubtedly benefit the healthcare Professionals as a whole if the importance of learning the rights of patients AND healthcare professionals is taught early in our career. However, I will say that sometimes working in a military hospital can be tricky, because it seems that we have our own set of policies that are unique only to military/government hospitals.
Nurses are the number one advocates for our patients. We as nurses must always place patient safety at the frontline. Following patient safety, nurses can also help improve the quality of care, so nurses should be included in developing, implementing, and sustaining healthcare policies (Collins 2017). Being actively involved in implementing healthcare policies and upholding these policies in the clinical setting is the best way that nurses can advocate for our patients (Collins, 2017). We also need to understand all the levels of power and know which entity controls the resources given to us. Nurse managers need to be knowledgeable on hospital policies and legislatures because they are often put in positions to Make informed decisions. Nurses as a whole have an ethical and moral responsibility to engage in policy and political decision-making for the betterment of patients.
Goals to build knowledge/comfort with political advocacy:
1) I will involve myself in a local group at my hospital that involves decision making and learn about how the process of enacting healthcare policies works at my specific facility
1) I will get in contact with the chair of decision making at my hospital and find out how I can be able to sit in on a meeting regarding updating healthcare policies by the end of next week, and will hopefully be able to sit in for a decision making board in early October.
2) I will be sure to gain knowledge on the process of how my hospital implements healthcare policies and the different levels of leadership that these policies have to go through in order to finally be enacted.
2) I will familiarize myself on the healthcare policies of my specific unit (PICU)
1) I will become familiar with the standard operating procedures of my unit by the time I am off orientation (early October)
2) I will be able to recognize and memorize at least 75% of the healthcare policies of my unit by the end of the fiscal year (late October)
In actively involving myself and learning about the process and resources afforded too nurses and getting actively involved in decision making and hospital policing implementation it will help to improve patient safety and quality of care. I Am a firm believe that at least one person from every department should be involved in the healthcare policies that are enacted in their facility, because every policy and legislature can affect every patient.
Collins, R. F., (2017). American Nurses’ involvement in health policy: Perceived benefits and barriers. International Nursing Review, 64(1), 13–21. https://doi.org/10.1111/inr.12249
Classmates’ Tread 2.
For the last seven years I have served in the United States Army as a Medical Service Corps officer tasked with planning, coordinating, and supervising the delivery of routine and emergent healthcare in both garrison and deployed environments. As a leader within the medical community, I have had the opportunity to assist in creating policies and procedures for the delivery of routine medical care in order to remain a medical ready force and emergent care for traumatic battlefield injuries. Policy making is derived from a need to change, enhance, or make efficient current systems and processes through a series of decisions and actions that lead to a more efficient and effective outcome (Nickitas, Middaugh & Feeg, 2020). Within the military healthcare system, I feel completely comfortable advocating for policy changes or implementation in the political arena; however, I do not have any experience in the civilian sector so I would remain neutral until I developed an understanding of the operational environment. As healthcare professionals, advocating for patients, optimizing access to care, and increasing effective care should remain a priority when planning the implementation of new policies.
As outlined in the Code of Ethics for Nurses, it is imperative that nurses and healthcare professionals always advocate and protect the rights of patients. In the complex and dynamic healthcare environment, remaining ethically sound is more important than ever, “Nurses and healthcare professionals, through individual and collective efforts, establishes, maintains, and improves the ethical environment of the work setting and conditions of employment that are conducive to safe, quality health care” (Morin, 2015). The relationship between patients and nurses is unique in that a nurse is directly involved in the accountability, treatment, and safety of patients on a more frequent basis than other healthcare professionals. Therefore, nurses tend to understand the needs of the patient and can better advocate for his or her needs. Through collaboration with other healthcare professionals and understanding the current patient population needs and public health trends, nurses are better suited to advocate for communities and implement positive change through policy.
The first goal to improve my political advocacy is to educate myself on my current position within the army healthcare system and understand the patient population that is requiring services. The education aspect of this goal should encompass the first 30-60 days of a new assignment, allowing me the necessary time to adjust to the current standard operating procedures and become familiar with all policies and systems in place. By creating an understanding of the current environment and operations, I can better understand any lapses or shortcomings in which my efforts for policy change should be directed towards. In addition, through an understanding of the patient population, I would have the ability specifically target policies to ensure patients receive the most efficient and effective care suited for them. Another goal to improve my political advocacy would be to have an open dialogue with senior leadership, department chiefs, and lane leads. By establishing communication among key leaders, I have the ability to grow more confident when recommending policy change and have the ability to demonstrate competence within the first six months of holding a new position. Political advocacy is a necessary skill for healthcare professionals in order to positively effect patient care and the surrounding population; “the embrace of human rights advocacy is important in a sustained effort to provide humanitarian medical care to individuals who fall outside of the political and moral community in the U.S” (Tiedje & Plevak, 2014).
Morin, K. H. (2015). The Code of Ethics for Nurses-More Relevant Than Ever. Journal of Nursing Education, 54(12), 667-668. http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.liberty.edu/10.3928/01484834-20151110-01
Nickitas, D., Middaugh, D., & Feeg, V. (2020). Policy and Politics for Nurses and Other Health Professionals: Advocacy and Action. Jones & Bartlett. Burlington, MA.
Tiedje, K., & Plevak, D. (2014). Medical humanitarianism in the United States: Alternative healthcare, spirituality and political advocacy in the case of Our Lady Guadalupe Free Clinic. Social Science & Medicine, 120, 360-367. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socsimed.2014.05.018