Nurses have the ethical, legal and moral obligation of ensuring there is justice in the society. As such nurses have the mandate of being at the forefront in addressing the human rights. Their action and clinical practice have to be designed to promote human rights and prevent any form of social injustice. According to the American Association of Nurses, nurses have to respect the dignity of every individual and, as such, the services rendered to patient have to take into account the values and needs of the patient and including their family (ANA, 2010). The social justice in nursing expands from the unsafe working environment, poor access to quality health care by citizens, violence in society, environmental pollution, human rights violation to hostile federal and municipality laws that infringe the rights of people. Thus, nurses have to be advocates of the society by ensuring every member of the society has access to basic needs, health care, live in a clean and safe environment, elimination of environmental hazards that can cause harm and human abusers are brought to justice. Furthermore, nurses are required to provide psychiatrist care and advice to victims of domestic violence, bullying and any other form of violation which has the potential of causing stigma or depression on the victims. As such, the nursing intervention ought to ensure person’s health, self-esteem, values, worth and dignity is restored after a social injustice ordeal. Additionally, nurses have to mobilize, engage, lobby and collaborate with other stakeholders to come up with policies that ensure the social injustice cases do not reoccur in future.
The situation of social injustice - Poverty
Responses to the case
This is a sad situation and overwhelming to any human being. It is totally unethical for any person to go through such a difficult in life. As a nurse, I have the responsibility of providing compassionate care to every person in the society irrespective of their income. Thus, the health system and current policies have failed in this case since they have not put into consideration the concerns of the underprivileged and person who earn below the poverty line. Thus, the immediate response, in this case, is educating Mrs. K on how to prevent waterborne and other diseases which are prone and a threat to the family (Lathrop, 2013). Secondly, it important to encourage the mother to apply for other social services such as food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)) which can help to alleviate the burden on her finances. It also important to organize a community health and cleaning programs in collaboration with my colleagues and well wishers to help in educating communities in this areas ways of improving hygiene and the importance of living in a clean environment (Riekert et al., 2013). I will also work with my colleagues to push for a change of policies such as the expansion of Medicaid to reach low-income earners (Epstein et al., 2014).
My Christian view and the influence of my power and identity to my reaction
Strategies to address the situation
The strategies which can be used to address this situation include expansion of Medicaid; provision of free community clinics where poor persons can come for free screening, diagnoses, and treatment; community health promotion initiatives to offer education on disease prevention; minimum wage increment and building of affordable housing in the slums.
Specific strategies and actions
There must a review of the salaries and enumerations to increase the minimum wage. This will enable Mrs. K to qualify for Medicaid and meet her basic needs, buy insurance cover and educate her children. There is the need to initiate community health promotion activities that will educate communities on how to prevent certain diseases by adopting healthy behaviors (Riekert et al., 2013). The specific actions which can be undertaken here are community health teaching and advocacy. As such, there is a need to initiate programs that can be used to offer health educations to Mrs. K’s community about healthy and ways improving their wellness (Lathrop, 2013). There is also the importance of lobbying lawmakers to changes laws concerning the minimum wage bills. Nurses can also move to court and ask the court to force the government to review the minimum wage bill since it is discriminating.
Collaborators and resources
The possible collaborators, in this case, include the community, community leaders, legislators, judiciary, nursing associations (for example ANA), the federal government, lawyers and social workers. The resources which are required including medication, tents, chairs, tables, transport, public address system, posters materials and blood screening equipment.
Barriers and ways to overcome
The possible barriers to these interventions are lack of funds to purchase required resources, poor accessibility of the slums due to poor roads and unplanned construction, lack of enough health practitioners to take part in health promotion due to current nursing shortage being experienced in country, high fee of hiring a lawyer to draft a bill and a long legislation process of changing a law. The possible ways of overcoming these barriers are conducting fundraising events, request organizations such as ANA to lobby legislators on our behalf and hire lawyers. It is also important to educate communities on the importance of electing excellent leaders who will push for the community’s best interest and enact laws which look at the welfare of the society.
It is common to find certain people in the society who are underprivileged and their socioeconomic rights have been violated by the laws or persons in power. As such, accessibility to health and other basic needs to these persons whose rights have been denied become nearly impossible. Thus, nurses have the mandate of ensuring there is sanity in society and all citizens are treated as equal when it comes to health matters. Therefore, nurses have to get involved in helping citizens like Mrs. K have access to quality health and a decent life. This can be achieved by engaging in advocacy initiatives to change laws which do not give equal opportunities to citizens. Additionally, nurses have to go an extra mile by taking part in community health promotions to educate communities on how to improve their wellness by engaging in healthy behaviors to prevent certain illness from occurring. As such, advocacy and community health teaching are critical and effective strategies that can be employed to address the plight of Mrs. K.
ANA. (2010).The nurse’s role in ethics and human rights: protecting and promoting individual worth, dignity, and human rights in practice settings. Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/EthicsStandards/Ethics-Position-Statements/-Nursess-Role-in-Ethics-and-Human-Rights.pdf
Epstein, A. M., Sommers, B. D., Kuznetsov, Y., & Blendon, R. J. (2014). Low-income residents in three states view Medicaid as equal to or better than private coverage, support expansion. Health Affairs, 33(11), 2041-2047.
Lathrop, B. (2013). Nursing leadership in addressing the social determinants of health. Policy, politics, & nursing practice, 1527154413489887.
Riekert, K. A., Ockene, J. K., & Pbert, L. (Eds.). (2013). The handbook of health behavior change. Springer Publishing Company.