In order to work properly, health caring institutions require legislative support, which, in fact, means legitimizing different aspects of health care by federal and state policies. For the sake of all participants of health care systems (patients, medical personnel, insurance companies etc.) nurses stay involved and informed about all the legislative policies ("Nursing Career Opportunities", 1996).
Policy Priority Issue
One of the most vitally important, but still controversial issues is an access to health care. For the past years, this problem has been an obstacle in the way of building valid and effective relationships between health care sector, citizens and policy makers. The main ‘bone’, which interfere with establishing such relationships, has been a high price of health care. Insurance and health care, even though they are primary necessities of Americans, were a hard thing to pay for (Kronick, 2009).
The problem arises from the improper organization of medical personnel responsibilities. People of unstable income are not likely to have their own doctor and do not turn to health care institutions regularly. Therefore, for such people, there is no source of stable health care, which makes them a vulnerable to almost each health threat.
Besides the high pay for medical services, health care sector can be quite inaccessible due to the organization of health care sector. The lack of transport, both medical and public; the lack of medical personnel, thus, long queues; the lack of medicine, provided by the state; the inconvenient locations of medical institutions and a list of other weaknesses of health care sector make the medical help inaccessible for a great number of people.
One of the most important evidence is the research on the inequality of health care given to different groups of people. The medical sector of the United States do not cover the whole population, but this is not the only problem (Anderson, 2012). Healthcare, given to different groups of population, usually separated by the rates of income, is not equal. Minorities, especially including ethnic minorities and those, whose income is under the poverty line, are most likely to undergo different illnesses, from diabetes to cancer (Bontempi, 2006).
In fact, there even exists a term, ‘diseases of poverty’, which describe the rate of health care, given to poorer groups of people. Different research on the state of health care accessibility to all people equally approved that with the increasing of education and income, people tend to escape a great number of diseases they could suffer when being poor (Braveman, Cubbin, Egerter, Williams & Pamuk, 2010). Even though the price of health care is not the main obstacle against the accessibility of health care, it is one of the most important. This empirical evidence of healthcare inequality can be a key strategy in the discussion about implementing new policies.
Federal and State Policy
In order to change the situation, the government should implement some considerable alternations in health care policies on all levels. The members of federal government can implement one of the most important policies, which will decrease the price of medical care or insurance and will fix the outcome. However, policymakers of the federal government, who are responsible for the health care sector, can ignore the issues of one region. In order to make the problem sound actually convincing, it is necessary to find some support from all-state nursing organizations. Nevertheless, visiting the higher institution without reaching some effect on the local level seems to be inefficient. That is why it is essentially important to work out the strategy of presenting and defending the presentation of required policy changes in front of the local government.
The targeted audience of local policy makers includes all possible participants, who can influence the destiny of a new policy change. However, the key stakeholders are the head of this government and a deputy head, responsible for the health care in this particular zone. In order to make the visit more official, it can be useful to invite some participants of local health care (who can defend the idea of policy changes) and local press (to inform more people about the new initiative, thus, make the meeting more effective). However, the invitation to the audience should not be a ‘surprise’ for the policymakers; hiding such a fact from the key policymakers can psychologically adjust them against the visit organizers. Such a visit cannot be spontaneous. Policymakers need to know about the visit and the details earlier, in order to prepare for a discussion. If nurses will visit them without ‘warning’, policymakers can simply refuse to take this visit.
What concerns the process of direct presentation of the issue, all the facts should be correct, the information should be checked and the proposed changes in policy need to be clear. In order to make the presentation sound more convincing, it should include proved evidence and the testimony of witnesses in a form of PowerPoint Presentation or even better in a documentary. Such a form is actually relevant when talking about informing people about the essential issues without making the data too comprehensive to remember. Films provide organizers with more abilities to influence on the audience visually; infographics is also a good way to highlight the essential information and make it easier to memorize.
The visit is likely to take place on the base of either local government (which gives more opportunities to work with better hardware) or central medical institution (which gives an opportunity to organize an excursion). The best time can be driven from the timetable of both nurses and policymakers. The plan of the presentation should be straight and clear, in order to not interfere with the policymakers’ plans or constraints. Starting from the presentation of the issue and key evidence, organizers can create a compelling story of minority groups, which do not get proper health care. The presentation needs to include convincing statistics and data and end in a list of required policy changes.
Impact and Importance to Nursing
There is a great number of things, which need to be changed by legislating policies. The main aim of the visit is to convince the key stakeholders that these changes are actually the only way to resolve health care accessibility issues. It is considered a great effect if the policymakers will agree to change at least something, for the first time. The most important things, which need to be fixed first, are the number of health care institutions and medical personnel, especially in regions of minorities. This one aspect needs to be central to the presentation as it is the most important. These changes will be a good step towards the health care equality and its accessibility to all groups of people, both minor and major ones. Additionally, they will reduce the rate of disease among minority groups.
The changes, even the first and the weakest ones, are a very good effect themselves. First changes are the detectors, which display a contact with policymakers and their eagerness to work for the sake of the whole community. There are many ways to make things in health care sphere change, but almost all of them start with the nurses’ offer and the policymakers’ acceptance.
Anderson, K. (2012). How far have we come in reducing health disparities? Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.
Bontempi, J. (2006). Vulnerable Populations in the United States. Inquiry, 43(2), 179-180.
Braveman, P., Cubbin, C., Egerter, S., Williams, D., & Pamuk, E. (2010). Socioeconomic Disparities in Health in the United States: What the Patterns Tell Us. Am J Public Health, 100(S1), S186-S196.
Kronick, R. (2009). Health Insurance Coverage and Mortality Revisited. Health Services Research, 44(4), 1211-1231.
Nursing Career Opportunities. (1996). American Journal of Nursing, 96, 37.