Social Change: Addressing poverty to enhance positive health outcomes
A clinical practicum experience exposes nurses and other health care professionals to issues that require being addressed at the local, state, or national level. The goal is to enhance the mode of service delivery and improve the quality of care. The need to address the health care issues requires a change in health care policy which is a crucial part of the role of a nurse as an agent of social change (Buppert, 2015). The discussion regards identifying a change needed in the community and the expected nursing legacy for a positive social change.
In my nursing practicum experiences at the local health care facility, I identified several social issues that affect health care and require to be changed. Among the major issues is poverty among the local minorities in the region I practiced. Poverty can be conceptualized as an exposure that influences the health of individuals within families and the neighborhoods. Poverty is linked with increasing levels of homelessness and food insecurity for many people. It creates ill-health because it forces people to live in environments that subject them to sicknesses. Poverty can be a cause and a consequence of poor health (Peters, Garg, et. al., 2010).
The increasing cases of poverty among the minority populations are a call for action towards designing and implementing health policies that respond to the needs of the poor people. There ought to be a change in policy regarding reduction of the poverty rate. The policy should target on increased federal funding for education and training programs, provision of social security benefits, and have income support programs to lower the level of poverty. The policy should also advocate for increased access to safe water and sanitation and improved nutrition.
The needed change is to have poverty reduction programs and incentives outlined to enhance the socio-economic status of the minorities that in turn results in good health outcomes. The need to address poverty is a global agenda since it results in improved health for the affected families (Peters, Garg, et. al., 2010). Health care outcomes are affected by multiple factors in which poverty plays a significant role in it. Thus, in my career as a Nurse Practitioner, I will impart a change in the community through advocating for poverty reduction programs that result in improved health outcomes. The affected families ought to have access to federally funded education, easy access to social security benefits like health insurance, and access to safe water and sanitation. I will engage in the programs to ensure that the social, economic status of the minorities in the region is improved for enhanced health outcomes. It is important to work in collaboration with the policy makers to convince them of the need to enact poverty reduction policies that contribute to positive health outcomes. The policy makers help to address the challenge of poverty by initiating economic and political structures to tackle the vice.
My future career as a nurse practitioner will involve working to enhance the quality of life for the community living within the practice environment. I intend to initiate community awareness programs about the ways of improving their health status. However, it will be challenging to address the health issues without dealing with the poverty aspect that negatively affects health care. Thus, I will advocate for programs that seek to empower the community economically that in turn results in good health care practices. My legacy will be influenced by the obligation to promote health outcomes through programs that are easy to implement within the professional practice region.
Buppert, C. (2015). Lawmaking and health policy: In Nurse Practitioner’s Business Practice and Legal Guide (5th ed.). (423-436). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett
Peters, D. H., Garg, A., Bloom, G., Walker, D. G., Brieger, W. R., & Hafizur Rahman, M. (2010). Poverty and access to health care in developing countries:Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1136(1), 161-171.