Population Health and Vulnerable Populations’ Access to care/Nurses’ Role in ACOss
Advocacy is an act which ensures that vulnerable people in the society are able to voice out their issues, defend or safeguard their rights and their views/ opinions are always in consideration during the decision making process. The act of advocacy tries to ensure that people’s lives are better. According to the UNFPA. There are two purposes of advocacy, which are one, to promote/reinforce legislation or change in policies. The second is to develop a supporting environment that supports clients. Advocacy has a basis on caring, which is moral and emotional response to another person. In the nursing sector, the role of advocacy establishes the patient-nurse relationship, which occurs as an outspoken demand from a patient whose medical procedures threaten his or her life (Wise, 2001). In addition, nurses can use advocacy to ensure that they are part of the decision-making process that design medical regulations. They can also use the act to better their professional skill and environment.
An incident where nurses practiced the act of advocacy was in the year 2013, a time when there was drug safety issue in the medical sector. The issues were such as contamination of drug while under production in pharmaceutical companies, drug shortages in hospitals and development of infection from improper use of injectable drugs by physicians. Patients did not feel safe while using prescribed drugs. The issues in the sector resulted in presence of many meningitis cases across the US, which were due to use of steroids for pain relief. The outcome of the incident was more than 40 deaths and over 600 illnesses that are as a result on the injections (Karch, 2013).
The presence of these issues were a violation of the drug safety act establishes by the Food and Drug Administration, which aimed to ensure the safety of patients after taking prescribed medicines. It aimed to ensure there was patient protection from company greed and medical malpractice, and ensure both drug safety and efficiency. The foundation of the act in the 1960s, after there was incident where pregnant women took prescribed medicines that resulted in infant being born without limbs or with malformed limbs.
Some cases such as poor drug production process can be out of reach for many nurses. However, nurses can still practice advocacy. At the time, the practices used to advocate such a situation are stay informed on the situation and provide patients with answers they might need to ensure there is trust between the patient and nurse (Karch, 2013). Other practices are such collaborate with pharmacist, giving them the opportunity to explain the production procedure of the drug, ensuring they are safe to use. It is also the duty of the nurse to question and stand up against procedures, which can harm patients. In addition, nurses can gather and share information to better understand the issues and come up with strategic solutions.
At the time, the nurses did engage in political advocacy because majority of the pharmaceutical production facilities were not under the FDA control. In addition, the FDA could not cross state borders to establish authority, ensuring such facilities follow the regulations. The nurse reported the issues to local authorities that conducted inspections, which resulted in shutting down of four facilities in the Massachusetts region for failing to meet drug production standards (Karch, 2013).
1. Karch, A. (2013). Advocating for patients in an era of drug-delivery problems. American Nurse Today, Vol. 8 No. 7.
2. Wise, M. (2001). The role of advocacy in promoting health. Global Health Promotion