Post a thoughtful response to at least two (2) other colleagues’ initial postings. Responses to colleagues should be supportive and helpful (examples of an acceptable comment are: “This is interesting – in my practice, we treated or resolved (diagnosis or issue) with (x, y, z meds, theory, management principle) and according to the literature…” and add supportive reference. Avoid comments such as “I agree” or “good comment.”
- Response posts: Minimum of one (1) total reference: one (1) from peer-reviewed or course materials reference per response.
- Response posts: Minimum 100 words excluding references.
Advocating for a Diverse Patient Population
In this discussion post I plan to discuss the ethical dilemmas associated with population health and health disparities, as well as to list pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and link the role that social justice and human rights advocacy play into decreasing health disparities.
According to the World Health Organization, there is a direct link between social inequality and injustice to morbidity and mortality in disease (Pacquiao, 2016). For example, a lack of necessary medical resources can result in being a health disparity due to the increased risk of patients not being able to receive appropriate care, both preventative and acute. There is a link between social status and health; the higher your social status, the healthier people tend to be (Pacquiao, 2016). Some people suggest that high stress levels from poverty, marginalization, and/or discrimination could be the direct cause of increased chronic disease in this population related to the high levels of cortisol that would be circulating through the body, making these patients more susceptible to disease.
One way that the U.S. Government has attempted to decrease the health disparities related to the effective delivery of care is through the Affordable Care Act, signed into effect by President Obama in March of 2010 (Pacquiao, 2016). The Affordable Care Act requires that most people who are not covered by other medical insurances such as medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance, must purchase health insurance for themselves. It also prevented health insurance companies from being able to deny coverage to a client based upon their current health status. The pros of the ACA is that it provides easy access to preventative services that come to no cost of the client and even sometimes lowers the cost of prescription medications for those who are eligible (Pacquiao, 2016). The cons, however, are certain things like the availability of care related to location. For example, in the state of West Virginia, 47 out of 55 of their states are classified as Health Professional Shortage Areas (DHHR, 2018).
Lastly, it is important to not only address these areas of disparities alone that will fix the problem, but we must also step back and look at the bigger picture when acting as advocates for our patients. We must advocate for these patients to have the same access to health care as people of higher social classes. This is how health disparities ties into human rights. Human rights are defined as protecting the inherent dignity and their rights for all people (Pacquiao, 2016). The right to health care is a right that all people should possess regardless of their social hierarchy. As clinicians, it is our duty to advocate for the access of healthcare to these people.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). (2018, January 1). HPSA Find. Retrieved March 20, 2018, from https://datawarehouse.hrsa.gov/tools/analyzers/Hps…
Transcultural concepts in nursing care(pp. 447-463) (M. M. Andrews & J. S. Boyle, Authors). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.
The purpose of this discussion board is to describe ethical dilemmas associated with the current state of population health and health disparities. I will then discuss the cultural underpinnings supporting pros and cons of health care reform and the Affordable Care Act in the United States. Then I will explain how the principles of social justice and human rights protection reduce health disparities. I will also add examples from my own practice.
Ethical dilemmas are always a part of a nurse’s everyday work. It is apparent in regards to health and health disparities as well, due to labeling people in regards to the function and the financial situations they may be in. This may be classified as putting labels on people, and discriminating them due to race, gender, religion, etc. This could also be in regards to socioeconomic class, due to the fact that it is generally understood that people who have better jobs, have better health care and take care of themselves better (Andrews & Boyle,2015). This is putting labels and judgements on people. It is hard not to do that, even in my line of work, we may look at a patient for instance who is on drugs or has a history of drugs and say to ourselves they don’t look like the typical type of person who usually does drugs. It’s sad that we think that way, but we have put stigmas on people, and have pictures in our minds of how they should look or act, just because of what they do or who they are. Our job is to help and take care of people but at times it is hard due to how our society labels each other. It also is hard at times due to the dilemmas that may come about and could cause issues.
The Affordable Care Act and the Health care reform allowed for almost all of the residents of the United States to have access to healthcare. It allowed for various options of insurers and allowed for individuals and business to provide insurance for themselves and their families. Although it provided a lot of good things from the Affordable Care Act and heath care reform, it also led to a lot of people still being uninsured. It also leads to people having choices of various hospitals to choose from. This can cause a problem according to Zezza & Nacinovich, 2015, with all of the apps and modern technology they can look up and see who the best doctors are, what the best hospital is, and what is best for their families. They are using technology to “self-diagnose” instead of using actual doctors. This may be good and bad because it allows for the patient to be more informed as well as have better ideas of what questions that they should ask, when they meet with their doctors. This keep the patient informed as well as on top of their healthcare.
The principles of social justice and human rights protection reduce health disparities in a lot of ways. Social justice and human rights help for individuals because it helps to give them fairness and allows for them to be able to function in their full potential. It gives fairness, and that people should know how they should be in society. It also allows for responsibility to be not put on the individuals but to have it lay on society and gives each individual the right to have and obtain health care. By making sure that everyone has equal opportunities to be able to obtain, and receive healthcare regardless of race, gender, economic status, and religion it helps to decrease health disparities. It makes sure that everyone is getting the appropriate care that they need to keep them healthy (Andrews, & Boyle, 2015).
In conclusion, it is important to make sure that everyone is getting the right healthcare and treatment that they need at any given time. By making sure that everyone is given the opportunity to receive the healthcare decreases the amount of disparities and complications. By being able to know that you have the opportunity to receive the healthcare you need in regards to your healthcare needs are a good reassurance that you will be able to deal with whatever comes your way.
Andrews, M. M., & In Boyle, J. S. (2016). Transcultural concepts in nursing care (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.
Zezza, M., & Nacinovich, M. (2015). Making healthcare reform matter to American patients.
Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 8(3), 167-171. doi:10.1080/17538068.2015.1114812