Student’s Full Names Health Science and Medicine 3rd November 2011 Increased Political Activism: The Nursing Staff Nurses are usually the most powerful people on earth, given the fact that they have a remarkable potential to exercise tremendous power both in the societal and political arenas…
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This emanates from the view that nursing is about application of service through actual involvements which politics does not entail (Rains and Barton-Kriese 219). Political activism according to them is more about theory and more of discourse on subjects rather than actual involvements with patients, a feature that characterizes the nursing profession. This nursing view of political involvement is narrow and is the major reason for the pandemic nursing apathy towards political activism. Today’s nurse without political involvement, is more of a person busying himself with the process of rescuing a situation to the extent that he lacks time to find the root cause of the problem so as to eradicate it once and for all. This paper uses knowledge based on nursing history, change process and views from nursing colleagues to design a plan of action that will increase political involvement among the nursing staff. Nursing History and Political Involvement Nursing involves the provision of care to individuals, communities and families with an aim to make them attain and maintain optimal health and quality of life (Basavanthappa 515). In the earlier years nursing was associated with prostitutes, and female criminals serving their punishment. It was only after the well educated and wealthy Florence Nightingale became a nurse, that this profession’s perception improved drastically and people began perceiving it as a respectable discipline (Small 14). Political activism in nursing just like the profession itself is not a new phenomenon that is trying to seek acceptance today. Great nurses in history like Alena Jean MacMaster are known for being activist that always placed the government on its toes concerning health issues specifically, healthcare for the working poor people in the 1920’s (Godfrey 84). Another great activist is the American Lillian Wald who saw that her impoverished clients needed more than just healthcare. Driven by this perception she went ahead and established the Henry Street settlement where these patients and their families could receive both health and social services (Andrist, Nicholas and Wolf 100). She later joined the fight to abolish child labor after realizing that forcing them to work in difficult and unsafe conditions was the major cause of their health problems. Why Nurses Do Not Engage in Political Activism This section contains majorly answers from two colleagues concerning their involvement in political activism. The questions asked were for the purposes of finding out the reasons for their lack of involvement, the barriers, and the relationship or conflict between patient care and political activism. The answers are outlined as follows; 1. Ways of Political involvement Nurses can be politically involved either by lobbying politicians to vote in a certain way about an issue or influencing them to carry the issue forward for debate. Political involvement can also be by whistle blowing through disclosing harms while outside the organization. 2. Barriers to Involvement Some of these barriers include lack of knowledge of the legislative process which makes the nurses overwhelmed by the complexity of public policy, a heavy workload, and the lack of understanding of how to influence public policy. 3. Relationship between healthcare and political activism Their actually exists a relationship betwee
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