Issues that Motivate Physicians to lobby Congress
There are a variety of reasons why physicians engage in elections and policymaking to some extent. Limited opportunities for participation, insufficient skills, and a lack of knowledge are just a few of the causes. Other important reasons that may limit nurses’ engagement or participation in politics are resources and time constraints. Furthermore, research shows that nurses are frequently under-supported in their efforts to generate the critical data needed to influence healthcare legislation.
Various policy issues may motivate nurses to participate in political campaigns or lobby Congress. Education is one of them. Nurses can advocate for legislation that will aid in the advancement of nursing education. Nurses may push for the establishment of appropriate institutions that will train the next generation of workers to care for a variety of communities and patients. It is now critical to address pay for nurse educators in four-year schools and universities, according to Aragon et al. (2020), to avoid disparities between these two systems. Increased retention and recruitment of students for healthcare professions in technical and community institutions, not for programs in four-year universities and colleges, is an unexpected effect of pay imbalance. According to Aragon et al. (2020), the achievement of Action Today! has sparked interest in two additional initiatives: academic advancement for LPNs pursuing a BSN and the retention and recruitment of diverse nursing faculty. Leaders in nursing education must be able to boost recruitment and retention of the next generation of professors as more professors approach retirement.
Availability of holistic care is another policy concern. Nurses may lobby for policies that enhance clinical services and caregivers by working with health centers, local communities, community clinics, and nurse-managed health clinics (Mason et al., 2020). They can demand that public education and health be promoted to address the difficulties of a new healthcare environment.
Certain regulations that govern nursing practice, particularly those developed or composed by persons with insufficient experience and knowledge in nursing, may frustrate some caregivers. Nurses frequently experience burnout, cynicism, disappointment, and negativity as a result of this dissatisfaction. As a result, disgruntled nurses may choose to channel their dissatisfaction into constructive change within their field by joining politics to influence change that affects the medical profession as a whole (Mason et al., 2020). It’s crucial to realize that nurses have the power to impact policymaking and politics at the local, federal, and state levels. As a result, when a nurse works to enhance healthcare delivery through legislation or politics, they are ultimately advocating for the clients.
They may also form partnerships with representatives of another healthcare field, such as physicians. This improves their abilities in inpatient care as well as other areas including quality improvement, technology and informatics, evidence-based treatment implementation, and multidisciplinary cooperation (Mason et al., 2020). Nurses can take on leadership roles in the medical system at the community scale, or get active in contacting political officials and legislators about legislation that impacts the sector.
Furthermore, diversity may cause nurses to become interested in political campaigns. Nurses should create laws that sustain and enrich culturally competent caregiving education to improve interdisciplinary patient care and reduce health inequities. It is critical because this method will aid in understanding the various requirements of individuals and communities across the country. Culture has become a more significant theme in caregiving in the globalized era, according to Tekkas et al. (2020). Nurses’ cultural prejudices and biases obstruct their ability to care for patients from other cultures.
Clinicians Can Use These Strategies to Make Their Opinion Heard
Nurses can utilize a variety of tactics to get their opinions heard. First and foremost, people can join political parties of their choosing and eventually vote. The American Nurses Association (ANA), according to Mason et al. (2020), can urge nurses to vote to improve their negotiating power. It will also assist in bringing their concerns to the surface.
First, caregivers may utilize lobbying to express their concerns regarding the scope of practice. Simply put, lobbying is the process of ensuring that important politicians are capable of understanding the issues of their constituency to change policy and influence government. As a result, nurses guarantee that issues impacting clinical practice are discussed and suitable choices are made. Physicians should not be afraid of lobbying, and it does not have to be a difficult task. It should, on the other hand, sprout from an enabling environment where people are eager to express themselves. Sometimes it’s just where you come from that matters. Average citizens can indeed have accountability from and access to elected leaders with the correct combination of enthusiasm, expertise, and dedication, and you don’t have to be a professional lobbyist to contribute to the betterment. People take part in lobbying for the most frequent reason: they perceive that which needs to be altered. Unless a nurse works as a paid lobbyist for their professional body or acts as an elected or appointed representative, they frequently lobby on behalf of their ideas and principles.
Effective lobbying is researching to learn as much as possible about the topic at hand. Second, find state legislatures or members of Congress who have taken the lead on the subject. Identifying policymakers is the final stage. The most successful method is usually thought to be face-to-face lobbying. If you’ve scheduled a meeting with a staff member or legislative assistant, or with a state or local figure or a member of Congress, or, you may use many of the same criteria for structuring your message that you’d use when sending a letter.
Second, caregivers may voice out in public on topics that influence nursing and healthcare practice, such as immunization policy or greater nutrition education for patients. Many people in the public are affected by this strategy, including government officials and lawmakers, as well as healthcare authorities and administrators. An emphasis on leadership behavior is appropriate, according to Castel et al. (2015), since leaders may establish a safe atmosphere that makes frontline caregivers feel either comfortable or fearful to report errors and speak out about safety concerns through their use of incentives and penalties, and their actions, and priorities. When a crucial avenue to lowering morbidity and death from medical mistakes fails, it’s time to disclose it. This captures the essence of caregivers speaking up in front of the public about concerns impacting professional nursing practice.
Nurses can also participate in voter mobilization initiatives. Throughout the campaign, various volunteers assist in a variety of tasks. Nurses can get active in the contact with competitors on the ground by participating in a campaign. As a result of this endeavor, they will be able to teach participants about topics that are important to the healthcare setting, such as patient safety handling, enough staffing, and long-lasting medical equipment.
In conclusion, nursing leaders at all levels and in all positions in the company, irrespective of their spheres of influence, have a responsibility to ensure patient safety. As a result, they must first comprehend the many rules and regulations that regulate their practice to be effective in communicating their concerns, difficulties, or obstacles. As a result, nurses can express their concerns by communicating directly with government officials, pushing for state practice interests, voicing out over public health.
Aragon, S., Babbo, G., Bear, S., & Schaffner, M. (2020). Nurses at the table: Action now! for nursing education. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 25(1). https://doi.org/10.3912/ojin.vol25no01man04
Castel, E. S., Ginsburg, L. R., Zaheer, S., & Tamim, H. (2015). Understanding nurses’ and physicians’ fear of repercussions for reporting errors: Clinician characteristics, organization demographics, or leadership factors? BMC Health Services Research, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-015-0987-9
Mason, D. J., Perez, A., Dickson, E. L., & McLemore, M. R. (2020). Policy & politics in nursing and health care. Saunders.
Tekkas, K. K., Beser, A., & Park, S. (2020). Ambivalent sexism of nursing students in Turkey and South Korea: A cross‐cultural comparison study. Nursing & Health Sciences, 22(3), 612-619. https://doi.org/10.1111/nhs.12705