Health disparities exist among vulnerable populations in relation to demographics such as gender, geographic location, race and ethnicity, socio-economic status, and disability status. The healthy people 2020 framework ensures health promotion and disease prevention to bridge health disparities among these populations (Trinh-Shevrin et al., 2015). The discrepancies are bridged by helping such populations to access healthcare services through limiting factors that prevent them from accessing. For example, health determinants such as health insurance, decent and safe housing, nutritious food, clean water, and a non-polluted environment are improved.
There are three levels of disease prevention; primary prevention involves preventing disease before it occurs through processes such as immunization, policies, and healthy habits. Secondary prevention involves detecting disease early and treating it to avoid further progression through early screening and a diet. Lastly, tertiary prevention involves reducing the severity of a disease after it has occurred to improve the quality of the patient.
The Healthy People 2030 is a health promotion framework that aims at reducing obesity among a proportion of children and adolescents. One of the primary current health issues is overweight and obesity among the young population. The initiative supports the issue by creating obesity policies, awareness to the population through school-based nutrition programs, and regular checkups on chronic conditions. Additionally, it helps eradicate hunger, malnutrition, and undernutrition to prevent children and adolescents from taking obesity-related food.
A bill that I would want to pass as a law to improve health is the prescription of opioids. A study has shown a wide abuse of opioids, which is increasing rates of medical issues (Vowles et al., 2015). Many people take opioids even when not prescribed by a physician by purchasing them in chemists and pharmacies. It is a problem that has seen many patients endangering their lives through addiction and desensitization (Cheung et al., 2016). The policy would involve licensing pharmacies and chemists that should sell the drugs. Also, patients purchasing the opioids would be required to produce a doctor’s statement that they are fit to take them. This would reduce the abuse as only licensed and credible doctors would sell them. Members of the committee that would help pass the bill are the judiciary, parliament, WHO officials, and local government.
The role of the senate, governor, and representative is to assess, approve, or reject the bill. They evaluate the effectiveness of a bill by weighting its strengths against its weaknesses (Staff Writer, 2020). Depending on its effectiveness, they reject or approve it. However, the approval or rejection is dependent on the senate. The bill of licensing pharmacies and chemists who sell opioids would impact nursing. The number of patients taking the drugs would decrease, decreasing the number of patients in hospitals. This is because too much intake of the drugs is associated with other health conditions such as vomiting, constipation, and sedation (Cheung et al., 2016).
Before a health policy is applied in the health care environment, some processes could affect it. One of them is the policy formulation (“Overview Health Policy-Making Process,” n.d.). This process looks at how the policy was formulated and its reasons. The reasons must be valid and sensible, such that they are likely to improve the healthcare sector. Another process is legislative development. It is a series of steps that determine how a law is made and amended. For example, it must be passed through a public comment section where members of the public comment on the law. The legislative development process must follow the correct procedure for a policy to be applied. Lastly, in policy implementation, processes such as rulemaking and the operations involved can influence the application of a policy.
APN’s political engagement is crucial for the nursing field. One of the strategies that can be used to foster political action by APNs is by redefining the meaning of the term political engagement (Ryan & Rosenberg, 2015). Most nurses think that political engagement refers to participating in the political games, perhaps to secure a political seat. However, if they get the term’s exact meaning, their political action will be fostered. The second strategy is to develop a mentoring program for nurses who want to engage in politics. They will be nurtured in their role and become more confident in participating in the legislative process. Lastly, creating groups that can help nurses stay informed and updated with national and state regulations would help. When they know what is happening and how the medical industry is affected by rules, they are likely to participate and react to the regulations paving their way in the political arena.
APNs need to get into the political process because they would participate and help develop and implement healthcare laws. For example, they can restrict a law that is likely to limit their scope of practice or harm their practice. They get a chance to participate in the law-making of the healthcare sector. In that case, they can also recommend a bill and push for its passing because they are involved in the process.
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Health policy and promotion are affected by economic variables at the local, state, federal, and international levels. One of the variables is the unemployment rate. When the rate is high, policies such as Medicaid and Medicare are implemented to cater to underrepresented population health needs. Another variable is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in which a low GDP would limit health promotion since it requires money. Thirdly, the inflation rate determines the circulation of money among people. When the inflation rate is favorable, policy implementation and health promotion are enabled.
Cheung, C. W., Chan, T. C., Chen, P. P., Chu, M. C., Chui, W. C., Ho, P. T., … & Wong, V. K. (2016). Opioid therapy for chronic non-cancer pain: guidelines for Hong Kong. Hong Kong Medical Journal.
Overview Health Policy-Making Process. (n.d.). https://eta.health.usf.edu/publichealth/PHC6102/presentations/week_05/PHC6102_Policy_Formulation_Legislative_Development_handout.pdf
Ryan, S. F., & Rosenberg, S. (2015). Nurse practitioners and political engagement: Findings from a nurse practitioner advanced practice focus group & national online survey. American Nurse Practitioner. http://anp-foundation. org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Nurse_Practitioners_and_Political_Engagement_Report. Pdf.
Staff Writer. (2020, April 3). What are the duties of the U.S. Senate? Reference.com. https://www.reference.com/world-view/duties-u-s-senate-a262aa5be7087946
Trinh-Shevrin, C., Islam, N. S., Nadkarni, S., Park, R., & Kwon, S. C. (2015). Defining an integrative approach for health promotion and disease prevention: A population health equity framework. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 26(2A), 146-163
Vowles, K. E., McEntee, M. L., Julnes, P. S., Frohe, T., Ney, J. P., & Van der Goes, D. N. (2015). Rates of opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction in chronic pain. Pain, 156(4), 569-576.