Different aspects of our lives need equity. We need it when we get our wages, when we stand to vote and when we apply for jobs. The healthcare sector is another crucial aspect of our lives in which we need equity. Not everyone living in the same society has access to the same level of healthcare and medical support. It is one of the reasons why so many infectious diseases are still thriving, and we are unable to overcome them. Therefore lack of equity in primary healthcare can’t get ignored for long. It will burden the healthcare industry but more and more will get ill with no chances of recovery. It is where healthcare workers, especially nurses, can come into the picture. Nurses are in tune with patients on a deep level. It means they know their patients and are well aware of the problems they are facing. So, this is how nurses can jump in and promote healthcare equity:
- Work with Public Health Professionals
Nurses and public health professionals can work together to ensure that the data they extract from studying the population can help people. It means understanding what causes an outbreak of disease and how to curb it. Hospitals can educate people on decontaminating their water, getting fresh food, and recognizing signs and symptoms of diseases. Another thing is to empower people to help them to take better care of themselves. If nurses strive to help people access these opportunities, there will be a noticeable difference in healthcare outcomes.
- Be a Leader
Nurses with higher education can play a leadership role in health facilities. The skills they have can help the hospital use its resources better. If more nurses choose to pursue degrees, then more voices within the administration can advocate for assisting hospitals in providing more healthcare outcomes. For example, proficient nurses can go to low-income medical schools and teach prospective nurses. They can even work in clinics to lend an extra hand while treating people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Moreover, the demand for highly qualified nurses is increasing rapidly. This demand attracts more nurses to upgrade themselves by getting higher education in nursing. Aspirants can opt for online DNP programs to play a leadership role in any health facility and promote equity. Online education provides them the opportunity to fulfill their regular activities along with their studies.
- Bridge Cultural Barriers
Not everyone living in the same society speaks the same language. People carry their heritage and roots wherever they go and may not have the resources to learn a new language and adjust to contemporary society. For instance, in America, people not only speak English but also speak Spanish. However, English is the preferred language of discussion. Bilingual nurses can help the system. It means they can encourage doctors to pick up essential phrases and even introduce bilingual electronic records to help facilitate healthcare. This way, those who don’t speak the native language won’t get deprived of basic healthcare and won’t have trouble communicating with their doctors and nurses on how to get adequate care.
- Pick Up on Telehealth
Telehealth is using online resources to help people tap into healthcare. Telehealth includes talking to doctors online, tapping into apps, and using the internet as their primary source of healthcare. Telehealth is only possible in the 21st century because most families have access to smartphones or even computers. It will help more patients get healthcare opportunities and inline prescriptions to help them access medication right away. It will bring more equity in healthcare since no man gets left behind for not coming to the hospital.
- Set Up More Remote Clinics
Some diseases and conditions need a clinical approach that a doctor needs to conduct a physical evaluation. It includes women who are pregnant, patients with cancer, and patients who need surgery. Setting up remote clinics ensures patients who can’t make it to extensive facilities can quickly get the treatment they need. Suppose the disease or condition is escalating rapidly. In that case, you can ensure that the patient can get transferred to a proper healthcare facility and check into the ER right away. It not only saves lives but also keeps people from crumbling under neglect and lack of healthcare facilities.
- Talk to the Administration
Nurses can approach hospital administration to discuss new hospital policies. These policies can ensure that patients know insurance policies, bring affordable healthcare, and even introduce free healthcare options. It can help hospitals understand where they lack as providers and what needs improvement within the system. Nurses can also advocate for patient safety, such as educating doctors on how to talk to patients, better discharge options, and more comprehensive electronic health charts. Unless someone is willing to speak on behalf of the patients, there will be no improvement and more chances of malpractice.
- Do More Partnerships
Numerous NGOs and companies aim at protecting and providing for the people. If nurses work with such agencies, this can facilitate their mission while also taking care of the people more informed. Therefore, there is a chance people will get better food and water and an opportunity to attend rehab, learn about primary healthcare, and even access over-the-counter medication. When people can take care of themselves better, such as getting shots for typical flu cases and having antibacterial medicines at home, they will thrive better. It also makes it easier for nurses to find communities in dire need of help and work their way from there.
Nurses are at the forefront of the healthcare sector. They not only know what patients are going through but also how the healthcare sector is suffering. When nurses go out of their way to help communities and their colleagues, they can promote healthcare equity. It means nurses can collaborate with professionals to provide better healthcare across communities. They can educate the population. Talk to the hospital about reforms and policies and even push for more equal opportunities. They can even bridge the gaps between cultures and set up more remote clinics. All of this can help promote health equity.