Does equating status with authority cause confusion? Why or why not?
I personally believe in equality in the workplace. I think that gender, race nor religion should be a factor in the workplace. But I also believe in respecting the authority. Working in healthcare especially if you worked with your physicians and other healthcare providers for more than a decade, you become family. Even though that is the case, when we are at work, there is always respect not only as an individual but also as professionals. Equating status with authority should never cause confusion for my opinion. We all have a part and contribution in the healthcare system. Everyone in the interdisciplinary team are essential to the organization. We need to know our limitations and roles and should know our boundaries.
A recent working group of the Institute of Medicine defined the values associated with teamwork as honesty, discipline, creativity, humility, and curiosity. The values of cooperative teams are defined as self-respect, mutual respect, and equality. Organizational theorists describe team building as integral to developing organizational resilience. Teams operating with a collective organizational professional identity can more fully focus on helping the patient and delivering quality care—beyond the sum of abilities of individual team members. The capacity for individuals to work effectively within a team and across role boundaries can be fostered through education, training, and modeling and is critical to addressing issues of cost, quality, and safety. (Brennan, M., 2014)
As a professional nurse, what are some ways in which you are able to reach out to members of the community who do not have access to healthcare reform?
As a professional nurse we have several ways that we can reach out to those in the community that do not have access to healthcare. One of those ways is volunteering. We can volunteer at free clinics, vaccine clinics, or even testing clinics. When we are volunteering we have the opportunity to speak to and educate those that do not have access to healthcare. This is when we can use our expertise to help those that need it most. Other things that we can do is hand out personal hygiene items to the homeless, maybe include some information on where they can seek shelter or obtain a hot meal. We can also hold food drives. We could volunteer to help people enroll in healthcare like the affordable healthcare plan. We can also share important information on social media. Making sure that we are providing good sound information or maybe redirecting those that are misinformed.
The best thing we can do as professional nurses is to stay involved politically and ensure that an legislation that will help those in need gets the support that is required to get the legislation pushed through. We need to ensure that all voices are heard and not just those that are wealthy and have good healthcare. We as nurses must advocate for all patients and those in need. Our job as nurses does not end at the clinic or hospital door. We as professionals need to also help those in the community that lack resources.
I agree with you that equating status with authority should never cause confusion. This is because individuals with low status can enjoy a higher authority, especially when they possess the necessary expertise to perform certain functions (Sepasi et al., 2016). For example, healthcare practitioners have authority over patients even though they may come from lower social status groups than the patients. Authority is therefore derived from knowledge and the ability of an individual to serve others in a given area. In cases where individuals equate status with authority, a lot of issues can arise, including justice-related issues. For example, healthcare systems that have equal status with authority can have shortcomings such as lack of delivery of healthcare services to deserving populations who enjoy low status. Individuals, especially healthcare practitioners, should therefore understand the difference between authority and status. In this regard, health care practitioners can use the authority they derive from professional knowledge to promote justice in healthcare delivery.
I also agree with you that volunteering and advocacy are some of the two central ways in which professional nurses can reach out to members of their community who may lack access to healthcare reform. Through volunteering, professional nurses can reach underserved populations with different healthcare services such as free surveillance and testing clinics and free vaccination clinics, among others. Nurses can also volunteer to educate patients in different underserved populations. Nurses can promote preventative practices such as taking a healthy diet and exercising to prevent chronic illnesses in underserved populations through health promotion exercises. Finally, nurses can be actively involved in healthcare reform activities focused on underserved populations through advocacy efforts.
Sepasi, R. R., Abbaszadeh, A., Borhani, F., & Rafiei, H. (2016). Nurses’ Perceptions of the
Concept of Power in Nursing: A Qualitative Research. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research : JCDR, 10(12), LC10–LC15. https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2016/22526.8971.