AdvocacyCampaign for Safe Staffing Policy
Theplace of healthcare to the contemporary society is particularlypivotal. Health is considered as one of the tenets of sustainabledevelopment, exemplified by the view that the society will not beable to realize its social and economic sustainability unless itcombats common wellbeing challenges. Indeed, this view is plausiblebecause health problems are typically accompanied by far-reachingsocial and economic consequences that subvert the overall efforts ofsustainable developments. In acknowledgment of this view, the societyis embracing several initiatives to improve health, but variousimpediments to the process need to be considered. The issue of poorstaffing is perhaps one of the most outstanding challenges that needto be addressed. Incidents of low nurse-patient ratio have beenreported, which has been not only been perceived as an attribute ofpoor service delivery, but also constrained work-life balance of thehealth practitioners. This paper charts an advocacy campaign for asafe staffing policy.
Whetherthe Proposed Policy Could be Enacted through a Modification ofExisting Law or Regulation or the Creation of NewLegislation/regulation
Theproposed policy could be adopted through the creation of new laws.This point rests on the view that, while the criticality of healthreforms in the society is well acknowledged, there are generallylimited policies to guide the implementation of health reforms at thefield level. Moreover, while some might be existent, many happen tobe fragmented to the extent that they cannot adequately deliver thepromise of sustainable health. Indeed, as VintagePoint (2015)observes, the need for safe staffing regulations largely happens tobe stuck at recommendation level, rather than implementation stage —different concerned players have done better in examining theelements of required health reforms and identified staffing as one ofthe critical challenges. In this regard, what remains is how therecommendations can be actualized, and that can only be throughdevising all-inclusive and comprehensive regulations to guide thestaffing policies at a broader level. HowExisting Laws or Regulations could Affect the Advocacy Efforts
Fewchallenges resulting from the existing laws and regulations areexpected to constrain the advocacies for the staffing policy. Ifonly, many of the available health regulations and law would supportthis process. The health policies recognize health as a criticalcomponent of sustainable development, which must then be supported atall costs. The United States constitution recognizes health as afundamental human right and strives to fulfill this obligation bysupporting government responsible healthcare through the enactment oflegislations such as Affordable Care Act that would guaranteeequitable healthcare to every individual (U.S. Department of Health &Human Services, 2016). At the same time, health policies do not onlyhappen to be concerned about equitability, but also quality care,which the government supports through regulations and funding(AmericanNurses Association, 2016).In this regard, the safe staffing advocacy would be more likely to bewelcome because it is aligned with the goals of providing quality andequitable care.
TheMethods to Use to Influence Legislators or other Policymakers toSupport your Policy
Theprocess of influencing the legislators will essentially be throughlobbying. The lobbying process will deploy all the three legsapplicable to the lobbying process — the law, the people and themedia-facing leg. The law-facing leg will be concerned aboutagitating for reforms in the law to make safe staffing a mandatoryprocess of all the healthcare providers. In essence, this process isexpected to ensure uniformity in the staffing guidelines. Thepeople-facing leg will be concerned about promoting awareness andknowledge on the understanding of the criticality of change toencourage its acceptance. The person facing leg acknowledges theinherent nature of resistance and strives to shun it. Themedia-facing leg considers the inherent difficulties of communicatingabout the changes to the players on the ground. Therefore, differentchannels of media would be used to pass the information concerningthe needed change.
TheObstacles that could Arise in the Legislative Process and how toOvercome these Hurdles
Itis worth noting that the concerns about the need to reduce governmentexpenditure such as on social welfare programs are gaining groundamong policymakers (VintagePoint, 2015).Therefore, these developments are worth mentioning as the constraintto the advocacy plan. The advocacy might be refuted based on thenotion that, if implemented, the actions could escalate thegovernment expenditure. This barrier can be overcome throughconcessions and engagement of the opposing groups.
Inconclusion, the aim of this paper has been to chart an advocacycampaign for a safe staffing policy. It is suggested that theproposed policy could be enacted through the creation of newregulations. Few challenges resulting from the existing laws andregulations are expected to constrain the advocacies for the staffingpolicy. If only, many of the available health regulations and lawwould support this process. The process of influencing thelegislators will essentially be through lobbying. The lobbyingprocess will deploy all the three legs applicable to the lobbyingprocess — the law, the people and the media-facing leg. Lastly, theresistance to change can be addressed through concessions.
AmericanNurses Association. (2016). Safe staffing – AmericanNurses Association.Retrieved fromhttp://www.rnaction.org/site/PageServer?pagename=nstat_take_action_safe_staffing_about
U.S.Department of Health & Human Services (2016). TheAffordable Care Act. Retrievedfrom https://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/about-the-law/read-the-law/
VintagePoint (2015). SafeNurse Staffing: Looking Beyond the Raw Numbers.Retrieved fromhttp://www.nso.com/Documents/pdfs/Newsletters/Safe_Nurse_Staffing_-_Looking_Beyond_the_Raw_Numbers_2009-4.pdf
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