Promoting health equity: The impact of nurse practitioners
Health equality is only achieved when each person living in a country has an equal opportunity to access resources to attain optimal health. Nurses are in a solid position to play an essential part in addressing the root causes of poor health by comprehending and identifying the numerous variables that affect people’s well-being and quality of life, assisting in the development of ways that are specific to individuals and communities, as well as facilitating and collaborating with multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary groups to implement those solutions. In the upcoming years, nurses will have the power to change the atmosphere of health equality by taking on new duties, working in unfamiliar locations, and dramatically stepping up their efforts to collaborate with communities and other sectors.
What is health equity?
Health equity outlines the view that everyone should be entitled to an equal chance to achieve an optimal level of health, which is the main idea behind the term ‘health equity.’ Achieving this, however, can be difficult since society must make determined and persistent efforts to address past and present disparities. Moreover, society must resolve social, political, and economic obstacles to healthcare delivery, and put a stop to preventable health inequities.
Dealing with socioeconomic factors of wellness and healthcare inequities is necessary for achieving health equity. It entails recognizing and combating discrimination as a risk to public health as well as the history of inappropriate public health practices that result in unequal health outcomes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) focuses a strong priority on reducing health inequities in populations that are disproportionately affected by AIDS, HIV, viral hepatitis, infections transmitted through sexual activity, TB, and other related disorders.
Career prospect for health equity nurses
Many people who ask “Is being a nurse practitioner worth it?” are considering a career in nursing. The simple answer to the question is: yes. Nurse practitioners (NPs) have great career prospects as the profession is a respectable and well-paying career. Moreover, NPs who focus on promoting health equity will play a key role in making healthcare better for all individuals in the future.
How do nurse practitioners achieve health equity?
When it comes to patient education and healthcare delivery, nurses’ everyday job is impacted by a variety of interconnected elements, including:
The term ‘health disparities’ describes the discrepancies in health and medical care among various demographic groupings. Society and personal well-being and health are impacted by significant inequities. Ethnic minorities, families with low incomes, immigrants, and residents of remote places are among the patients who are most severely impacted.
The idea of health equity emphasizes a dedication to minimizing and ultimately eradicating health inequities. Health equality occurs when everyone enjoys the best possible degree of health, including vulnerable and economically underprivileged people.
Moreover, nurses must develop their advocacy skills in order to effectively address the numerous economic and social issues (such as insufficient housing, a lack of work prospects, and limited educational options) that have a negative influence on the well-being and health of those impacted.
Social determinants of health
The majority of people’s wellness outcomes are influenced by social determinants of health, which are independent of medical treatment and genetics. The social determinants of health that a nurse may consider when determining a patient’s health and any dangers to it encompass the patient’s neighborhood and surroundings, availability of medical services, health insurance, level of education, and financial status.
Social workers, case managers, and other members of the healthcare team who are qualified to connect individuals to necessary resources are in an ideal position to receive crucial knowledge from nurses and communicate it to them. In this context, nurses are valued collaborators and have a responsibility to become aware of how their local healthcare facilities are recognizing and solving patients’ needs.
Due to differences in illness appearance, epidemiology, and drug side effects across different ethnic and cultural minorities, nurses must not only learn about a specific group of individuals but additionally show them respect and recognize the importance of their opinions, views, behaviors, language, and traditions. This will enable nurses to provide a treatment that is culturally appropriate. Nurses must be aware of issues like ethnicity and culture, gender preferences, and other aspects of identity when it comes to their patient interaction, since each of these issues has unique health implications.
The term ‘cultural competency’ reflects the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required to treat patients from a variety of ethnic origins. It focuses on providing individualized care for patients while promoting excellent treatment with cultural sensitivity. In order to respond empathically to patients’ social and emotional needs, nurses use cultural competency to modify the way they explain and provide therapies, to take into consideration cultural beliefs, values, and traditions.
Health equity’s main component is social justice, which is also an essential component of the ethical standards for nurses. It is the duty of nurses to challenge unfair systems and processes. Although upholding this ethic may require engagement in certain contentious matters, nurses have long been champions of equality and human rights, dating back to Florence Nightingale.
Importance of promoting health equity
Patients’ health outcomes may be enhanced through health equity. For instance, utilizing good communication techniques may assist nurse practitioners in explaining procedures and drugs, gathering medical data, and encouraging patients to ask questions in order to establish trust and clarify knowledge.
Nursing’s emphasis on health equity through patient-centered care, which requires treating each patient with respect, makes health equity extremely important. When their medical personnel properly acknowledge them, patients may show more satisfaction with the care they get.
Moreover, health equity assists patients to interact with nurses and other healthcare providers clearly and feel encouraged to speak for themselves and their requirements. People could be more motivated to continue seeking therapy as necessary if they feel more trust in the medical system.