People frequently consider voting rights, equal opportunities at employment and school, and freedom of expression when discussing equity or equality. What about universal access to healthcare regardless of socioeconomic status? As front-line healthcare professionals, nurses must be aware of the disparities in care levels and access that exist for various marginalized populations. Learning about health inequalities can help nurses be more prepared to enhance patient and community health.
Through its identification of transcultural nursing, the nursing profession was one of the early innovators in recognizing the significance of culture in health. The understanding of social justice and health equality in the nursing practice came about as a direct result of seeing the often fatal struggles that resident and undocumented communities faced at the turn of the 20th century. These observable, fatal hardships still exist today. For instance, the newborn mortality rate among African Americans is still high, and the prevalence of chronic diseases is rising (notably, diabetes and hypertension). The social gradient and quality of life are clearly impacted by income inequality.
Be A Nurse Advocate
Nurses have a key role in enhancing health equity since they are frequently more accessible than doctors. Nurses have the chance to inform every patient who comes into contact with them about the advantages of illness prevention and health promotion. They have a unique opportunity to find out more about inequalities in the communities they serve.
There are a few things that can be done when working directly with patients to reduce health disparities. The development of community trust is maybe the most crucial, and it won't happen overnight. Preventative health education in the community, finding methods to pay for medical services, and being accessible for queries about health without an appointment are all examples of little actions to start. A crucial role that nurses may play is assisting women, particularly minority women, in understanding the long-term benefits of preventative health checks. One easy method to identify abnormalities and fix them before they become serious health issues is to encourage more screenings.
Application of Modern Technology
The potential for achieving health equity through technology is growing rapidly as smartphones are becoming accessible to people from virtually every socioeconomic background and region. Mobile applications can offer some widely accessible health management solutions to cell phone users
Moreover, by using technology, nurses may engage with patients more effectively and identify any discrepancies or problems. Images and translation software improve communication between nurses and patients. For instance, a picture of a rash can assist the nurse in recommending a course of treatment or further medical advice.
In order to effectively serve a variety of communities, nurses must always be modest about their knowledge gaps and commit to lifelong learning. The nurse can learn more about the cultures of the many people they serve with the aid of a dependable cultural liaison or guide. The nurse's competence and confidence might be raised by seeking out varied cultural encounters or immersion opportunities. True listening, honoring, and respect for client's needs, preferences, desires, and hopes for themselves, their families, and their communities are requirements for public health nurses.
Health equity has been accomplished when everyone gets a fair and just chance to be as healthy as they can be. By comprehending and identifying the many variables that affect people's health and lifespan and assisting in the development of solutions that are both individualized and community-focused, nurses are in a great position to significantly contribute to tackling the root causes of ill health.
Nurses provide relationship-centered assistance while also using their clinical expertise to comprehend the many different requirements of their patients. They understand how crucial it is to instill in each person a sense of security, purpose, accomplishment, and significance.
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