Health Care Advocacy for Veterans

Introduction

            The seniors may have been the most neglected segment despite the increasing number of veteran healthcare programs. However, over the past two years, the number of these programs has reduced and more emphasis laid on how to make these programs effectiveness. In the light of these changes, the major nursing association, the association of American medical association, The Patient Advocacy Program, and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities and clinics, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), are advocating for the protection of the Health Care for Military Families (Karpf, Ferguson, & Swift, 2010, pp. 266–274).

Health care needs of returning veterans

As the veterans are coming back into the society, they must be helped to connect to the community. For example, these veterans were secluded from the functional family unit (International Council of Nurses, 2008).

Nursing qualities

            Because the effects of multiple deployment is a nascent topic, it is becoming increasingly important to look at how the survivors f the hostile environments can be made to feel at home and connect with the environment, the health care environment without feeling slighted or overlooked. Some of the most important nursing qualifies include autonomy, assertiveness, advocacy and accountability. Above all, it is important to look at how the veterans can be helped to help themselves and build on their strengths. Healthcare advocacy form the veterans must look at how the nursing education can be improved and this include nursing service and research.

How might you advocate for the needs of this population.

            The best way is to advocate for policies gear at ensuring that sick veterans and their families can have access to comprehensive healthcare services, and healthcare education. The main challenge is the increasing number of veteran who needs prompt and comprehensive health. Therefore, if the advocacies were focused on ensuring that the veterans can have access to immediate healthcare services, then the VA Healthcare and community-based healthcare would not be limited in terms of funding and inventory. The idea is to analyze the ROI in Community Behavioral Health (Deyton, Hess, & Jackonis, 2008, pp. 677-689).

What type of advocacy skills would you need and how could you develop them. 

Negotiation and media skills

The key advocacy skills must include negotiation. The advocate must have negotiation skill and the skill must be developed around interest-based negotiation.  The advocate must know how to plan and use emotion to negotiate. The advocate must also have mediation skills and this involves planning the media message, and making an effective media case. Advocates need to communicate clearly and concisely and to structure the message to fit both the situation and the intended audience. Advocates must be comfortable with verbal, written, and electronic formats (Tomajan, 2012)

Problem Solving

            Veteran advocacy requires nurses to have problem solving skills. This involves being able to identifying veteran’s health problems and addressing these problems by developing goals and strategies geared at addressing the problems. The advocate must also be able to develop an action plan geared at organizing the advocacy efforts and meeting the advocacy goals. He/ she should be able to develop a competing case before making a request. She must therefore be able to collaborate, negotiate, and compromise (Tomajan, 2012)

Influence                                                               

            An advocate must have influence or must be in a position to influence decision or action through his or her message. The nurse must develop influencing skills on competence, credibility, and trustworthiness. For example, a veteran’s advocate must have the best interest of the veteran some as to build trust and credibility in order to facilitate change (Tomajan, 2012)

Collaboration

A veteran healthcare advocate must be in a position to establish effective collaborative relationships with the veterans and the special interest groups in order to influence decisions. The advocate must and the interest groups must have common goals to work on (Paquin, 2011, pp. 63–67)

What responsibility does a nurse have to be an advocate? Give specific examples.

According to the American nurse’s association code of ethics for nurses, there are clear references to advocacy as it outlines the duty of nurses in relations to safeguarding the rights of the patients. It is also the primary duty of nurses to ensure they uphold their commitment to all the stakeholders. The nurse’s primary commitment is in relations to ensuring that the veterans, their families, groups or even the community receive comprehensive and timely medical care. The roles of the nurses is to promote, advocate for  and also strive to protect the overall health, safety as well as the rights of the entire patient community including the veteran and their families.

Analyze attributes of effective advocacy for patient and population health

Some of the key attributes required of the nursing advocates include those that are congruent with the neo-Aristotelian virtue ethical approaches. It is expected that the veteran’s healthcare advocates must have both intellectual and practical skills, dispositional skill and moral attributes (Begley, 2010, pp. 1440-172)

Assess personal advocacy attributes

Personally, I am assertive and can influence the decision I want by working with the special interest groups. I may not have the people’s skills, but I know how to develop working relationship that can help me realize the advocacy goals. I also feel free to express my thoughts, feeling, and perception so long as they will lead to the attainment of the needs, or objectives. I can liaise with both the veteran, and policy makers to help structure an effective system that is useful to meeting the healthcare needs of the veterans (Begley, 2010, pp. 525–532).

Evaluate the role of nurse as advocate

The nurses are the only professionals who are in contact with the patient round the clock. They also have the skills necessary for translating the medical records and make necessary decisions.  The nurses are the only professionals who can make effective advocacy decisions and take actions. They can develop effective cases and influence decision because they have direct contact with the veterans and their families and can relate the he veterans healthcare need s deeply than the other professionals.

 

Conclusion

            Nurse’s role in veteran healthcare advocacy is clearly outlined in the nursing code of ethics. The nurses have responsibility advocating for the veteran healthcare. As such, they must play an integral role in influencing policy formulation and developing veteran centered healthcare program. They must inform the government roles, regulation ad allocation of funds and ensure that the veterans are accorded appropriate healthcare.

References

Begley, A. (2010). On being a good nurse: Reflections on the past and preparing for the future.    International Journal of Nursing Practice, 16(6), 525–532.

Tomajan, K., (January 31, 2012) “Advocating for Nurses and Nursing” OJIN: The Online             Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 17, No. 1, Manuscript 4.
Deyton, L., Hess, W. J., & Jackonis, M. J. (2008, Winter). War, its aftermath, and U.S. health       policy: Toward a comprehensive health program for America’s military personnel,      veterans, and their families. Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics, 36(4), 677-689.

Karpf, T., Ferguson, J. T., & Swift, R. (2010). Light still shines in the darkness: Decent care for    all.Journal of Holistic Nursing, 28(4), 266–274.
Paquin, S. O. (2011). Social justice advocacy in nursing: What is it? How do we get there?           Creative Nursing, 17(2), 63–67..
International Council of Nurses. (2008). Promoting health: Advocacy guide for health       professionals. Retrieved from http://www.whpa.org/PPE_Advocacy_Guide.pdf

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