The healthcare system is composed of different individuals who are aiming to provide quality healthcare services to achieve optimum health among their patients. One of which are nurses. It is said that the role of the nurses are very important in the health care delivery as they are the ones who are directly involved in the care of the patients. The core services of the nurses include health promotion, health protection and illness prevention (Backe, 1996). However, in this contemporary world, the role of the nurses are not only limited in the caring of the patients, but also in changing the public health system to ensure that they provide quality and standard health care services among people.
Accordingly, the public health is the core of a quality heath care system and is considered as the most cost-efficient method for the prevention of disease and improvement of health (Avila & Smith, 2003). The public health is also known as the first line of defense of the nation as their response to the threat of bioterrorism and in line with disaster preparedness.
With years of negligence and erosion in financial budget, the capability of the public health system has been compromised in performing their core functions effectively. In this regard, such issue has become critical in sustaining a long-term stable funding source for the health of the public. With the continuous threats of bioterrorism, pandemic flu, and natural disasters it is important that public health system must be improved to cope with these challenges.
As a nurse, I can say that I also have the capability of changing the public health system in various ways. One of these is by being more observant to what is happening around me. Being a nurse, my responsibility should not be bounded by merely practicing all the things that I have learned from the books and from the years of studies at nursing school. In order to make changes in the public health system, I must become more observant to my environment specifically in terms of knowing what policies provided by healthcare authorities are still suitable for the current trends in delivering quality healthcare services and which policies should be modified or revised to meet the changing needs of the people.
In addition, I can say that as a nurse, I can change the public health system by knowing directly from the people what they need and coordinating it with the proper authorities for them to make changes and improvement to meet the needs of the public. In addition, I can also help by providing assistance in assessing the needs of the public and helps in providing effective intervention programs. Through my sufficient knowledge and skills not only with hands on activities but also in research and development since evidence are necessary in planning and implementation of appropriate public health system, especially in the remote and sub-urban communities.
I can also say that as a nurse, I also have the ability to change the public health system and provide significant impact in terms of improving the public health through both the population-based health approaches, evidenced-based health strategies and interventions with individuals and families. Recent studies have shown that the crucial role of nurses play in the enhancement of evidenced-based nursing practice and their influence on the public health system (Manley & Webster, 2006).
Furthermore, I can also say that I can help in changing the public health system by my distinctive knowledge based on my experience as a public nurse. As strategists, clinical experts as well as collaborators, I can say that I also have the unique ability to interpret the essentialities of health and illness contexts so as to advocate families, populations and clients to healthcare planners and policy making body’s at all public levels of the healthcare system.
Since I have worked in various roles within a wide spectrum of the public health system in various work environment and settings, I can say that I have enough information on what the public health system should be improved and enhanced (HRSA, 2005).
Through my nursing practice expertise, I can also become an instrument to enable the public health authority to identify which intervention strategies is suitable for a specific need of the people as well as to help in overcoming the problems and issues faced by the public health system in order to continuously provide quality health care to the patients, especially in the rural communities.
All in all, I can say that my role as a nurse is not only limited to the clinical practice and expertise. My role is to become an effective instrument of bridging the long distance between the people and the authorities who are trying to safeguard their health and help them in preventing diseases that would threaten them for having quality health care living.
Avila, M. and Smith, K (2003). “The reinvigoration of public health nursing: methods and innovations.” Journal of Public Health Management Practice 9(1): 16-24.
Backe, H. (1996) Public Health Nursing Services in Rural and Northern Regional Health
Authorities: Policy Options for Boards. Unpublished Paper. Winnipeg.
Heath Resources and Services Administration. (2005). Public health workforce study. Bureau of Health Professions: Rockville, Maryland.
Manley, K. & Webster, J. (2006). Can we keep quality care alive? Nursing Standard 21(3): 12-15.