D025 (Task 1)
Obesity is a nationwide problem that is associated with poor mental health and reduced quality of life. The effects it has on the body contribute to the leading cause of death in the United States of America. Obesity leads to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. In Illinois, Obesity is prevalent and remains a top concern for the health of our state. So many factors play a role in the fight against obesity. As Illinoians, how can we help the fight?
Discuss two differences in how an advanced professional nurse advocates for an at-risk population in the community versus how an advanced professional nurse advocates for an individual patient in the clinical practice setting.
As a young child, I always knew that my purpose was to help others. I found pleasure in knowing that my words, thoughts, deeds, or actions contribute to someone in a positive aspect. As a nurse, I focused on maintaining optimal health and quality of life for my patients. To ensure this occurred, I had to truly understand the meaning and purpose of advocating for my patients. Through experience and growth, I learned that advocating for your patient is the foundation for establishing trust and confidence. As an Advanced Professional Nurse, one must continually advocate for their patient. Advocacy includes ensuring that patients remain involved in the decision-making of their health. The goal is to ensure the patient remains free from suffering, dignity is maintained, and equality promoted and enforced (American Sentinel College of Nursing & Health Sciences at Post University, 2016). Although advocacy is essential in building a relationship, the approach differs according to the circumstance. Advocating for an at-risk population in a community includes first knowing your neighborhood.
You must be aware of the current policies in place for the particular cause you are trying to address. This requires you to communicate with your local government for assistance. The community needs a deep commitment and preparation for the long haul. While working with a community, many opinions are voiced, and you have to be ready to take each concern one by one into consideration. You must also be creative and genuine to find people who feel the way you do and assist with the change you want.
In comparison, advocating for individual patients in the clinical practice slightly differs. Within the clinical practice, you are focusing on case-by-case scenarios. Individual advocacy involves supporting the person’s rights and beliefs. Your primary focus is how to make sure that individual voices and concerns are being heard and addressed. Advocacy in a clinical practice setting also requires one to adapt to the “right now” circumstance. In this setting, you are not looking for an overall solution—instead, an appropriate solution for that particular client at that specific time (New Brunswick Association For Community Living [NBACL], n.d.).
Describe how the advanced professional nurse will apply two evidence-based strategies to promote interprofessional collaboration within an Advocacy Action Team (AAT).
Developing an Advocacy Action Team requires interprofessional collaboration; this means two or more professions work together to achieve a common goal. As an advanced professional nurse, you would use evidence-based strategies to accomplish this goal. One evidence-based strategy to promote interprofessional collaboration within an Advocacy Action Team is providing a platform of social interaction and connecting influential leaders.. This avenue provides an opportunity for your team to talk and share ideas. Within this discussion, you can give a clear, concise plan and what the desired outcome is. You can implement team-building activities to form a stronger bond. Another evidence-based strategy is encouraging transparent, open, and effective communication. This strategy provides an opportunity to break down walls and barriers and allow shared knowledge to be discussed. It leaves people feeling satisfied, knowing that they have been heard. It also leaves little room for misunderstandings and misinterpretations. In the end it builds others trust at the same time empowering everyone involved (Moss et al., 2016).
Analyze data that validates a health issue affecting an at-risk population in the county or state where you live or work.
Illinois is a Midwestern state that is the sixth most populous state in the country. It encompasses the third-largest city (Chicago) in the nation. Many times people speak of Illinois they often speak of Chicago due to its high crime and murder rate. Yet Illinois faces other obstacles such as obesity. The estimated total population (2010) in Illinois is 12,830,632; 28.2% of adults are considered obese, and 62.2% are overweight. The numbers concluded that more than half the population is affected by obesity and can suffer from many consequences such as chronic disease (coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer). Obesity rate continues to rise in Illinois and continues to increase yearly. Significant factors in society have influenced the foods people eat and the amount of physical activity an individual has (Center For Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2012).
Two characteristics of the at-risk population.
Characteristics of the at-risk population with obesity in the state of Illinois include Multiracial (42.6%) female (32.3%) between the age of 45-64 (36.4%). Through research it is noted that the population includes women with some college level education.
Analyze how a specific social determinant of health (SDOH) in the State of Illinois is predisposing the at-risk population.
Today’s society is fast-paced, constantly establishing ways to multitask while being efficient. People tend to look for quick-fix options resulting in choices that involve fast food or foods high in carbohydrates, fats, and sugar. Working Americans strive for work-life balance, but because there seems to never be enough time in the day to prepare home-cooked meals or healthy meals, Americans find themselves in the Convenience Store, at vending machines, or at a drive-up window. Therefore it’s not surprising that the current way of life and life choices infringe on America’s Health, causing obesity to be a significant problem, not only in the state of Illinois but as a nation. Obesity contributes to the social determinant of health because of the lack of access and affordability of nutritious food. Studies found that the at-risk population is multi-racial females. Many Americans come from single-family homes with an average annual income of 40,000 a year. Time spent at work and the need to continue to work may prevent working moms from choosing time-consuming healthy options. While at work, they may grab a quick snack (to tie them over). Options that are readily available include processed foods, food high in starch, fat, sugar, and salt. Think about vending machines or Convenience Stores that are all around us. What choices are available? Then after work, they are fatigued, and the last thing they want to do is go home and prepare a healthy meal. Therefore they lean towards a “quick-fix” option, stopping at the closest fast-food restaurant. They are able to get a full meal at a reasonable price while saving valuable time. Not only can healthy options be time-consuming but at times it’s more expensive. Nowadays, a fresh salad costs more than a hamburger meal. So when money is a concern, you tend to choose options that are budget-friendly. Parents are fully educated on the consequences of unhealthy options, yet it’s the best choice for their current circumstances. America makes unhealthy choices easily accessible and affordable therefore hindering the fight against obesity.
Analyze how current policy is insufficient to address the SDOH.
Illinois General Assembly Public Health (410 ILCS 115/) Obesity Prevention Initiative Act has recognized the importance of studying Obesity and passed the Obesity Study and Prevention Fund Act in 2004. The plan found Obesity to be a priority health concern requiring action to take place under the State Health Improvement Plan. The plan considered two things. First, “increase efforts to educate the public on the health risks associated with obesity and poor nutrition and physical activity, and resources to help individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles. Secondly, “promoting changes in state and local policies designed to support healthy eating and physical activity, including improving community access to healthy food and safe opportunities for physical activity (Illinois General Assembly, 2009). The current plans are very important in the fight against Obesity and will represent long-term effects. But unfortunately, this is not enough to control the rate of how Obesity is affecting our community. Education is vital in the fight against Obesity, but with education, action must follow. Although resources may be available, the question remains how accessible are the resources? Are the resources available to all communities, especially low-income families? Not only must you address the resources, but you must ensure the resources are affordable. There are many options to obtain healthy choices, but unfortunately, they don’t work for the lifestyle of most people. All around us, choices fit our immediate needs, and that is what we gear ourselves toward. Unhealthy food choices tend to be cheaper, more convenient, and more appealing to the taste buds. Processed food satisfies cravings instantly. Healthy food such as fruit and vegetables have a short life span, time-consuming at times requiring you to plan your meals for the week. Until we change our surroundings and the options are affordable, this plan will lack effectiveness.
G. Provide a policy proposal to address the SDOH identified.
A policy proposal that I recommend is for pre-packaged fresh fruit and vegetables to be available in refrigerated vending machines at a reasonable cost. (all locations with beverage/ snack machines will be required to have fruit/vegetable options).
G1. Describe how the policy proposal could impact the health issue.
The policy proposal will be effective in the fight against Obesity because healthy choices will be easily accessible and affordable. The food we consume gives our bodies the information and fuel needed to function. It is essential to provide our bodies with appropriate nutrients to stay healthy and live longer. Healthy choices also prevent you from other diseases that can be detrimental to your body. In Illinois, many vending machines provide quick-fix options to tie you over until you can make it to another quick-fix option, such as a fast-food restaurant. Many people want to eat healthily but are just not given that option because of price and availability. The fight against Obesity begins at the individual level. Consumers are the key player in finding a solution for Obesity. This policy impact will give consumers the choice of making healthy lifestyle choices at that moment, giving the body the proper nutrients to grow into a healthier version of self, losing weight, and in return, reducing the rate of Obesity (Azétsop et al., 2013).
G2. Discuss how the policy proposal will address diversity in the population to ensure equitable distribution of resources.
This policy will address diversity in the population because we must remember that obesity is a multifaceted health issue. The at-risk population for obesity in my state is working multiracial females with a limited amount of income. They are educated with some college experience, but multiple aspects play a part in their food choices. To ensure the at-risk population receives fair and impartial resources from this plan, healthy options will be available in all locations with beverage and snack machines. The items will be comparable in price to the unhealthy choices. This plan also addresses the needs of the “fast-paced” lifestyle most Americans deal with on a day-to-day basis by items easily accessible.
G3. Describe how the policy proposal upholds two provisions from the ANA Code of Ethics.
ANA Code of Ethics for nurses serves several purposes; “it’s a succinct statement of the ethical obligation and duties of every individual who enters the nursing profession, a nonnegotiable ethical standard, and an expression of nursing’s own understanding of its commitment to society” (Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, n.d.). One provision of the ANA Code of Ethics this policy upholds is autonomy. Although our goal is to ensure that choices are available to choose healthily, it does not take away from the individual right of self-determination and decision-making. We can educate and make healthy options available, but the individual will still have the opportunity to choose what they want. Another provision of the ANA Code of Ethics that this policy upholds is beneficence. Beneficence is “acting for the good and welfare of others.” Obesity causes a lot of damage to your body which can lead to co-morbidities. Not only does it have a physical effect on your body, but it has a mental effect too. This provision provides the ability to promote good health. It is being concerned about the community and seeking solutions to protect their health to have a productive life (Gaines, 2020).
G4. Describe two actual or potential barriers in your state that impede the implementation of the policy proposal.
This proposal is only a tiny step in conquering obesity. Unfortunately, it does not come without barriers. One barrier to this proposal is how do we continue to force companies to spend money on healthy choices when consumers are not choosing the healthy options. Just because we provide it, it does not mean they will purchase it. This can harm the companies resulting in a loss of revenue. Another barrier is the lifespan of the healthy choice option. How often will the items have to be replaced? Companies will have to increase staff to be available to assess the items and change them out frequently. The plan can also result in a lot of food being tossed out.
H. Provide the name and title of one policymaker with authority to move the policy proposal forward.
State Governor J.B. Pritzker (Office of the Illinois Governor)
H1. Provide the rationale for choosing the policymaker identified.
To reach the policymaker with authority to move this policy forward, you must begin with the local municipality. Local municipalities are the foundation for people and an outlet for their voices to be heard. It is organized by residents within an area for the purpose of providing public services. Once you have your local municipalities involved and focus on making a change, they can act as authorities on your behalf. At this time, they have the power and ability to reach out to your state governor, who has the power to change policies for the entire state and not just for certain townships. Establishing this chain of command will give the ability to make fundamental changes.
Describe two strategies you will use as an advanced professional nurse to strengthen your professional practice as a policy advocate.
As an advanced professional nurse, one strategy I would use to strengthen my professional practice as a policy advocate is to become involved. I have recognized I have the ability and responsibility to influence change. Currently, I have an “I don’t want to be involved mentality.” I allow others to make suggestions and speak on my behalf. This aspect has to change for me. My second strategy is to become educated and communicate with my peers, neighbors, and colleagues. Build a relationship on trust so as a collaborative team, we can make a change. I have learned that silence at times can deem approval. I must speak up and support the state to demonstrate I’m invested in my community for the overall reduction of Obesity.
American Sentinel College of Nursing & Health Sciences at Post University. (2016, June 28). Patient Advocacy: Ensuring Freedom from Suffering. https://www.americansentinel.edu/blog/2016/06/28/patient-advocacy-ensuring-freedom-from-suffering/.
Azétsop, J., & Joy, T. R. (2013). Access to nutritious food, socioeconomic individualism and public health ethics in the USA: a common good approach. Philosophy, ethics, and humanities in medicine : PEHM, 8, 16. https://doi.org/10.1186/1747-5341-8-16
Center For Disease Control and Prevention. (2012, September). Overweight and Obesity: Illinois State Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Profile. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/stateprograms/fundedstates/pdf/Illinois-State-Profile.pdf
Gaines, K. (2020, September 4). What is the Nursing Code of Ethics? Nurse.org . https://nurse.org/education/nursing-code-of-ethics/.
Illinois General Assembly. (2009, August 07). Illinois Compiled Statutes. https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3116
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. (n.d.). The American Nurses Association Code Of Ethics:2015.http://www.bioethicsinstitute.org/nursing-ethics-summit-report/the-ana-new-code-of-ethics?doing_wp_cron=1624940624.0649600028991699218750.
Moss, E., Seifert, C.P., O’Sullivan, A., (2016, September 30). Registered Nurses as Interprofessional Collaborative Partners: Creating Value-Based Outcomes. http://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-21-2016/No3-Sept-2016/Registered-Nurses-as-Interprofessional-Collaborative-Partners.html
New Brunswick Association For Community Living (NBACL). (n.d.). Tips for Being an Effective Advocate. https://nbacl.nb.ca/module-pages/tips-for-being-an-effective-advocate/.
D025 (Task 1)