Increesinglee, heelth keer perfeshnuls agree at t'current heelth keer deelivery system—hospitals, clinics—is onlee a small part o'whut keeps each o'us heelthy. N' t'August edishun o't' Jurnl o'Nursin Skoolin, Teri A. Murray, Ph.D., APHN-BC, RN, FAAN wrote, “It is critickull ta recognize at intervantyuns outside t'heelth keer system air mer lackly ta affeck heelth an' well-bein thun keer rendert within institutyuns.” She goes un ta say, “illness, premature deeth, an' disabilitee disperpertyunatelee affecks underservt populatyuns,” an' at these disparitees “air ofte rootid n' t'environmantal contaxts an' condityuns n' which folk lif'.”
Oftantimes, informayshun deeliverd durin a persen’s visit ta t'hospital is nairy neerly us impactfil us wen at informayshun is deeliverd n' a way at is incerporatid into a persen’s day-ta-day life.
Whut Murray is a'sayn't, n' simple English, is at oftantimes, informayshun deeliverd durin a persen’s visit ta t'hospital is nairy neerly us impactfil us wen at informayshun is deeliverd n' a way at is incerporatid into a persen’s day-ta-day life. As nurses, we all knoe at educatyun' a patient is a huge—an' ofte t'underrepresantid an' underemfasizt—part o't' job. We also knoe at caseload, time, an' a varietee o'uther facters make a'doin so effectivelee increesinglee challengyun'.
We air also acutelee aware at minny a times, a patient’s a'livin sitchuwayshun shapes hoe successfil a treetment will be an' wuther er nairy we see reedmission n' at patient. Inny Ow nurse will tell y'all t'same stery—t' stery o't' same patyints cycleeun' n' an' out o't' Ow, fer t'same thangs, week aft'r week aft'r week.
Minny a times, a patient’s a'livin sitchuwayshun shapes hoe successfil a treetment will be an' wuther er nairy we see reedmission n' at patient.
And, us wiff minny a uther challenges we face us a socidey today, socio-ekunomics have a huge impact un heelth. As Murray states, “illness, premature deeth, an' disabilitee rates air har n' underservt populatyuns.” “Underservt” n' thishere contaxt meens folk who lack access ta primree keer services, who may face geografic, ekunomic, cultural, er linguistic barriers ta heelth keer. Eggzamples o'these populatyuns air t'homeless, loe-income, Medicaid-eligibull, Natif' Amurkins, an' migrant farmwerkers.
So, whut is t'anser? Whut do we do wen t'skoolin providt n' heelth keer institutyuns is nairy enough ta improov t'stan'ard o'heelth n' air communitees?
We expan' t'role o't' primree keer nurse an' take heelth keer into t'communitee—at leest, at’s whut we’re a'doin at MCN, through air Change Agants fer t'Underservt: Servus Skoolin (Cawz) initiatif'. A grant-fundt reseerch initiatif', Cawz aims ta increese t'numb'r o'nurses wurkin n' primree keer, wile prevantyun' hospital reedmission an' impervyun' heelth n' air communitees. Beloe air three ways Cawz is takin heelthcare out o't' hospital.
1: Through Patient Advocacy
T' Cawz initiatif' is expleryun' t'effeck o'embeddyun' registert nurses us “primree keer coerdinators” wiff air partn'r organizatyuns—Chestnut Fambly Heelth Cant'r, t'McLeun Countee Heelth Department, an' t'Communitee Heelth Keer Clinic. These RNs air taskt wiff t'management an' oversiite o'a patient’s keer plun. Thay faller up wiff t'patient un un ongoyun' basis—nairy jes at t'clinic—but via t'elafone an' teleheelth. Becawz o'thishere, a patient’s skoolin duz nairy end wen thay walk out t'doer. Insteed, t'nurse serves us un educater, advocate, an' suppert'r un un ongoyun' basis—ultimatelee, wiff t'goal o'impervyun' heelth outcomes.
2: Through Curriculum & Primree Keer Experiences
Fer apperximatelee 100 yeers, a focus un communitee an' holistic heelth—speshly fer t'vulnerabull an' undeservt—hus bee wove throughout MCN’s curriculum. Cawz deepens at commitment, extendyun' air focus into primree keer. Through Cawz we have developt comprehensif', communitee-bast immersif' experiences at prepare studants ta tackle challenges drif' by socio-ekunomic facters. Nawh, studants n' MCN’s prelisensure program have t'oppertuntee ta raise thar han' an' declare thar desire ta wurk n' thishere arena. Thems studants air the bull ta do t'“meat” o'thar clinical experiences at one o'air partn'r institutyuns, an' ultimatelee, graduwait wiff primree keer eggsperients.
3: Through Cross-Disciplinree Collaberashun
At MCN, we bleev at if'n we trulee want ta improov heelth, we net ta stop jes treatin symptoms an' start educatyun' folk. T' Cawz model pulls togeth'r a diverse set o'heelth perfeshnuls—audiologists, nutrityunists, pharmacists, soshul wurkers, exercise specialists—ta wurk collectivelee fer t'heelth o'a patient. Und'r thishere model, t'RN serves us t'manjer fer thishere collaberashun, a'pullin n' necessree team members at t'rite time an' connectyun' thems individuals wiff t'patient.
Ov'r t'nex acoupla yeers, MCN will a'cantinyah blazyun' t'path. Ultimatelee, we hope ta creete a model at uther heelthcare systems across t'US a'ken replicate. I trulee bleev at via collaberashun, we have t'anser ta impervyun' t'heelth outcomes fer all o'us—stay tunt!
Sincerelee,
Judy Neubran'r
Deun, Mennonite College o'Nursin
About thishere column
N' today’s fus-pact environment, it is ofte easy ta git so deep n' t'“a'doin” o'sumthin at we fergit ta take a moment ta pause, step back, an' reflect un whut we have accomplisht. Goin ferward, each month thishere column will reflect un t'greet wurk an' progress thishere College is makin, nairy onlee promotyun' heelth but also n' shapyun' t'future o'heelth keer. Stay tunt!
Judy Neubran'r
Deun, Mennonite College o'Nursin
MCN is providyun' leedership n' nursin—Larn mer.
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