Nurses are an important part of the public policy conversation- advising, performing, and monitoring policies and procedures critical to exceptional patient care. Below you will find news and resources from ARIN leadership to educate and empower nurses in the healthcare policy arena:

Nursing Community and the Issues- Learn About the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Program, which addresses critical nursing concerns such as continuing education, nurse shortages, and workplace improvement. ARIN is proud to be a member of the Nursing Community coalition, and encourages you to become an advocate of the nursing profession in making a difference in healthcare.

IN THE LEGISLATIVE NEWS THIS MONTH:
January 2015

Advanced Nursing Education: $63.581 million (3.2% increase over FY 2014)

Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention: $39.913 million (5% increase over FY 2014)

Comprehensive Geriatric Education Program: $4.5 million (3.2% increase over FY 2014)

Nurse Faculty Loan Program: $26.5 million (7.9% increase over FY 2014)

NURSE Corps Loan Repayment and Scholarship Program: $81.785 million (2.2% increase over FY 2014)

Nursing Workforce Diversity did not receive an increase

 

National Institute of Nursing Research received $140.953 million (0.3% increase over FY 2014)

Nursing Community Meeting January 13, 2015

A letter from ARIN Leadership Regarding Public Policy:

Dear Colleagues,

Nurses, especially those belonging to ARIN, need to become more involved in public policy issues related to nursing and health care. Newly developed radiologic equipment and software, interventional radiologic procedures, the use of contrast media, and tests performed on the minimally injured patient to the complex elderly patient in the radiology arena make our participation necessary to maintain optimum nursing standards.

Today, performing Excellent Patient Care is only one responsibility included in the radiologic and imaging nurse’s role. Each day when we go home to our families, we listen to the daily news and hear of the many medical issues that are not beneficial to our patients, family and community, whom are in need of our professional input. Some of these issues we observe within our present employment, other issues are those brought to us by friends and family seeking assistance in navigating within the healthcare arena.

Many patients are not informed of their rights. Patients should be made aware of the risks and the benefits of these tests and procedures, including the medications and contrast medias they are to receive, but in the rush to get the patients in-and-out, these formalities are missed.

The public assumes that outpatient care centers are “doing the right thing”, while in fact, they are not always practicing with the required regulations and guidelines and thus, jeopardizing patient care. Professionals, although aware of their actions, sometimes find the almighty dollar a greater goal. A patient will receive an order from their cardiologist for a Cardiac CTA and be referred to an outpatient facility. To prepare for this exam the patient receives two prescriptions. One drug is ordered to be taken prior to the test to “slow down their heart rate” so that the test can be completed. The other pill is to be taken when the CT technologist instructs the patient to take the pill. The patient is placed on a cardiac monitor during the scan, but does not see a nurse or physician, and no one takes their blood pressure. The patient is sent home being told the doctor will be getting the results. Is this the care we advocate for our patients?

Sometimes the impending healthcare issues are either not fully discussed or improperly thought out, in need of nursing advice. A recent Sunday newspaper had an article relating to the new stipulation put forth by Congress requiring patients taking controlled pain medications to see their ordering physicians monthly to obtain their prescribed pain medications. This new requirement was put into place to prevent the many controlled pain medication overdoses, but does not consider the already overly booked physician, the financially strained patient who now has to pay another co pay, the overwhelmed family caregiver who has to transport the patient to the physician who is fully aware of the patient’s chronic or cancer pain. We, as nurses, may be able to devise a plan to assist the patients and remain in compliance with federal regulations.

The Affordable Care Act was brought into existence to provide health care to the many that were rejected or who could not afford health care insurance for themselves or their family. However, businesses and insurance companies are willing to fight to avoid providing affordable health care. An example of this is the unwillingness to pay for birth control medications based on the company’s religious convictions despite the reasoning for the birth control medications.

Today, it is imperative that nurses occupy positions of leadership and decision-making. The American Nurses Association encourages us, in ARIN, to join the thousands of other nurses from across the country in becoming grassroots nurse advocates, contributing to health care issues in efforts to help everyone, and ensuring effective and safe health care policies are approved.

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!!

Beth Hackett
ARIN Board of Directors