REPRESENTING HEALTHCARE IN STATE GOVERNMENT
To most people,incorporating politics and nursing is most unlikely but to some likeMary Ann Dailey, who have put down their nursing equipment to vie fora position in their states, there exists a close link betweenpolitics and nursing. In fact, nurses hold a unique position ofrepresenting their interests, those of fellow nurses and healthcareneeds of their patients as well. The representation of nurses in thefederal or state capitals improves the making and legislation of thelaws either that in one way or another are likely to affect nursingcare negatively or positively (Yoder-Wise, 2013).
Mary Ann Dailey is amember of the Republican committee of the House of Representatives inPennsylvania, an associate professor of nursing and the head of theNursing Department at the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Beinga nurse legislator, she represents the wellbeing of their coworkersin a very special way. The main reason as to why they are the bestrepresentatives of their fellow colleagues and the public is thatthey fully understand the encounters that nurses experience in thecurrent health environment especially the desperate need for morenurses in most hospitals due to the feeling of some nurses beingoverworked.
Her counterpart,Helen Thomson once said “I certainly see the world through the eyesof a nurse, even though it’s been a long time since I’ve been inactive nursing”, (Yoder-Wise, 2013), a statement that Mary Annseconded, saying that she saw herself as a supporter for the nursingprofession in her current position of state legislature. In herposition, she has been advocated for the implementation of many billsand laws with the primary aim of improving the state of healthcareprovision and the well-being of the healthcare providers nurses.Among her most significant efforts, include a bill that has impact onthe usage as well as the education of unlicensed personnel, a billthat offers privileges for nurses specifically in Pennsylvania andthe most current law of providing protection to whistleblowers.
Recently, thePennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill that providesprotection to healthcare professionals like nurses who giveinformation on the safety issues of patients. The House Bill 23721was enacted with one of its primary objectives being to create atoll-free hotline located at the Patient Safety Authority to giveroom for workers who have not gotten satisfactory services to reportto the relevant authority. Then, the calls would automatically callfor an investigation by the concerned Department of Health.Additionally, the bill is expected to grant immunity to thecomplainant via the civil liability in case the complaint is filed ina court of law.
Mary Ann recognizes the fact that physicians are usually not giventhe protection that they require and thus on that line she presentedthe numerous versions of whistleblower bill from the first time sheentered the legislature. In detail, the Whistleblower Protection lawprohibits any health institution from striking back against a workerwho unveils any issue of substantial misfeasance, nonfeasance, ormalfeasance to the management of that organization, which in one wayor another is likely to endanger the safety or the health of anypatient under its care. Despite the fact that some hospitals andother organizations disregard the bill, most people advocate for theprotection of nurse whistleblowers for the safety of the patients(Mizutani, 2007).
Mizutani, H. (2007). Whistleblower protection act. Japan laborreview, 4(3), 95.
Yoder-Wise, P. S. (2013). Leading and Managing in Nursing -Revised Reprint. London: Elsevier Health Sciences.