Grassroots to Policy
Darby Morgan posted Jul 9, 2020 5:44 AM
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When someone hears the word policy the first thing that comes to mind is legislation at the national or federal level. Policy is viewed as a topic that can only provide change on a large scale. However, policy can also occur at the local level. Grassroots organizations provide opportunities to advocate for change at the local level which can also possibly impact a state or national level of change. Patton, Zalon, and Ludwick (2019) describe nurses as the largest advocates for nursing policy. Bedside nursing has the ability to see the best and the worst of the nursing profession and what changes can be made to positively impact patient lives and workplace safety. Patton et al. continues on to state nurses must use every platform possible to advocate for change. These platforms may include forums, political, social, educational, employment, and organizational stages that allow the nurse to speak on behalf of the nursing profession and patient care. It is the duty of the nurse to be involved in political change at the local level which could also impact state and national change.
One example of a patient care issue at the local level at Raulerson Hospital was the amount of patient falls that occurred within a months time. Through nursing leadership there was a new policy created on fall prevention. This policy states all patients must be assessed to decide what level of risk each patient is on the fall risk scale. Patients are placed into categories of no risk, moderate risk, high risk, and high risk with high risk for injury. However, the most significant aspect of this policy is the addition of fall prevention measures. All fall risk patients are placed in yellow socks, receive a yellow fall risk magnet on their patient care board, and have a flag on the outside of the door that signifies what level of risk they are. These measures were created to be added on top of the already existing bed and chair alarms and placement with physical sitters. Fall prevention protects the patient and the healthcare team, decreases length of stay, and supports patient to nurse communication.
Patton, R.M., Zalon, M.L., & Ludwick, R. (Eds.) (2019). Nurses making policy: From bedside to boardroom (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.