- reducing exclusion and social disparities in health (universal coverage reforms)
- organizing health services around people's needs and expectations (service delivery reforms)
- integrating health into all sectors (public policy reforms)
- pursuing collaborative models of policy dialogue (leadership reforms); and
- increasing stakeholder participation
I believe in treating people equally and fairly. I don't treat them as disease, illness, number or an inconvenience in my day. I provide culturally competent and evidence-based practice. I recognize that an individuals culture may have an impact on a prescribed treatment or intervention.
I don't pass myself off as a physician. New York State says that I have showed competency as a nurse practitioner in Family Health, have thus received certification with prescriptive privileges and ultimately national board certification. I'm not making it up as I go along. I don't know it all and am honest and open about that. But I'd be damned if I send a patient back out there without a plan or without collaborating with other members of the health care team. Maybe the word "independent" is the issue. I say, anyone who thinks they practice anything independently will not get very far. The health care system is just that - a system. A system that relies on one another, of different disciplines in the common interest of patients. No one discipline "owns" health care. Would that word "autonomous" be less threatening? I'd be happy to use that describing my practice if we can ultimately work together and make a damn difference in the work that we do.
My education, that is on-going and what I consider life-long, hasn't prepared me to be a physician. As an NP, my education and practice is blended of both nursing and medicine. If/when I am sick, I seek care from a team of providers that is best prepared to assess and treat me in a partnership at that particular time and place.
Maybe I am still too idealistic after 10 years of NP practice. But you know what, that's the stance that I'd rather take than complaining about patients, the staff that I work with and our payment structure (not that some of those issues aren't worth complaining about).
So for now, I choose to focus my energies on trying to improve this health care system and finding ways to ensure health for all.