In This Article You Read About Political Involvement: A Panacea To Unsafe And Ineffective Staffing
Political Involvement: A Panacea To Unsafe And Ineffective Staffing
Having the right number of appropriately qualified, competent and experienced nurses protects both the public and the nursing profession. The right number of registered nurses leads to improved patient outcomes, reduced mortality rates and increased productivity. But insufficient numbers of registered nurses has potentially life-threatening consequences for patients and when care is left “undone” there is a greater risk of death. Most individual believes in the popular saying that politics is a dirty game, but one should as well know that it proffers solutions to almost all problems facing the masses, public, and professional fields (Nursing) when played right. Nursing has always been known to be a noble profession, but it doesn’t proffer solutions to itself and her members let alone the masses and the general public. This situation calls for the need for politics in Nigeria nursing system. It is imperative that every nurse take an active part and develop interest in politics, as it really does impact change in every professional field and gives them adequate position for policy making and implementation (Nwachukwu, 2016).
Politics according to Oxford advanced learners dictionary is defined as the activities involved in getting and using power in public life and being able to influence decisions that affects a country or society. Politics is a process involving modalities of power involved in controlling, shaping and designing public policies, laws or regulations which has effects on General public and nursing profession inclusive. Politics as a dynamics of power is found in every institution, from a personal relationship to the family, to the community, to larger collections of people. Wherever power is at play (which is everywhere), there is politics. When Nurses influences the politics that improve the delivery of healthcare, they are ultimately advocating for their patients. Unfortunately Nurses have historically had little or no involvement in politics that affects healthcare delivery (Solomon, 2017).
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Political participation can be loosely defined as citizens’ activities affecting politics.
Safe and effective staffing
Appropriate nursing staffing levels are critical to the delivery of safe and effective care.
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The planning and delivery of safe and effective care is complex, and is dependent on the constantly changing circumstances of patients’ diagnosis and treatment when they access any type of health care service. According to Royal College of Nursing (2016) “safe and effective staffing”, mean that health and care services have:
- The right numbers of nurses
- With the right skilled
- In the right place
- At the right time.
Having the right number of appropriately qualified, competent and experienced nurses protects the public and nursing alike.
Unsafe and Ineffective Staffing
This simply means when health care services lack the right number of appropriate qualified nurses with the right skills who are competent, placed in the right place and at the right time.
Political Participation or Involvement: A Panacea to Unsafe and Ineffective Staffing
Political participation of nurses has an important role or remedy to unsafe and ineffective staffing which will be highlighted using the following headings
- The Right Number; Political participation provide a better remedy to the number of qualified nurses because when nurses are occupying a public office or have participated in voting an individual to a particular public office, he or she will ensure adequate resource, man power, and quality equipment which will be used in training a reasonable one of nursing students to registered (qualified) nurses and midwives there by increasing the availability of man power which will care for the health needs of the general public.
- Right skills and competent nurses; When right policies are established, resources are channeled appropriately to hospital development and adequate equipment are made available for nurses quality service will always be the end product. For our healthcare system to be well developed we all know that one has to lobby before resources will be channeled to his or her request and this can be achieved by establishing a cordial relationship with the policy makers where political participation or involvement serve as a pathway.
- The Right Place; This is one of the major problem facing nursing as a profession, majority of nurses who have specialized in one area or the other for example orthopedic nurses, pediatric nurses and nursing administrators may not end up working where they are supposed to work as result of poor attitude of nursing towards participating in decision making in the hospital setting thereby leading to posting of such nurses to where they cannot function well. The joy of it is that political participation which was earlier defined as “a process involving modalities of power involved in controlling, shaping and designing public policies, laws or regulations which has effects on general public and nursing profession inclusive” can be a panacea to these problem or issue through creating modalities, designing and making regulations which will allow all nurses to practice in the unit where they specialized. For example a policy should be established in the hospital stating that all nurse must practice in the unit they specialized, except in a case where there is short of staff and all practice at that unit should not pass the period of two month after which new staff should be employed or locum staff should be deployed to that unit.
- The Right Time; These basically involve the promotion of nurses from one cadre to another thereby creating a job opportunity in any vacant position at that particular period in time for more nurses to be employed or promoted the director of nursing services must be able to lobby and take part in decision making in order to facilitate the process through taking an active part and develop interest in politics.
For nursing as a profession to succeed and manage the problem of unsafe and effective staffing, we must change our mind set toward politics, we must be able to change our ideology of seeing politics as a dirty game and move out of the circle of practicing politics within the profession (NANNM, UGONSA and NUNSA) and get involved in the general politics where influential policies are established. If we must achieved this we must sacrifice our time and resource for us (nurses) to be involve. I therefore recommend that nurses should participate actively in politics because it is the panacea to most of our professional challenges. Finally I challenge you to participate actively in the coming general election and evaluate the impact of your participation on nursing profession. Leaders don’t just listen, they take action. Leaders are true definition of verb.
Compiled By: NURSE BULUS MUSA (RN, RM,BNSC),