There are lots of small benefits to becoming a leader in the world of healthcare. You are able to help your patients overcome illness and injury in order to get back to being the healthiest versions of themselves, you can lead and guide other nurses into becoming amazing healthcare workers, and you can turn wherever you are working into one of the best healthcare spots around.
However, while many nurses think about the changes they are making to the lives of their patients and to their field, most don’t go beyond that. If you become a leader, though, especially a well-respected leader, you can create extreme social change for nurses all across your state or even your country.
Social change can come in many forms and provide many benefits to the world of healthcare, and if you use your position as a leader carefully, you can turn all of these benefits to the advantage of you, your team and your patients.
What is social change in healthcare?
Social change is a transformation that is continuously ongoing. It is constantly affecting the community at large, and is constantly being affected by all sorts of scenarios from the wider world. Social change takes time and can often be incremental, but whenever it explodes onto the public scene, it has the capacity to change the world.
This is because it turns into a public policy, which is when the government steps in and advocates to make change, or a legal rule, law or program that people must follow or can take advantage of. This is when it affects public policy, especially in regard to whether or not we should pay for healthcare, how much we should pay, and how healthcare as a whole should be financed and delivered. Things such as the funding of Medicaid and Medicare, the availability of community clinics and maternity leave are all social policies that have been adopted and have changed the healthcare industry as a result.
Larger social movements that have affected healthcare
One of the biggest social movements is substance abuse reform, with many state and national groups, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), campaigning about the effects of drunk driving and alcohol abuse.
Other similar movements have focused on the abuse of hard and prescription drugs, and of tobacco and cigarettes, making their dangers and the dangers and effects of addiction well known. All of these social movements have changed the way that doctors and nurses handle substance abuse.
Other social reforms, such as the American Public Health Association, the Federal Housing Division of the Public Works Administration and The Housing Act, worked to solve the problem of poor housing and sanitation practices that lead to outbreaks of disease in poorer urban areas of the country.
As you can see, the social change effects brought about by leaders and organizations that care about their health has been very impactful. You might be the next person to solve the biggest health problem and bring about your own social change.
What social problems do you need to solve?
One of the biggest problems that is currently facing people right now are issues related to their wellbeing. Issues such as poverty, food insecurity, social connections, education and housing security are all affecting the poorest parts of the country and the world, and those factors are starting to affect public health.
Many leaders in the field of nursing are starting to push for social change in order to prevent the serious spread of disease and other illnesses before they start. By changing the wellbeing of the public and eliminating the factors that cause people to be more susceptible to disease and other illnesses, they can prevent those same people from coming to the hospital affected with malnutrition, exposure to the elements and other common diseases.
Nowadays, most healthcare is focused fully on prevention, so don’t be afraid to start there and see if you can prevent a social problem from ever being an issue with dedicated social change.
How nurses and healthcare leaders connect to the community
With social change, it is often connected to the community that the doctors and nurses are serving. Many healthcare institutions are changing their focus from looking at the individual to looking at the community they’ve come from. They are also looking at promoting good health and disease prevention in order to prevent people from needing to go to the hospital in the first place.
Nurses must be able to communicate effectively with community leaders in order to see the problems facing the community. They then need to ensure that they know how those problems are impacting public health, and start to work with community leaders to solve those problems and create sustainable change.
A leader in the healthcare industry has enough clout, support and respect to be able to understand and take on the burden of social change and can build a team that will eventually create the needed social change to solve a problem. You will find that being a leader has a few advantages – doors open to you whenever you are respected for who you are and what you do in the healthcare industry.
How to become a healthcare leader
If you want to become a leader in the field of healthcare and lead the fight for some serious social change, you need to be educated. Education will not only allow you to climb up the ranks of the healthcare ladder and get into a position of leadership but will also work to help you understand the various ins and outs of community systems and problems.
One of the best things you can do is to get an MBA in healthcare management from an institution such as Walsh University. The Master of Business Administration is going to help you understand all of the social changes and rapidly evolving changes in healthcare, and it will also help you start to push your own forward. Walsh University knows that your nursing life is already extremely busy, so it works to ensure that its program is very easy to fit around your busy schedule.
The best leaders must always be up to date on what is occurring in their field of study, and this education is going to help you keep your finger on the pulse!
Start to create social change
It can be a significant change to go from being the leader of a small group of nurses to becoming the leader of a social change movement. However, the social change you are going to create is going to be extremely beneficial for your patients, their families and the community at large.
So, don’t be afraid to start noticing patterns and looking for signs in the community that they could use some help dealing with poor health conditions. Go to community leaders and policymakers with a clear plan of action, and you will be able to ensure that your work is able to create social change that will be a massive benefit to everyone.