Social justice is a critical concept in public health because it helps to ensure that people from various vulnerable populations can achieve better health. Nurse practitioners have an essential role in promoting social justice since they work closely with patients and other care providers. The present paper will discuss the contribution of the project to social justice and social change, as well as the health scholar-practitioners’ role in promoting positive change in healthcare.
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The project focuses on adults aged 45-64 years who live in Bronx, NY and have type 2 Diabetes. There are two main factors that make this population vulnerable. First, according to Stringer (2015), Bronx has a relatively high share of uninsured persons. The lack of insurance creates critical barriers to obtaining proper healthcare, thus contributing to people’s risk of developing a variety of medical conditions.
Secondly, an established diagnosis of type 2 diabetes contributes to the vulnerability of this population. High blood glucose as a result of diabetes can lead to other health issues, including heart disease and stroke (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017). Poor access to care can also delay the treatment of diabetes mellitus and lead to patients developing complications of this condition, including kidney damage and diabetic foot ulcers.
The project will seek to improve social justice by identifying gaps in care for this vulnerable population and making recommendations for addressing them. For instance, if patient education is found to be a significant factor affecting diabetes management in the defined population, the project will help to bring this issue to attention and encourage care providers to improve patient education. Consequently, the project will also contribute to social change by spreading awareness about the influence of diabetes on the vulnerable population. This could help to support policy initiatives designed to improve access to care and achieve better health outcomes in adults with diabetes.
Nurses have a crucial role in leading positive change in healthcare. According to the Code of Ethics of the American Nurses Association (2015), patient advocacy and leadership should be among the primary values for nurses. Nurse practitioners often work more closely with patients than other care providers, which offers them insight into common healthcare issues affecting vulnerable populations. Nurses also have connections with professional organizations and play an important part in interprofessional teams, thus having a unique experience with the American healthcare system. This knowledge and experience can be used to determine focus areas policy initiatives targeting crucial healthcare issues.
However, for scholars-practitioners, practice experience is not the only thing that affects their role in leading positive change. They also have access to scholarly resources and can conduct studies exploring significant population health problems. This, in turn, can inform their position in leading positive social change. For example, research can provide evidence of links between poor health literacy and health expenditures.
Using this information as part of social change initiatives is essential because it would encourage policymakers to take action. Therefore, scholars-practitioners combine data from studies and their clinical experience to provide recommendations and advocate for positive social change in healthcare.
Overall, the project will contribute to social justice and social change by studying issues pertaining to the chosen vulnerable population. The project relates to scholar-practitioners’ role in leading social change, as it would provide information and evidence needed to inform policy initiatives and provide better patient care. As discussed above, scholars’ practitioners have a unique position in promoting social justice, as they can combine their practical experience and research to inform positive change.
American Nurses Association (ANA). (2015). Code of Ethics for nurses. Web.
Stringer, S, M. (2015). More than 962,000 New York City residents lack health insurance. Web.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2017). Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Web.