Time to Get Involved
Now that Labor Day has come and gone, it's officially the
end of summer. Fall is a good time to get back to all those projects we put on
hold. Which means this is a good time for my "get involved" speech.
This past year has seen a great deal of political action in
healthcare. There are new laws that have resulted in a multitude of new
regulations, most of which are still in play. NPs and PAs have much at stake. Many
states have passed legislation to increase our autonomy and practice but there
are still several more states with pending action. And we will always need to
be ever vigilant to make sure any progress we have made doesn't get
It's up to all of us to do what we can to protect our professions
and our patients. I would like to offer a few suggestions of what you can
I feel strongly that we all need to stop using terms like
"mid-level". If your employer is using this language to describe you, try to
persuade them to remove it from their vocabulary. Educate them and let them
know why we find "mid-level" to be offensive and insulting. And if you are
still using this term to describe yourself, for goodness sake, please stop! You
are only hurting your image as a professional.
(See my previous post "Middle
of What?" if you need a few reasons.)
Don't put each other down. I don't have to go far online or
even personally to hear our professions disparaging each other. PAs complaining
about NPs and vice versa. And sometimes we aim critiques against our own groups,
too! If one group moves forward it doesn't mean the other moves back. Progress
isn't always symmetrical, but it IS good for all of us in the long term. Stay
positive and support all advanced practice clinicians.
No need to wage a war against physicians either. Stay on
topic and talk only about your own work and accomplishments. I want to cringe
every time I read or hear one of us saying "We spend more time" or "our patient
satisfaction is higher" to promote our professions. We just need a seat at the
table, it's not necessary to take over the whole meal. If we want to have
physician buy in and support, we need to knock off that sort of talk. It isn't
making us any friends.
Join any and all organizations that are working towards
legislative action in our favor. If you don't have the time to get personally
involved then just give them MONEY. In our system nothing happens without
lobbyists and lobbyists take money. Simple as that.