Health Care Workers: Vote for Change
In recent months, I have been trying to win a grant
from Pepsi in their "Refresh Everything" challenge. Although I have not won yet, I have come close a few times. What I have done is involuntarily give myself lessons in marketing, social relationships, team-building, data collection, performance measurement, and outcomes. These are lessons that every manager gets when he or she runs a department. Even regular floor therapists learn this stuff to some degree. It all makes for a better, smarter department.
The project will allow me to purchase equipment for school nurses and to perform asthma screenings at county schools. Lafayette County in Missouri has a high prevalence rate for asthma. People here are so used to asthma; they just accept it rather than try to improve their quality of life. I'd like to change that through education, diagnosis, and treatment, but I need money to do all that. This month, I am also walking 100 miles in my annual "Walkin' for Wheezers" to raise awareness and money for asthma programs, but one walk doesn't make a very big budget for an entire year, hence the reason I am seeking the grant.
From my Pepsi experience, I have learned there are certain types of people. The first type is family and friends. Whether out of a sense of duty because of our relationship or just because they understand how passionate I am about asthma education, they vote every day. The second type is those with asthma or who know someone with asthma. They vote regularly, if not daily, because they have seen what asthma does. A third type is the distant folks. I went to high school with them (many years ago!), folks who know my family, folks who know folks who know me, or have some other extended ties to me. They ask questions. They want to know more. Last, and worst, there are those in the medical field. I never would have thought that people who dedicate their lives caring for others would be so unmotivated to do something that is absolutely free, takes very little time, and could help hundreds of kids. Quite a few of them have little desire to cast a vote.
Many people are bombarded with requests for stuff on their computers. People tend to take things less seriously, for the most part, if they have received a request on a social networking site. I have generated some interest in what I am doing, but many read my messages and disregard them. Maybe they think I'm making money by doing this. I am not. Perhaps they feel something this important should be reserved for written correspondence or an article in the newspaper. Valid but impractical. Or, maybe we, as Americans, and especially Americans in health care, have become so complacent that the "care" part of health care is slowly slipping away. Whatever the reason, it has been interesting for me as a master's student to watch the dynamics of motivating people to vote. I would love to hear your experiences, too. Maybe we can learn from each other.