Healthcare disparities

Healthcare disparities exist across the board; in every city and every state, there are groups of individuals who are more likely to suffer from one or another form of detriment to their health. In my local area, that being Dallas – Fort Worth, I was able to track what I might be more likely to see and what my community might be more likely to face.

In the medical field, it is well known that heart disease and strokes are two major killers for an aging population. According to my state’s research, my area is 20% more likely to have an individual die of cardiovascular complications (DFWHC, 2022).

This is astounding given that while genetics do play a role, cardiovascular care is mostly controlled through proper diet and exercise. The other major disparity that I see my community facing is that of an economic one. When compared to the national population my community is 8% less likely to have insurance coverage.

This is actually talked about in Community as Partner. Racially, black individuals are the least likely to have insurance, as much as 18% less than white individuals. Given that black individuals are already at a higher risk for cardiovascular complications, going without insurance only makes them less likely to treat any complications that might have.

While this won’t directly harm someone like a poor diet, they will be less likely to seek early or proactive medical care, thus causing further or even irreversable harm.

On the plus side, my community also has the benefit of being above the rest of the nation on several key points. My community is less likely to have disabled or behavioral health crisis’ go untreated. Both of these are 10% higher than comparred to rest of the nation (DFWHC, 2022). We are also less likely to experience criminal activity or violance when compared to the rest of the US.

For me, I believe I understand why Advanced Nursing Practices will aid in better serving my community. Instead of a nurse treating a patients symptoms, we do our best to treat the route cause or disease that is present. Lets say that a patient comes in with shortness of breath, in the ER I would treat them with albuterol and oxygenation. As an Advanced Practicing Nurse I would not only treat them, but seek to undertstand their healthcare climate

What are they lacking that makes them more likely to be sick? Is this a black women who lacks healthcare? Is she starting to develop some form of CHF from poor diet and exercsie? If she is able to get early and frequent enough treatment, can she live a longer and healthier life? What can I do to make this happen?

In the event I am able to figure out the route cause and a way to treat it. I would advocate and voice what needs to be done in order to prevent further decline. While I am only a floor nurse right now, this class will allow me the skills to advance to make the kind of decisions that will affect my community.