Since it is the last week for the healthpolicy blog, I will finally post my interview. A couple students in our program and I interviewed Sara Marlow FNP, Public Health Nurse at the AANP Health Policy Conference in Washington DC. The reason we chose to interview her was during a conversation at lunch with Dr. Angela Golden, Immediate Past President of AANP who is from Arizona. Dr Golden suggested Sara Marlow because she was a 2015 Health Policy Fellow in Washington DC and serves on the Health Policy and Practice Committee for the California Association for Nurse Practitioners and ANA. She can be followed on twitter at @MissFNP. There were are few students who interviewed her so hopefully this interview is not repetitive for you. We asked her the following questions:
What characteristics are essential to influence change within the healthcare sector?
Passion and subject knowledge, people will seek you out if they know you are knowledgeable in a certain area. Being objective, professional and respective and understanding that not everyone has the same views.
What is the biggest proponent for change in healthcare?
NP’s in primary care is where healthcare is going. NP’s in primary care make sense and we need to education individuals about NP’s and what we do as well as the research that shows the impact of NP’s. The increasing numbers of NPs in leadership positions in various organizations.
Challenges when advocating for change?
Nurses face many challenges: public perception regarding what nurses in general do and the actual nurse practitioner role. The general public has a strong perception of nursing and views it as a trusting profession, but public perception still tends to view nurses as the “assistant” and cannot see us in a provider role.
Nursing organization tend to have less money than physicians (AMA) so nurses have less visibility then physicians.
Tips and tricks for being heard during healthcare/nursing advocacy?
Speak out-if you are passionate about something then take a stand. Start a healthcare policy group in your university or organization. Keep educated on current news and changes regarding NP issues
So based on Sara’s thought and this weeks topic of “Strategies for increasing consumer participation in the policy process” I think passion is key. Having excitement and passion about a health policy topic will help get our patients, the public, and consumers behind it. Additionally Sara likes to use social media such as twitter for topics she is passionate about. I think we need to use social media like Facebook, twitter, instagram to help get consumer participation. After the health policy conference I started following my local, state and national politicians on Facebook. I find this very helpful to see what they want and need support for. So for all those fellow students who don’t like social media, I think we will need to utilize it if we want a future in health policy. Social media is a way to get consumer participation.