Role of Nurses in Healthcare System Coursework

In the recent past, there have been many turns in the politics of the U.S. healthcare system. Earlier regimes focused on providing a health insurance cover, through the Medicaid and Medicare programs, which extended coverage to include the , who formed the majority of the uninsured. Essentially, the politics of the healthcare reform revolve around three key issues viz. containing the rising costs, expanding coverage, and addressing the quality of care provided (Oberlander, 2003, p. 214). In particular, issues such as the sharp rise in prescription drug costs and premiums, as well as increases in the number of uninsured people, shape the politics of the U.S. healthcare system.

Of particular concern in healthcare, politics is the competence of the Medicare program, about prescription drugs. Expanded coverage as provided under the Medicare program, to include prescription drugs and the uninsured, remains one of the unsettled issues in the U.S. healthcare system (Oberlander, 2003, p. 217). In my opinion, the current regimes efforts to expand the coverage in these two aspects will improve the current healthcare system. In addition, providing subsidies to private health plan providers will attract more providers into the Medicare market, which will help in the expansion of coverage. It will improve the level of competitiveness that will lead to high-quality care.

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In my view, the current Medicare reform efforts involving the expansion of coverage to achieve universal healthcare coverage to all citizens are achievable. Although the issue of the financing system of such a program raises much public debate, in my opinion, through government regulation and subsidies, the funds can be generated. Through the regulation of the prices of pharmaceutical products, the price of prescriptive drugs will drop. Additionally, by issuing subsidies to new entrants into the healthcare market, the funds can be made available to sustain the Medicare reform program.

Nurses have the responsibility to exercise discretion in their clinical decisions and take appropriate treatment actions depending on the patients condition. The nursing role has increased in importance covering many areas of medical specialties. However, the need to enhance accountability in the nursing profession has led to many lawsuits over malpractice. In the case study, the defendant nurse failed to ensure an immediate admission of the woman pregnant with twins. As a result, one of the twins suffered partial paralysis and spasticity (Laska, 2008, Para. 2) due to by premature birth. The failure by the nurse to notify the physician over the womans condition on time, in my view, amounts to professional negligence, which has legal and professional implications.

Nurses play a decisive role in providing healthcare in various clinical settings. In particular, the nurses often establish close patient relationships compared to the other health care practitioners. Their responsibilities range from drug administration, patient assessment, and provision of patient therapeutic and care measures. Each of these tasks carries with it potential risks in terms of personal injury or financial loss through lawsuits. Considering the stringent professional codes of ethics and legislations affecting the nursing practice, in my opinion, professional liability insurance is essential. Issues of negligence or medical errors have legal and professional implications. A nurse may incur enormous financial losses over a medical error in the administration of a given medication. Under these circumstances, professional insurance will help pay settlements reached in case the nurse is found guilty of the offense. In addition, professional insurance can for medical bills for injuries sustained in the course of duty.

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