This essay focuses on Nurses as Change Agents in the Community.
In the chapter, “How Community-Based Organizations Are Addressing Nursing’s Role in Transforming Health Care,” the authors describe the community as the focus of advocacy action for change.
In the chapter, “How Community-Based Organizations Are Addressing Nursing’s Role in Transforming Health Care,” the authors describe the community as the focus of advocacy action for change. They list a series of questions that help community teams develop organizing principles to guide their interventions, and the aim is to attack social determinants of health to make community change. Suppose a community team identifies lack of access to exercise modalities as a public health issue. If the team were to determine that pedestrian walkways need to be constructed:
·Firstly, Discuss at least two factors that would facilitate the development of the walkways.
· Secondly, Discuss at least two factors that would hinder the development of the walkways.
Finally, Include in your discussions ways that the team might work to overcome those hindrances.
Other sections of the Community Tool Box have covered strategic planning. How should planning for advocacy be different?
The answer is that in many ways the process will be similar — but it’s even more important to do it thoroughly, and do it up front. That’s because advocacy:
Planning will help you find out ahead of time where the major difficulties may lie, and to avoid surprises (including those surprises that might make you look ineffective, clumsy, or stupid).
In addition, as with any project, planning will help you to:
If you don’t plan, you may waste valuable energy, miss some opportunities, perhaps even antagonize people you need to keep on your side.
Normally, planning your goals comes first–but you may have to change those plans if you find, as you plan further, that the tactics you were hoping to use aren’t legal, or won’t work. When you plan everything together–and ongoing–you can both build support and make adjustments as you go.
Your goal might be to close down a refinery that had been guilty of dumping toxic chemicals in the community. You find, when you check into the list of possible allies, that the economic impact of closure would be devastating to the community. So you adjust your goal to one that would change safety practices in the refinery and permit closer community oversight.
These might include many people in the community who depended on the refinery financially. And it would have been hard to win them back, after publicly coming out against their interests.
Planning is best done as a group activity. One way is to write up ideas on the chalkboard or on butcher paper. Then, after they’ve been debated, record the ideas you’ve chosen in a permanent place. The actual format of the plan is not important. What’s important is that you write it down in a form you can use, and that lets you check one part of the plan against the rest. A loose-leaf binder (or computer file) with separate sections for each category may be all you need.