By Chris Pirschel, Staff Writer, and Alec Stone, ONS Public Affairs Director

Nurses Can Address Social Determinants for Patients

Through a combination of expert clinical knowledge, relationship-building skills, and routine selection as the most trusted profession in the United States, nurses are one of the most impactful healthcare professionals when it comes to addressing patient issues. Challenges—like financial toxicity and limited access to care—are central to nursing advocacy efforts, and oncology nurses know firsthand the negative impacts they have on patients with cancer.

With support from different interest groups like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nurses are making headway and tackling the social aspects affecting their patients’ health, but more support and resources are needed. Consider joining your voice to the ONS advocacy efforts and educating elected officials about the issues important to nurses—and the patients for whom they care.

Trauma Can Be a Real Concern in Nursing

Slowly, more news outlets, elected officials, and even other medical specialties are recognizing the strain that caregiving can place on an individual. Nurses are so intimately involved in the care of their patients that it’s almost impossible to remain unaffected by traumatic events. Self-care and healthy staffing ratios are two crucial aspects to help fight against trauma and nursing burnout.

ONS works diligently with elected officials at levels of government to convey the importance of safe staffing ratios for nurses. Overworked nurses and high patient-to-staff ratios can lead to burnout and compassion fatigue. Effect change in the professional and share your experiences through the ONS Center for Advocacy and Health Policy.

House Votes to Overturn Trump Obamacare Move

Pre-existing condition coverage is still a leading message in the healthcare conversation, one that many newly elected Democrats rode in the 2018 midterm election. On May 9, 2019, the House voted to overturn the Trump administration’s guidance on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), citing necessary means to protect people with pre-existing conditions from being left uninsured.

Not surprisingly, the vote registered along party lines with only four GOP members supporting the bill. The tug-of-war for ACA continues, and it will be interesting to see what’s on the horizon. As always, ONS will be front and center to advocate for access to high-quality, affordable care for patients with cancer.