The Healthcare Issue

May 15, 2008
By Megan Crawford, Crozet, VA

As a future nurse, I view our present healthcare crisis to be one of the most perplexing issues facing our nation today. To quote Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
On the one hand, I see the advancements in stem cell research and in the treatment of AIDS and cancer. On my own level, I have observed the expert treatment my own family has had at UVA. From the MRI (in less than one week after diagnosis!) and physical therapy obtained by my father for a torn rotator cuff, to the treatment and recovery of my brother who was faced with life-threatening Type I diabetes at the age of 19. On the other hand, I see 47 million people without health insurance, ER’s overrun with indigent patients who are being treated for everything from colds and flu to depression, and my boss, a doctor, treating a family of several children at once for free, because they have no money to pay her.

I am then compelled to ask myself, “As a future RN BSN, Nurse Practitioner or professor of Nursing at the University level, what role will I have in fixing the system?” For starters, my role as an educator of patients, colleagues and students would be of paramount importance. A better educated public would result in more preventative care and less need for acute care. While the managed care, pharmaceutical, and insurance industries appear to be the prime culprits in causing this dilemma, I would do my part in working with them (in whatever capacity), to insure better outcomes for my patients. Political activism and supporting the agendas of candidates that provides solutions rather than rhetoric will remain one of my priorities throughout my life.

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