Social justice is the equal access to wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. (Pachamama.org) Everyone should be treated equally regardless of race, gender, religion, possessions, etc. We as nurses have an advocacy role to promote social justice.
One group of people suffering from social injustice would-be low-income families. Many Government policies drive up consumer prices, such as food and energy, which disproportionately hurt the poor, or create artificial obstacles to jobs. (heritage.org) Since food is a necessity and energy is essential, people live without medical or dental insurance to pay for food or higher energy cost. Education is also costly which makes it difficult for the children of lower income families to get a good education and a higher paying job.
We all know that healthcare can be very costly. The American healthcare system is both a source of national pride-if one has an expensive and adequate health insurance package or the money, it certainly is possible to get the finest medical/technological care in the world-and a source of deep embarrassment-those who are poor or uninsured may be wanting for care as people with a low family income do not have consistent health insurance. (Spector, 2017, P.133) Wealthier people are living longer than the poor because they have means to a better health.
Advocacy is a big part of nursing. In their communities, nurses advocate for the needs of patients and their families by using their expertise to persuade those in positions of authority regarding economic matters, as well as issues in the educational and health care systems. (nursing.usc.edu) We want what is best for all patients and we want everyone to have equal and fair opportunity.
It is important that the nurse interview and assess the patients for signs of need. We can assist our patients with finding the resources they need. The nurse can also provide essential information and education so that patients can make better choices.
Social justice in a nutshell is having equality for every individual. Many people fall under social injustice. Many of these people are low income people. We as nurses are obligated to take on the role to promote social justice for all our patients.
- https://www.heritage.org/poverty-and-inequality/report/big-government-policies-hurt-the- poor-and-how-address-them
- Spector, R. E. (2017). Cultural diversity in health and illness (9th edition ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.