The Unite States has a health care that is always changing. As nurses we need to be interested and updated with all changes that can be done to provide better health care to patients and also analyze the different trends that are occurring and might affect positive or negatively to the general population.
This chapter explains the major components of the American health system including public insurances, Veterans Administration Health Systems, Indian Health Service, the infrastructure and health information technology, health status and trends, access and cost of health, health status of the population, the new challenges fro the US Health Care System, the Health Care Reform and Opportunities and challenges for nurses.
This chapter relates to nurses directly, especially to people that are studying to be practitioners. We can participate to improve this health system that the best achievement it has is the capability to transform and make possible to reach higher standards of health care.
As I understand from the shown statistics we are behind in life expectancy and also cost per patient compared with other countries that have a system controlled by the government. Those statistics can be changed if we analyze the causes behind them. For example stress, obesity, and lack of exercise and poor control of their health condition cause many of the comorbidities in patients that cannot surpass the 65 years old.
It would be great to improve the bad statistics but we need to maintain the good ones on our way. For example according to one study in Lancet from 2007, American women have a 63% chance of surviving at least 5 years after a cancer diagnosis compared to 56% for European women. For American men, it’s 66% compared to 47% for European men (“5 things that make U.S. health care great”, 2017).
We need to maintain what we have achieved compared to other countries, and try to improve the system with goals that reflect our population, which is extremely diverse.
I am a nurse of the penitentiary system in Miami Florida. There is a lot that we can do as nurses especially as practitioners. We can do a lot of disease control and prevention from the time inmates are screened, which occurs when they enter the institution and have a medical encounter within the first week from their arrival. US institutions lack of medical personal to treat chronic diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, or hypertension.
I think that one of my goals as a nurse practitioner is going to be to increase the availability of communication between patients and me. This is going to make possible more prevention and further deterioration of their health status.