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Advocating for the Nursing Role in Program Design and Implementation

Advocating for the Nursing Role in Program Design and Implementation

Individuals experiencing health problems as a result of unhealthy living and poor lifestyle behaviors such as smoking are cared for by healthcare workers. Nurses, in particular, give patients discharge instructions to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, five days a week, but they fail to practice what they preach. Healthcare workers are more aware of the dangers of tobacco use than any other group or profession, yet they account for approximately 18.9 million cigarette smokers in the United States (NIH, 2016). Healthcare workers are predisposed to health risks due to the nature of their jobs, and poor lifestyle choices have continued to increase the rate of obesity, chronic pain, and poor general health. As a result, healthcare facilities and healthcare workers must collaborate to develop programs to reduce the prevalence of health problems among various healthcare workers. This paper will discuss a healthcare program for employees that I initiated and implemented in my practice. The Program’s cost and projected outcome, as well as nurses’ roles in its design and implementation, will be thoroughly discussed.

A Healthcare Program in My Office

The DMCfit is a healthcare program in my practice. Doctors Medical Center’s (DMC) program encourages employees to focus on healthy living. This Program is a monthly challenge with 35 teams competing against each other and over 330 employees participating. This Program is divided into several sections, including a weight loss challenge or DMCfit Biggest Loser, the most walker, and the most lifestyle changer. People are encouraged to make lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and drinking alcohol or to track their steps with a Fitbit and report steps completed by the end of the month. The most entertaining is the Biggest Loser of the Month, in which we recorded someone losing 140 pounds in a month.

Population Targeted

Employees are not charged for this Program, but the facility incurs costs for resources such as a gym center. The goal is to promote healthy living and reduce or eliminate health risks associated with obesity, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and other lifestyle choices.

Employees are the intended audience. This Program is organized by many Tenet hospitals in California. Participants are extremely motivated and encourage themselves not to give up. At the start of the year 2020, the total weight of all participants was 62,330.80 pounds, and by the midpoint of the year, the group’s total weight was 60,447.90 pounds, representing a staggering 3.02% weight loss (DMC, 2019). The biggest male and female losers, as well as the top three team losers, receive cash prizes.

The Nurse’s Role in Providing Input

Nurses play an important role in this Program, from program design to recommendations and teaching ancillary employees strategies to lose weight without jeopardizing their health, weighing them weekly, and reinforcing nutritional education. The weight of each participant must be weighed by a nurse in each participating facility and reported to the coordinator on a weekly basis.

My Function in the Healthcare Program

As a nurse, I advocate for the Program by encouraging employees at my facility to sign up and participate. We began counting our steps, making us move a lot, frequent patient rounds, and any other activities that would get us moving. We are proud to announce how many steps we took for the shift at the end of the shift. Because of the pandemic, I’ve also set up a mini-gym at home, and I’ve continued to encourage my coworkers to do the same. This challenge’s education goal is for each participant to educate at least one employee on a healthy living topic within 61 days. This is one-way nurses can influence change, according to Laureate Education (n.d.).

Nurses are better positioned to contribute to healthcare program implementation because they have the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to lead the transformative changes that are taking place in the healthcare system (NIH 2017). Nurses are capable of coordinating care from multiple providers and for patients with a variety of care needs. Informatics and Telehealth have created new opportunities for nurses to serve as health coaches, educate patients on healthier lifestyle choices, and promote their lives and well-being. Nurses, for example, can remotely monitor patients who have been sent home with medical devices and give caregivers instructions on how to assist and care for them. This makes it easier for patients to return home after a medical procedure or treatment.

Members of the Healthcare Team

The healthcare system cannot operate in a vacuum. As a result, each member of the healthcare team is critical to the successful implementation of a healthcare program. The directors, as well as the utilization board, play critical roles in decision-making. Nurses play critical roles in the smooth transition and implementation of healthcare programs, as well as instinctively advocating for their patients (ANA, n.d). We collaborate with other team members. Nursing is an interdisciplinary profession, and success is always the result of a collaborative effort.


More programs, such as DMCfit, should be promoted to help caregivers care for themselves. Healthcare workers provide care for the sick but do not prioritize their own health. Most of them lack sleep as a result of working night shifts, while others work 12-hour days without rest. They educate patients on the importance of quitting smoking, but they continue to smoke despite knowing the health risks. Exercise can help prevent a variety of health problems and should be encouraged in all forms.


American Nurses Association. (n.d). Advocacy. Retrieved July 23, 2020, from https://www.nurs

Doctors Medical Center. (2019). Doctor Medical Center Hits Midpoint of Biggest Loser Challenge. Retrieved July 23, 2020, from https://www.dmc- doctors-medical-center-hits-midpoint-of- biggest-loser-challenge

Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Getting your Program Designed and Implemented [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

National Institute of Health. (2017). Healthcare Transformation and Challenging Roles for Nursing. Retrieved July 23, 2020, from C5266427/ National Institute of Health. (2016). Cigarette Smoking Prevalence Among Adults Working in the Health Care and Social Assistance Sector from 2018 to 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2020, from

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When politics and medical science intersect, there can be much debate. Sometimes anecdotes or hearsay are misused as evidence to support a particular point. Despite these and other challenges, however, evidence-based approaches are increasingly used to inform health policy decision-making regarding causes of disease, intervention strategies, and issues impacting society. One example is the introduction of childhood vaccinations and the use of evidence-based arguments surrounding their safety.

Advocating for the Nursing Role in Program Design and Implementation

Advocating for the Nursing Role in Program Design and Implementation

In this Discussion, you will identify a recently proposed health policy and share your analysis of the evidence in support of this policy.

Post a description of the health policy you selected and a brief background for the problem or issue being addressed. Which social determinant most affects this policy? Explain whether you believe there is an evidence base to support the proposed policy and explain why. Be specific and provide examples.

To Prepare:

  • Review the Congress website provided in the Resources and identify one recent (within the past 5 years) proposed health policy.
  • Review the health policy you identified and reflect on the background and development of this health policy.

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