Societal justice and critical reflection are the fundamental concepts underlying community activism. The former refers to the unbiased distribution of resources for a prolific and fulfilling lifestyle (Reichlin et al., 2019). For instance, through campaigns and demonstrations, nurses, practitioners and the general community would be able to advocate the cause of providing adequate medical amenities.
Critical reflection boosts one’s understanding of the resident community’s issues (such as inadequate staffing) as well as those of others across the globe. Through this approach, the management and staff members would be able to devise long-term resolutions that ensure adequate staffing in the present and future (Reichlin et al., 2019). For example, pursuing suitable programs at academic institutions can steer students in the direction of the healthcare industry.
Paying attention and keeping up with the trends in the tobacco industry is vital. This effort helps the advanced practice nurses to engage in community activism for preventing the negative health impacts associated with Big Tobacco in their respective societies (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017). As a result, the nurses would be in a position to enlighten the community members on addictiveness and diseases (such as lung cancer) associated with the increased consumption of tobacco products.
Organizing programs to campaign against smoking is an essential stratagem that would aid nurses in educating the public on why tobacco control policy measures such as higher taxes are needed to ensure reduced consumption. With this tactic, nurses could participate in community activism to curb any further ill effects arising from the use of Big Tobacco (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017). Moreover, holding seminars that counsel smokers and non-smokers, especially the youth, to remain vigilant against industry-instigated efforts would be essential in discouraging the consumption of tobacco products.
Reichlin, R., Peltier, M., Raether, E., & Polonsky, S. (2019). Nursing curriculum through a social justice lens: An upstream approach. Public Health Nursing, 36(3), 422-428.
Salmond, S. W., & Echevarria, M. (2017). Healthcare transformation and changing roles for nursing. Orthopedic Nursing, 36(1), 12-25.
Modern society faces numerous problems that have adverse effects on the overall well-being of a community. Community activism involves social movements that are designed to help raise awareness on issues that society could be facing. Therefore, community activism encompasses the actions taken by a group of individuals to help educate the public on matters related to health, economy, and politics (Messias, 2017). The activities undertaken by community activist groups are known as grassroots actions. One of the main issues facing the United States is the rising levels of tobacco use. Tobacco is a highly addictive drug that contributes to a wide range of health problems including cancer, pregnancy problems in women, and impotence in men. Despite the well-known adverse effects of smoking, tobacco companies still continue to flourish in the business.
Big Tobacco is a term used to refer to the largest tobacco firms in the United States. They include Altria, RJR, and Lorillard. These companies are well-established and shutting them down seems like an almost impossible task; they have lobbyists and lawyers that work hard to ensure that their clients remain profitable (Branston & Sweanor, 2016). Therefore, nurses should step up and take action against the growing use of tobacco in the United States. Nurses make up the largest proportion of healthcare workers. Additionally, they are also in direct contact with patients in different settings. Therefore, nurses can educate the public on the adverse effects of smoking tobacco and help stem the widespread smoking culture (Wolfson, 2017). If the masses are well-educated on the side effects of smoking, they will cease to use tobacco products, thus condemning Big Tobacco out of business.
Branston, J. R., & Sweanor, D. (2016). Big tobacco, e-cigarettes, and a road to the smoking endgame. International Journal of Drug Policy, 29(1), 14-18. doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.12.023
Messias, D. K. (2017). An introduction to community activism. Retrieved from https://nursekey.com/an-introduction-to-community-activism/
Wolfson, M. (2017). The fight against big tobacco: The movement, the state and the public’s health. Abingdon, UK: Routledge Publishers.