Learning And Applying Structural Competency
How is our health affected by the society in which we live? Why are U.S. patients consistently among the sickest in the industrialized world, despite having the highest health expenditure per person? How has the investment of tens of billions of dollars in healthcare technology affected patients and the nursing profession? What hap- pens to health outcomes when traditional jobs go by the wayside and laws to protect workers and communities are rolled back?
This class introduces nurses to a new approach to healthcare — structural competency — a cutting edge model that addresses the interplay of biological and social factors affecting patients and communities. The course examines how new healthcare technologies accelerate the shift of care from hospitals to less costly care settings, like clinics and the home, and the effect this may have on the patient and family caregivers. It explains how the “Uberization” of nursing undermines the holistic nurse-patient relationship with deleterious effects for RNs and patients. The class concludes by discussing how nurses can apply structural competency to protect their patients, profession, and communities and heal the structural causes of poor health in the United States.