NR 506 Key Communication Strategies for Policy Advocacy
NR 506 Key Communication Strategies for Policy Advocacy
In Georgia, undocumented immigrants can only receive emergency healthcare services at a hospital ER or limited healthcare services from state approved community health centers. Undocumented immigrants in Georgia rarely access these health services because Georgia law enforcement agencies have begun to enforce the “show me your papers” clause under Georgia’s central immigration law. Under this law, the deportation of sick undocumented immigrants is also allowed. My public policy proposes a standard delivery of equitable health care services for all undocumented immigrants. The policy will also include a provision that blocks medical deportation. The policy maker I contacted is State Representative Sharon Cooper, chairperson Health and Human Services Committee. I am waiting for the secretary to get back to me about my request to meet with Representative Cooper. My plan for the visit is to inform Representative Cooper about my policy suggestion in a succinct manner and use a PowerPoint as a visual aid. I must look and sound professional, as well as use listening skills. At the end of the presentation, I will leave Rep. Cooper with a one-page fact sheet that sums up my main points. After a few days, I will follow up and send her a thank you email.
Communication strategies and analysis of empirical evidence
President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Be sincere; be brief, be seated.” My main communication strategy is to keep my verbal presentation “short and simple” (Schraufnagel, 2013). My aim is to evoke empathy for undocumented immigrants without using mind-numbing fancy words and big data. I will have a limited time frame to present my ideas and must fight the compulsion to overwhelm my audience with too much information. I will make sure to leave five minutes to address Representative Cooper’s reaction and questions. I do not want to exceed my time unless Representative Cooper chooses to extend our meeting. The use visual aids, such as charts and graphs, validate the details of my proposal and boosts my professional image (Dahiya and Nitu, 2017). My PowerPoint will serve as a guide not as the presentation itself (Dahiya and Nitu, 2017). Using PowerPoint is common and can be effective if I do not crowd the slides with statistics and clip art. A short handout and pamphlet are also effective. They will be used to illustrate my key points, and my policymaker can refer to them later when she reflects on our meeting.
Speaking the right language is important when conveying my message, I must have a firm understanding of political jargon and define any nursing terms that may confuse my audience. A communication skill that is often overlooked is listening, which I will skillfully use by posing rhetorical questions I intend my audience to answer. By listening, nurses can assess the legislator’s non-verbal cues and gain a clearer understanding of the policymaker’s agenda. It is the communication skill that shows policy makers their opinions are valued and respected (Kourkouta and Papathanasiou, 2014). Successful nursing presenters will find ways to involve policymakers in the presentation. Getting Rep. Cooper engaged depends on my ability to regulate my non-verbal cues by maintaining eye contact, steadying my tone of voice, and controlling my facial expressions. If I appear inviting and sincere, she will feel comfortable presenting her points, which opens the floor to meaningful discourse and hopefully some resolution.
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Importance of successful nursing presentations
Reaching nursing health policy goals depends on how well nurses and nursing organizations advocate to policy makers (Catallo et al., 2014). Good presentation and communication skills lead the way for nurses to be more effective and to positively impact the nursing and public health communities (Catallo et al., 2014). When nurses are successful in making political presentations, nurses “bridge the gap” between the policy process and how nurses view their roles (Catallo et al., 2014). Successful nursing presentations inspire nurses to learn more about the political process and challenge them to want to do more. Nurses become more than just patient providers as they gain a clearer understanding of their role in shaping the future of nursing. Additionally, nurses gain skills that are not typically associated with the profession. They become seasoned public speakers and grow as leaders who are called upon to use their field expertise and communication skills to lead other nurses, advocate for nursing organizations, and network with legislators. Lastly, nurses are better prepared to evolve into non-practitioner leadership roles and can pick which health related field they want to transition into. Nurses’ influence in the political process protects patients, improves the quality of care, and facilitates access to legislators who have the power to pass public health policies (Arabi et al., 2014).
In summary my key points of communication are to engage with my policy maker, make an effective use of voice and
tone to control my nerves and appear confident, use PowerPoint and a handout sheet as visual aids, and be aware of my non-verbal communication when I answer questions or am confronted with interruptions. Politicians are used to creating and listening to presentations, so I want to make sure that I design my message in a format my legislator is used to. The communication areas that I will rely on are verbal presentation and visual aids. Both of these elements leave a lasting impression and make a difference on whether my legislator supports my policy-priority issue. My success depends on how well I plan before I meet my legislator, which includes knowing her position on my issue. My goal is to get Rep. Cooper thinking about undocumented immigrants as humans and fellow Georgians, not as illegal aliens and criminals.
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