Benchmark-Policy Brief Paper
Policies at state and federal levels are essential in enhancing overall health status of different health populations. The American Public Health Association (APHA) (2022) demonstrates through its website different issues emanating from the environment leading to climate change like air pollution. These environmental issues are public health concerns because of their significant negative effects on health population based on their cost burden and impact on quality care. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the impact of air pollution as a public health issues, evaluate current policies on the issue, and recommend changes in policy to mitigate its occurrence.
Description of the Issue: Air Pollution
Pollution, especially air pollution, is a public health concern because of its effects on vulnerable and susceptible populations like children and those suffering from respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. The American Public Health Association (APHA) (2022b) asserts that air pollution is a leading cause of climate change which is related to significant health problems among diverse populations. A rise in dangerous air pollutants and particulate matter in the atmosphere promotes the emergence and development of respiratory conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung disease (Amann et al., 2020). Long term exposure to air pollution also leads to increased prevalence of heart conditions, and cancers.
Focusing on the diverse populations that are impacted by air pollution, the American Public Health Association (APHA) asserts that children, individuals with weakened immunity and those already suffering from asthma and the different conditions associated with the issue are the most affected. The World Health Organization asserts that close to 93% of children under 15 years are affected because of breathing contaminated air (APHA, 2022). This situation places their health and developmental growth at an elevated dangerous risk. The high vulnerability and susceptibility of children is due to their growing lungs and also because they breathe a lot of air as they engage in high levels of activity. Studies show that children get affected by air pollution even before birth which may lead to preterm births, defects, and infants who have a weak immune system and thus susceptible to asthma and other respiratory conditions.
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Benchmark – Policy Brief assignment
The benchmark assesses the following competencies:
1.4 Participate in health care policy development to influence nursing practice and health care.
Research public health issues on the “Climate Change” or “Topics and Issues” pages of the American Public Health Association (APHA) website. Investigate a public health issue related to an environmental
issue within the U.S. health care delivery system and examine its effect on a specific population.
Write a 750-1,000-word policy brief that summarizes the issue, explains the effect on the population, and proposes a solution to the issue.
Follow this outline when writing the policy brief:
1. Describe the policy health issue. Include the following information: (a) what population is affected, (b) at what level does it occur (local, state, or national), and (c) evidence about the issues supported by resources.
2. Create a problem statement.
3. Provide suggestions for addressing the health issue caused by the current policy. Describe what steps are required to initiate policy change. Include necessary stakeholders (government officials, administrator) and budget or funding considerations, if applicable.
4. Discuss the impact on the health care delivery system.
Include four peer-reviewed sources and two other sources to support the policy brief.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, An abstract/thesis is required. Benchmark – Policy Brief assignment
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Course Materials if you need assistance.
Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
The benchmark assesses the following competencies:
1.4 Participate in health care policy development to influence nursing practice and health care.
Climate change is currently considered a public health emergency. Every community experiences the impact of climate change particularly air pollution. The nursing profession can influence the development and induction of environmental policies to improve the delivery of health care services in the national health care system. For instance, air pollution is an international issue of concern. It affects how the weather and climate are experienced in different places on various types of people (Benjamin, 2016). This paper determines the issues in the environmental healthcare policies, their impacts, and possible solutions of different types of people and communities.
The health effects of climate change are so varied. They range from the enhanced weather conditions, asthma attacks, cardiovascular diseases, heat, and storms that come as a result of ozone degradation. These outcomes are adverse, consequently, active and relevant health organizations are advocating for the support and implementation of the Climate Action Now Act. The policy ensures that the country follows the guidelines and scientific targets of the Paris agreement (Friel, 2019). It also determines ways and strategies of achieving the targets and safeguarding public health from the harmful effects of climate change.
The health issue affects people from all walks of life. Increased adverse outcomes affect how people access health care services. Extreme heat and storms affect all people in the country, rich or poor, children, adults, women, and teenagers. However, the less advantaged members of the society are more affected than the privileged members. They face real and first-hand health challenges as the threats are scientifically determined and are not hypothetical. According to Johnson and Lichtveld (2017), the vulnerable populations bear the health burden of adverse climate change. Moreover, infants, children, low-income parts of the community, pregnant women, people living with disabilities and chronic illnesses, face greater risk and impact of climate change and weather changes. A change in air quality leads to air pollution. As a result, ozone layer-related morbidity and mortality sets in together with other negative health conditions.
The issue of air pollution emanates from different sources. Coal and gas are fossil fuels; they release harmful emissions when they are utilized. The outcome makes the air less healthy to breathe and live in. Elevated temperatures can lead to harmful allergens and air pollutants. For example, heat and warmer seasons lead to prolonged pollen seasons resulting in increased asthmatic episodes and allergic reactions. The outcome, therefore, means reduced working and production time and school days (Tian & Sun, 2017).
Suggestions to Address the Health Issue
Early, deliberate and responsible actions help safeguard the health and safety of the people. Measures help reduce future climate change impacts and address the current effects for greater health benefits. Strong climate-health adaptation and preparedness programs help decrease the emission of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. People should adopt active means of transport like using bikes or walking instead of cars and machines. The strategy can help reduce air pollution resulting from traffic and encourage physical activity. The step can also help individuals avoid lifestyle conditions like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases (Wang, 2020).
Some stakeholders and agencies promote safe environmental conditions through monitoring and tracking initiatives. The U.S environmental protection agency uses the air quality index to educate and help the public quickly learn unhealthy levels of poor air quality. The strategy guides vulnerable individuals to reduce exposure when carrying out their outdoor activities. The agency also seeks to protect citizens from diesel exhaust emissions from trucks, trains, and marine engines which produce carcinogenic products to humans.
Steps to Initiate Policy Change
Policy development is a major way to improve the health outcomes of a population. Nursing and public health professionals are instrumental in the development of the public policy process. The first step is problem identification. On air pollution, the stakeholders should collect and summarize relevant information on the effects on public health and the general population. Further, they should identify the characteristics, severity, scope, and budgetary implications of the problem or issue at hand. They should then package the issue that presents itself as a potential policy solution (Tian & Sun, 2017).
The policy analysis encompasses research and identification of policy options to address the issue. It assesses the morbidity and mortality impact, the economic and budgetary impact of the policy, and the political factors associated with the implementation of the policy. Then, the stakeholders such as the government will identify how the policy will operate through strategy and development. It also identifies what is needed to enact the policy and understand its jurisdiction. Lastly, the policy is enacted and implemented through appropriate procedures and administrative actions. The process is also monitored for action and uptake for recommendations and further directives.
Impact on Health Care Delivery System
Air pollution has negative effects on individual human health. It restricts people from performing outdoor activities like physical exercise, increased emergency room visits for asthmatic attack episodes, and more hospitalizations as a result of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The effects can lead to early mortality and disability, which signifies huge economic costs on the health care system (Friel, 2019).
There are increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits in community hospitals due to a lack of compliance to the federal standards and ozone layer recommendations. These admissions have resulted in the huge payment of hospital bills by private insurance companies and state insurers. Overall, the insurance cost for patients increased to more than $2,015,880 over environmentally preventable diseases. Increased admission of patients would also lead to increased demand for the health care workforce. This phenomenon strains the current supply of limited human resources and consequently leads to the delivery of poor quality services (Wang, 2020).
The impact of climate change on human health is real and detrimental. Air pollution is a major health determinant in the health care system. Authorities should develop policies in collaboration with health care providers to provide steps towards amicable solutions. Additionally, stakeholders should be involved to initiate steps for policy development and change to experience quality public and environmental health.
BENJAMIN, G. C. (2016). Shelter in the storm: Health care systems and climate change. The Milbank Quarterly, 94(1), 18-22. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0009.12174
Friel, S. (2019). Climate change, global justice, and health inequities. Climate Change and the People’s Health, 1-56. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190492731.003.0001
Johnson, B. L., & Lichtveld, M. Y. (2017). Steps in environmental health Policymaking. Environmental Policy and Public Health, 25-50. https://doi.org/10.1201/9781351228473-2
Tian, L., & Sun, S. (2017). Comparison of health impact of air pollution between China and other countries. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 215-232. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-5657-4_9
Wang, J. (2020). Climate-smart health care: The power of health care action on air pollution and climate change. European Journal of Public Health, 30(Supplement_5). https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckaa165.299
SAMPLE 2 Benchmark – Policy Brief assignment
Climate change is a major public health emergency. The impacts of climate change; especially air pollution have been felt across the United States and globally (Akasha et al., 2021). The nursing profession plays an instrumental role in influencing the formulation and initiation of environmental policies to mitigate the impacts of climate change and enhance the provision of healthcare services in the healthcare system. Climate change affects health in various ways including extreme weather conditions, heat, cardiovascular conditions, asthma attacks, storms, and other catastrophes that emanate from ozone deprivation (Akasha et al., 2021). The effects of climate change are dire and there is a need to advocate for appropriate policies to address the issue. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the issue of climate change, explain its effects on the population, and propose a solution to deal with climate change.
Climate change affects everyone. In the health care system, the increased negative outcomes due to climate change impact the accessibility of health care services (Kinney, 2018). For instance, catastrophic events such as storms affect people alike. However, the economically disadvantaged people in society are affected the most compared to the economically privileged people. The vulnerable population experiences the most burden of climate change. In addition, the other groups in the society that are likely to be adversely impacted by climate change include pregnant women, infants, children, people living with chronic conditions, people living with disabilities, and rural dwellers who have no access to better health facilities.
A shift in the quality of air causes air pollution, which is attributed to high rates of mortality and morbidity alongside adverse health conditions associated with ozone layer deprivation (Urrutia-Pereira et al., 2021). Air pollution originates from various sources such as fossil fuels, which produce toxic emissions when used. These emissions make the air unhealthy to breathe and support life. High temperatures can cause air pollutants and lethal allergens (Akasha et al., 2021). For instance, hot seasons can cause protracted pollen season, which causes allergic reactions and more episodes of asthma. In turn, the victims may face economic challenges due to loss of productivity.
Suggestions to Address the Climate Change
Mitigating climate change is crucial in ensuring the good health and safety of people. Adoption of timely, planned, and responsible actions on climate change are necessary for lowering the adverse impacts of climate change in the future and enhancing the well-being of individuals. The first recommendation in addressing climate change is the adoption of sound climate-health adaptation and climate change awareness initiatives (Kinney, 2018). These initiatives are vital in reducing the release of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide gases that absorbs heat in the atmosphere. Additionally, individuals should avoid excessive use of machines and cars that emits carbon gases and resort to active modes of transport such as walking or riding bicycles. This strategy is crucial in mitigating air pollution and inspires healthy lifestyle changes involving physical activity, which is critical in addressing lifestyle conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity.
Stakeholders play a vital role in climate change initiatives including the promotion of safe environmental conditions by screening and trailing climate change programs (Al-Delaimy et al., 2020). For instance, the U.S environmental protection agency tracks the quality of air and uses the information to create public awareness of detrimental levels of poor quality of air. This information is important in guiding susceptible individuals to minimize exposure when in public places. The agency also safeguards individuals from diesel exhausts from machines, which generate carcinogenic products for the public.
Steps in Initiating Policy Change
The policy is an effective way to address climate change. Nurses are influential in formulating policy to advocate for public wellbeing. The initial step in policy change is the recognition of the issue. Stakeholders should gather appropriate information about the effects of climate change and air pollution on health. Other information that is collected includes the scope, features, and seriousness of climate change. Consequently, this information should be integrated and presented for analysis (Al-Delaimy et al., 2020). The next step is policy analysis which entails research and recognition of policy alternatives to address climate change. Policy analysis examines various factors including budgetary impacts, economic impacts, and political factors that might emanate from policy implementation (Al-Delaimy et al., 2020). The next step is determining strategies for formulating and operating the policy. The final step is the enactment and implementation of the policy based on proper administrative actions and procedures.
Impact on Health Care Delivery System
Air pollution, which is traced to climate change, is associated with adverse health effects. It increases episodes of asthma attacks leading to more emergency room visits. It also leads to a high rate of hospitalization due to heart and respiratory diseases and also limits open-air activities such as physical activity (Wang, 2020). The effects are attributed to premature morbidity and mortality and heavy cost of care as well. Increased hospitalization and emergency room visits imply increased demand for health care providers (Wang, 2020). As a result, the existing workforce is likely to be overwhelmed and suffer fatigue and burnout.
Climate change is real and its effects on the public are extremely damaging. Air pollution is a serious health concern that is associated with many adverse effects on health. Relevant stakeholders such as the government and responsible agencies should partner with healthcare providers to formulate appropriate policies to address these issues and ensure lasting solutions.
Akasha, H., Ghaffarpasand, O., & Pope, F. (2021). Climate change and air pollution. https://opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/handle/20.500.12413/16600
Al-Delaimy, W., Ramanathan, V., & Sánchez Sorondo, M. (2020). The health of people, the health of the planet, and our responsibility: Climate change, air pollution, and health (p. 419). Springer Nature.
Kinney, P. L. (2018). Interactions of climate change, air pollution, and human health. Current environmental health reports, 5(1), 179-186. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40572-018-0188-x
Urrutia-Pereira, M., Guidos-Fogelbach, G., & Solé, D. (2021). Climate changes, air pollution, and allergic diseases in childhood and adolescence. Jornal de pediatria. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jped.2021.10.005
Wang, J. (2020). Climate-smart health care: the power of health care action on air pollution and climate change. European Journal of Public Health, 30(Supplement_5), ckaa165-299. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckaa165.299
Benchmark – Policy Brief assignment
Course Code Class Code Assignment Title Total Points
NRS-428VN NRS-428VN-O503 Benchmark – Policy Brief 120.0
Criteria Percentage Unsatisfactory (0.00%) Less Than Satisfactory (80.00%) Satisfactory (88.00%) Good (92.00%) Excellent (100.00%)
Description of Policy Health Issue 20.0% Description of the policy issue is omitted. An incomplete description of the policy issue is presented. The origin of this policy is unclear. There is no evidence that this policy creates a health issue, or that it is an issue for the population selected. The level at which the issue occurs has not been identified. There are major inaccuracies. A description of the policy issue is summarized. The origin of the policy is described, but it is unclear why the policy creates a health issue for the population selected. The level at which the issue occurs is identified. There are some inaccuracies. More information and rationale are needed. A general description of the policy issue is presented.
The origin of the policy is described and a correlation between the policy and the health issue for the population selected is established. The level at which this occurs is discussed. Some rationale or detail is needed for clarity. A detailed description of the policy issue is presented. The origin of the policy is described and a strong correlation between the policy and the health issue for the population selected is established. The level at which this occurs is discussed. Strong rationale and evidence are offered for support. Insight into the policy health issue is demonstrated.
Problem Statement 20.0% A problem statement is not included. A problem statement is present but lacks detail or is incomplete. Subject knowledge is unclear or inconsistent. A problem statement is present. Some subject knowledge is evident.r A problem statement is included, and subject knowledge is competent. A problem statement is thoroughly developed with supporting details.
Suggestions for Addressing the Policy Health Issue (C 1.4 Participate in health care policy development to influence nursing practice and health care.) 20.0% Suggestions for addressing the policy health issue are not included. Suggestions for addressing the policy health issue are incomplete. Suggestions do not include all assignment criteria. The suggestions do not support policy change for the policy health issue. Suggestions for addressing the issue are present. Some subject knowledge is evident. Most assignment criteria are met. The suggestions generally outline steps for policy change. More information or evidence is needed. Suggestions for addressing the issue are present, and subject knowledge is competent. All assignment criteria are met. The suggestions outline steps for policy change. Minor detail is needed for clarity. Suggestions for addressing the issue are thoroughly developed with supporting details. All assignment criteria are met and well-supported. The suggestions are well-supported and offer clear steps for initiating policy change.
Impact on Health Care Delivery System 20.0% A discussion on the impact on the health care delivery system is not included. A discussion on the impact on the health care delivery system is present but lacks detail or is incomplete. Subject knowledge is unclear or inconsistent. A discussion on the impact on the health care delivery system is present. Some subject knowledge is evident. A discussion on the impact on the health care delivery system is present, and subject knowledge is competent. A discussion on the impact on the health care delivery system is thoroughly developed with supporting details.
Organization, Effectiveness, and Format 20.0%
Thesis Development and Purpose 5.0% Paper lacks any discernible overall purpose or organizing claim. Thesis is insufficiently developed or vague. Purpose is not clear. Thesis is apparent and appropriate to purpose. Thesis is clear and forecasts the development of the paper. Thesis is descriptive and reflective of the arguments and appropriate to the purpose. Thesis is comprehensive and contains the essence of the paper. Thesis statement makes the purpose of the paper clear.
Argument Logic and Construction 5.0% Statement of purpose is not justified by the conclusion. The conclusion does not support the claim made. Argument is incoherent and uses noncredible sources. Sufficient justification of claims is lacking. Argument lacks consistent unity. There are obvious flaws in the logic. Some sources have questionable credibility. Argument is orderly but may have a few inconsistencies. The argument presents minimal justification of claims. Argument logically, but not thoroughly, supports the purpose. Sources used are credible. Introduction and conclusion bracket the thesis. Argument shows logical progression. Techniques of argumentation are evident. There is a smooth progression of claims from introduction to conclusion. Most sources are authoritative. Clear and convincing argument presents a persuasive claim in a distinctive and compelling manner. All sources are authoritative.
Mechanics of Writing (includes spelling, punctuation, grammar, language use) 5.0% Surface errors are pervasive enough that they impede communication of meaning. Inappropriate word choice or sentence construction is used. Frequent and repetitive mechanical errors distract the reader. Inconsistencies in language choice (register) or word choice are present. Sentence structure is correct but not varied. Some mechanical errors or typos are present, but they are not overly distracting to the reader. Correct and varied sentence structure and audience-appropriate language are employed. Prose is largely free of mechanical errors, although a few may be present. The writer uses a variety of effective sentence structures and figures of speech. Writer is clearly in command of standard, written, academic English.
Paper Format (use of appropriate style for the major and assignment) 2.0% Template is not used appropriately, or documentation format is rarely followed correctly. Appropriate template is used, but some elements are missing or mistaken. A lack of control with formatting is apparent. Appropriate template is used. Formatting is correct, although some minor errors may be present. Appropriate template is fully used. There are virtually no errors in formatting style. All format elements are correct.
Documentation of Sources (citations, footnotes, references, bibliography, etc., as appropriate to assignment and style) 3.0% Sources are not documented. Documentation of sources is inconsistent or incorrect, as appropriate to assignment and style, with numerous formatting errors. Sources are documented, as appropriate to assignment and style, although some formatting errors may be present. Sources are documented, as appropriate to assignment and style, and format is mostly correct. Sources are completely and correctly documented, as appropriate to assignment and style, and format is free of error.
The story of the worldwide attempt to eliminate smallpox demonstrates the importance of geopolitical and phenomenological issues in the context of population or community assessment and action. The geopolitical issue of international collaboration was critical in the case of smallpox eradication. In 1958, the Soviet Union suggested an eradication effort, and the World Health Organization (WHO) managed the vaccine program. This demonstrates the importance of geopolitical elements such as international collaboration and political will in addressing global health concerns. The elimination of smallpox would not have been achieved without the combined efforts of numerous nations and the coordination provided by the WHO (Berezow, 2020).
Furthermore, the decision to select smallpox for eradication was affected by the phenomenological component of disease features. Smallpox infects only humans and cannot live in the environment or on other animal hosts, making it a good candidate for eradication. This highlights how the disease’s characteristics might impact the viability of therapeutic techniques (Berezow, 2020).
The evaluation step of the nursing process entails acquiring data about the community or population. This involves gathering demographic data, evaluating the availability and accessibility of healthcare providers, and comprehending the cultural beliefs and social interactions that impact health-seeking behavior. Nurses can construct culturally sensitive and appropriate treatments by taking these aspects into account (National Library of Medicine, n.d.).
Nurses work with the community to develop interventions during the planning phase. In the instance of smallpox eradication, the WHO was critical in bridging the divide between affluent and poor nations, providing long-term attention and funding. Similarly, in modern nursing practice, community resources are critical for efficiently implementing treatments. Local clinics, hospitals, non-profit groups, community centers, and government agencies are examples of such resources. Making use of these resources expands the reach and efficacy of programs (Berezow, 2020) (National Library of Medicine, n.d.).
By highlighting the intrinsic worth of every individual, appealing for compassion and love in caring for others, and integrating religion into practice, the Christian worldview shapes one’s perception of human value and dignity in an intervention. By adhering to these values, nurses may approach interventions with a profound sense of respect and compassion, as well as a dedication to delivering holistic care that meets the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the individuals they serve (Rieg et al., 2018).
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