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Status and Authority in Healthcare

Does equating status with authority cause confusion? Why or why not?

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Status and authority are often viewed as similar concepts. However, in healthcare, as in many other practice areas, status and authority are entirely different. Status is usually understood as the position occupied by a person within an organization or community. Authority, on the other hand, is the power of a person to influence the decisions, actions, and opinions of others. The sources of the two are thus different. As noted by Meehan (2015), authority is based on responsibility, visibility, self-confidence, and knowledge. However, it also relies on a person’s communication skills and reputation.

Status is usually earned through service and depends on experience, input, and recognition. Persons who have high status within the organization are usually experienced and knowledgeable, which gives their opinions a significant weight, or authority. However, this is not always the case. In some instances, people receive high status at a young age, when they do not have an established authority. Thus, these people might not be able to influence others effectively. Besides, there are also cases where people with a relatively low status have a significant influence on others, which makes them better at decision-making.

Overall, status and authority are different notions that are acquired in different ways. Therefore, equating status with authority can confuse, as people who are expected to be influential due to their high status might fail to meet expectations and vice versa. Ensuring that the person responsible for decision making has authority helps to facilitate change or action required.

As a professional nurse, what are some ways in which you can reach out to members of the community who do not have access to healthcare reform?

Despite the significant expansion of coverage under the Medicaid program, millions of people in the United States remain uninsured. This puts a significant health burden on entire communities and calls for outreach efforts. Reaching the uninsured populations who have no access to healthcare can be difficult, but several strategies could help in addressing these communities.

First of all, it is crucial to building partnerships with small employers (Schmidt, 2016). Members of hard-to-reach populations frequently work for small companies with 50 or fewer workers (Schmidt, 2016). At the moment, the vast majority of such companies do not provide corporate insurance. However, building partnerships with these employers could help to persuade them to provide corporate insurance or at least health access information for their workers.

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Spreading information about healthcare access is also an important step in reaching uninsured populations. For instance, as Schmidt (2016) notes, talking about the tax penalty could help to increase the number of people who choose to obtain health coverage. Also, providing information on the possible sources of free medical aid and services could help to build awareness and trust within communities. Moreover, reaching uninsured persons through targeted communication channels is also a viable option for spreading information. Schmidt (2016) states that “Many Latino families have their local television station turned on while they’re cooking dinner, or they listen to the radio as they’re driving their kids to soccer practice or church” (para. 12). Thus, using these outlets to target specific communities with information about obtaining access to health care could help to improve community health.

On the whole, reaching the populations that remain uninsured after the Medicaid expansion is a difficult task. However, providing information to employers and uninsured persons could help to improve health coverage. This, in turn, would help to reduce the health burden faced by communities with significant shares of uninsured populations..


Meehan, T.C. (2015). Professional authority. Web.

Schmidt, T. (2016). Enrolling hard-to-reach populations in health coverage calls for creative outreach. Families USA. Web.

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