The groundwork of the Public Health Service Act was formed long before the act was conceptualized in 1798. After that, several Acts of Congress were passed in 1878, 1890, 1893, and 1906. These concentrated primarily on preventing epidemic diseases from entering the land from abroad, and the spread of communicable diseases (“Public Health Service Act, 1944,” 1994).
The first act – the Public Service Law 78-184 – was signed in 1943. It was deemed too bureaucratic and not effective on its own, so a year later, in July 1944, the second act – the Public Service Law 78-410 – was signed. Combined, these two acts set the course for the modernization of the Public Health Service (Snyder, 1994). The Public Health Service Act also “established the federal government’s quarantine authority for the first time” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.).
Nowadays, the structure of the PHS is presented by the Bureau of State Services, the Office of the Surgeon General, the Bureau of Medical Services, and the National Institute of Health.
An E-mail to a Legislator
- To: US Representative Amanda Murphy
- Subject: Grant permission to prescribe Suboxone
As a nurse practitioner (NP), I am writing to ask that you allow addiction-trained NPs to provide lifesaving, medication-assisted therapies by prescribing Suboxone, for patients struggling with heroin and other opioid addictions. Suboxone is a mixture of buprenorphine and naloxone, which are an opioid and an opioid effect-blocker, respectively. This medication is produced specifically for the purpose of treating opioid addiction, and is a vital element of rehabilitation programs for addicts.
When NPs encounter patients who require opioid addiction treatment, they are faced with the inability to provide said treatment, and therefore, inability to save the patients. I am imploring you to put a stop to this. We need free prescribing and management of opioid addiction treatment. Patients battling opioid and heroin addiction must receive their MATs from trained NPs under state law.
For further information, please, contact AANP’s federal office directly at [email protected] or 703-740-2529.
Leadership Case #1
In this scenario, the problem is in the low number of members of the staff, and Linda’s difficulties in keeping up with all of her duties, which include tending to patients as well as supervising her colleagues. Five professionals, no matter how qualified, are simply not enough to run a ward hosting twenty-two patients. Considering the fact that some of the patients are identified as suicidal, and therefore have to be monitored with extra care, the ward needs to hire more staff for better productivity.
Linda is overworked, and keeps getting assigned impossible tasks such as continuous and simultaneous surveillance of two suicidal patients in two separate rooms. The ethical dilemma is in the fact that such requirements wear workers like Linda down, and cause them to lose their productivity and motivation, while negatively impacting their own mental health.
The unit does not have enough personnel to deal with twenty-two psychiatric ward patients. One registered nurse, two licensed practical nurses, and two nursing assistants are emphatically too few to handle this kind of responsibility. It is not Linda’s fault that she is not keeping up with her requirements; the hospital she works in allows this unethical practice to happen, and therefore, hurts the well-being of the patients and the staff alike.
If Linda loses her license, she will have every right to take this case to court. I am afraid the only way she can avoid losing her license is to transfer to another hospital.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). History of Quarantine. Web.
Public Health Service Act, 1944. (1994). Public Health Reports, 109(4): 468.
Snyder, L. P. (1994). Passage and Significance of the 1944 Public Health Service Act. Public Health Reports, 109(6), 721-724.