Legislative Advocacy and the Home Healthcare Clinician

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Q: I want to get more politically active as a home care clinician, but I don't know where to start.
The first time I volunteered to visit my legislator was almost as terrifying as when I took my State Boards for Nursing. It turned out to be a positive experience. My legislator even asked me what I thought of various laws. I have been an advocate of “legislator education” ever since. I learned, on that first experience, that legislators rely on their constituents to inform them about policies and regulations. They can't be the expert in every field. You have a unique view of home care and hospice services whether you are a therapist, a nurse, or a social worker. They VALUE your perspective...especially if you are a constituent.
Before your visit.
You are not alone in this activity. Your state-based professional organization probably has a “Lobby Day” each year in your state and your national association has one in Washington, DC. The day may be called “Day on Capitol Hill or Legislative Day.” Access their websites to learn when they occur. These organizations usually have guides and resources to help you.
Both your professional organization and the trade organization for your industry may sponsor the activity. For example, the American Physical Therapy Association may have a lobby day regarding physical therapy practice issues, whereas your state home care association, and the National Association for Home Care and/or the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization may have a lobby day.
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