Don't forget about FQHCs
In “Maria, Planned Parenthood, and How Nursing Chose Me” (January 2019), the author discussed the basic medical care that Planned Parenthood clinics provide to all patients. I want to inform you about another “safety net” provider, the Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). I worked in an FQHC for over 12 years as Chief of Quality-Risk Management, retiring in 2013. Many of these federally funded clinics are located in rural areas where access to medical care is slim to nonexistent. These clinics provide quality medical care to anyone in need, including those who are unemployed or are experiencing homelessness.
Unlike Planned Parenthood, FQHCs do not provide abortion services but they do provide prenatal care, gynecologic care, pediatric care, and other services in internal medicine, family practice, geriatrics, and some additional specialties. I am proud of the work all FQHCs do and the hard work their staff members do each day caring for the patients no one else wants to care for.
—SUSAN ASCHE, MS, RN, CPHQ
Health Resources & Services Administration. Federally Qualified Health Centers. 2018. http://www.hrsa.gov/opa/eligibility-and-registration/health-centers/fqhc/index.html.
Be on alert for human trafficking victims
Although there is no official estimate of the total number of human trafficking victims in the US, Polaris, a nonprofit that works to combat and prevent human trafficking, estimates that there are hundreds of thousands of victims in the US each year. As nurses, we must be alert to signs of trafficking. Protocols should be in place to guide nursing staff on appropriate questions that may be used to identify victims. Healthcare providers should be prepared to recognize signs of human trafficking and address it appropriately, and resources for assisting trafficking victims should be readily available and within view of the public.
—KATRINA TATE, RN
Polaris. The facts. https://polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/facts.