Publish Date: November 2, 2016
Voting is one of the most important – and easiest – ways to make your voice heard. With Election Day fast approaching, it’s crucial to make a plan to vote. While voting only takes a few minutes (especially if you vote early), it is easy to push it off in lieu of running errands, dropping the kids off at practice, or picking up that extra shift at work. Plus, life is unpredictable and things pop up every day. That is why we need to make a plan to vote and add it to our calendars. So take a few moments today to decide whether you are going to vote early if your state offers that, or when and where you will vote on Election Day. Will you vote before your shift or after? If you live in a state with mail-in ballot options, it is too late to mail your ballot. You will need to find your nearest drop-off location as all ballots must be received, not just postmarked, before the polls close on November 8th.
The Presidential race garners a lot of attention, and while it is an important race, down ballot candidates are responsible for making much of the health care policy at the federal and state level. So don’t forget to vote for your local candidates, too.
Once you make a plan to vote, amplify your voice by encouraging others to vote. Ask your colleagues, friends, and family if they have plan. ANA put together a great tool on Facebook where you can share a photo or set your profile picture to communicate why you are voting this year. Check out the photos you can share.
Lastly, now is the perfect time to start to build relationships with legislators by informing them about the important role perioperative nurses play in patient safety. Election Day falls during the middle of Perioperative Nurse Week this year, and AORN has put together an email you can send in less than three minutes to your elected officials that explains the importance of periop nurses and asks them to join us in celebrating Perioperative Nurse Week. While voting is the first step in making your voice heard, informing your legislators of your concerns and ideas around patient safety is the next step.
Vote. Engage. Change policy.