This limits access to reproductive health care, which means that impoverished women have one less choice for health care. Planned Parenthood is one of the few places that will treat women without means to pay. My Experience I do not live in Texas or in any of the states with restrictive abortion regulations. I live in liberal California, so I do not have any direct personal experience with the effects of these laws. I believe that because I am a woman, however, that these state laws do concern me. Because I am a nurse, I am part of the medical community worried about the state’s intrusion into the physician-patient relationship and about the decreased health care access for one of our most vulnerable populations. I worry about the future of health care when state politicians are able to easily shut down facilities that serve so many people by cutting funding that is partially provided by the federal government. I believe that our government needs to define the limits of its intervention in the physician-patient relationship, and that it should be based 5
HEALTH CARE AND THE LAW on sound scientific evidence. The future of abortion legislature will be interesting, for sure. Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services Agency In 1980, California created the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Authority, as a department of the Health and Human Services Agency. The EMS Authority was assigned oversight of emergency services and pre-hospital emergency care. Emergency medical systems vary quite a bit from county to county in California; therefore, the EMS Authority developed county and regional Emergency Medical Services Agencies (California Emergency Medical Services Authority, n.d.). In Santa Barbara County, the EMS Agency is a division of the Public Health Department. Its goal is “to ensure the highest quality emergency medical care to the people of Santa Barbara County through an integrated and coordinated system of services” (County of Santa Barbara, 2015, para. 1). Essentially, this agency is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of all emergency health care provided outside of the hospital. It has authority over personnel, facilities, scope of practice, integration of services, and medical care. It creates policy and has enforcement power, and its authority applies to both public and private entities (County of Santa Barbara, 2015). Example: Local Accreditation of Personnel One of the most important functions that the Santa Barbara EMS Agency regulates is the accreditation of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). EMTs are certified by the National Registry, licensed by the state, and accredited by the county or region. The local agency ultimately regulates EMTs’ scope of practice because of the specific needs of that locality. EMS Agencies are dynamic organizations; they are 6
HEALTH CARE AND THE LAW constantly improving policies to support quality improvement, meet the needs of its community, and reflect the latest evidence-based research. Thus, initial accreditation is an involved process and EMTs have substantial Continuing Education (CE) requirements to renew their accreditation (County of Santa Barbara, 2015).
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- Fall '14