Advocacy at a state and federal levels yields numerous benefits for professionals, especially in the healthcare sector. However, you must use the proper approach and pursue the correct avenues for maximum effect. For many bodies, tact plays a crucial role in ensuring the enactment of laws and regulations that positively impact the pharmaceutical sector.
Almost all laws that affect pharmaceutical technicians come into being at the state level. However, one can't simply barge in on proceedings and get an audience. Legislators are part of a network that drafts and pass these laws, and advocacy only works after one finds a way into that circle.
Here are some pointers on how you can establish a connection at the state level.
The first step in becoming a valued member of the pharmacy community in your area is getting involved. Each state has a pharmacy organization. Gather all the necessary information, such as:
- The organizations in your state and their fields of interest
- Identify the one that aligns to the pharmaceutical sector
- Find out the organizations in which your coworkers are members
Joining a pharmacy association opens your profession to a world of possibilities. You have access to numerous information resources, continuing education, as well as networking. These associations further the interests of your professional community, and most have committees and legislative groups. Ensure that you stay updated about events such as Pharmacy Day at your State Capitol.
Once you’re in, reach out to the members regarding their participation in a meeting where you voice your ideas and policy amendment recommendations.
Do Your Research
For every campaign, information is vital. Take time and conduct thorough research on your topic. Assess current events, incorporate personal experiences, and strategize towards pushing an idea that betters everyone's situation. At this phase, the state Board of Pharmacy is a priceless resource.
The fact that many laws that apply to you on a professional level come about at the state level is an advantage. You have more influence on that stage than at Washington, DC, and you should make it work for you. Another advantage is that these laws and policies take effect where you practice and immediately improve your professional experience as a pharmaceutical technician.
As part of your research, study similar laws from other states and their impact on the community. Highlight the benefits from the enactment of similar legislation in other states as part of your proposal.
Advocacy is a process, and lobbying for change demands patience. Real change takes time, and with the right approach, the process is less daunting. As you start, establish connections with legislators and professionals who will add genuine momentum to your campaign.
Remember, tomorrow’s success depends on today’s input.
Build a Healthy Relationship with Legislators
Just like politics, advocacy is a numbers game – the more, the better. Work towards gaining essential allies in the legislature. When establishing your network, understand their stand on various issues in your profession, and identify common perspectives. This connection gives you access to legislators, and you can play an active role in drafting legislation, shaping debates on pertinent issues, and getting the bills signed into law.
Make contact between sessions when your legislator has enough time. This way, you can readily talk to the relevant person for appropriate action. Nurture your connections by attending forums and meetings led by your legislators and actively take part.
Communication and Strategy
Schedule your meetings and calls appropriately and nurture your communication channels. Ensure that your material is brief and concise and effectively touches on all critical issues in your proposal. Here are a few pointers on how you should go about this.
- Share personal experiences. Family and personal experiences contribute a lot to how someone may feel about the issue and how they approach it.
- Identify your constituency. Legislators prioritize their constituents.
- Up your numbers. Partner with like-minded individuals and organizations and push the message home together.
- Repetition. Continually bring up your motions and ideas; the more, the better.
- Keep your material brief, concise, and straightforward. Share single-page content that clearly outlines your recommendations and the expected benefits.
- Communicate clearly. Ensure that you clearly state your desired course of action.
- Follow up. After all, is said and done, take the initiative and thank your legislator for playing an active role in furthering your cause.
Advocating for change is often a process that demands patience and resilience. More than sheer will, you need a proper network that includes your allies in the legislature. For certified pharmaceutical technicians, a sound healthcare system and professional growth remain vital interests. Therefore, each healthcare law or policy at the state and federal levels must help achieve this noble goal.
Join Us Today
Become a part of our advocacy initiative by volunteering with NPTA. Sign up today and join our team https://www.pharmacytechnician.org/npta/Get_Involved.asp.