The Allegory of the Orchard
The Allegory of the Orchard is an allegorical fable written by Jen Anthony that illustrates how political determinants of health can affect the health outcomes of a group of patients. The allegory explores how nurses, who are in tune with their patient’s needs and desires, might be the right people to become politically involved in addressing these determinants.
I chose to use this allegory because, as a nurse practitioner student, I am aware that I will often care for patients from disadvantaged backgrounds who may have few resources and little control over the quality or availability of the food they eat. As a patient, I often have little to say about the quality of food I eat, and the available foods often shape my eating behavior in my community. As a nurse, I recognize that many factors beyond their control influence patients’ health and are best addressed by working with those who need the services.
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Let us return to a time when people lived in harmony with their ecosystem and community. The sun shone warmly upon the land, which produced an abundance of corn on which all creatures could rely for sustenance: even humans, especially those who worked hard to grow corn, ate plenty of corn without any worries of disease or malnutrition. The Allegory of the Orchard
The Allegory of the Orchard presents barriers and challenges of underserved, vulnerable, or marginalized populations and communities. These barriers and challenges highlight the importance of understanding the impact of political determinants of health on such groups. This allegory encourages an identification, understanding, analysis, and response to these factors as members of the healthcare community.
For this Discussion, consider the role of the political determinants of health on underserved, vulnerable, or marginalized populations and communities. How might advocates address the health disparities to promote equity and access to high quality healthcare?
Post a response detailing the following:
Use The Allegory of the Orchard to discuss how the political determinants of health negatively impact the health outcomes of a group of patients for whom you care. Why are you, as a nurse, the right person to become politically involved in addressing these determinants?