Question/2 P Instructions: Response must be at least 150 words written in current APA format with at least one academic reference cited. References must be within the last five years. Response must refute/correct or add additional nuance.
Advocacy in Nursing Practice
In my place of work, I have seen nurses advocate for their patients and for themselves. Nurses have direct connection to the patients and as such, are in a great position to suggest safer and more effective reforms for both patients and the overall profession (Dadzie, Aziato, Aikins, 2017). Therefore, nurse advocacy is evidenced in the nurse’s willingness to talk about issues that need to be addressed and championing for reform. Advocacy is a core aspect of nursing because sometimes, the health care system tends to be too complex for patients and their families to access the necessary information to make informed decisions.
After a tragic accident, an elderly patient in his 70’s was brought to the hospital with severe injuries even though he was stable. His wife, who he was married to for close to five years had died in the accident and the patient was devastated. After recuperating for some time at the health care facility, the patient was to be discharged to a senior’s nursing home where he would get care around the clock. However, the patient was against this idea and he felt like it would further devastate him. The patient indicated that he wanted to be discharged to go back to his house that he had shared with his deceased wife, since he would be more comfortable in a familiar environment. The nurse understood that the patient wanted an opportunity to care for himself in the environment he thought conducive and spoke to the physician about it. After considering her argument, he agreed, granted there was someone with the patient at home to care for the patient. In this situation, the nurse advocated for the patient’s personal needs, which was more effective in improving patient outcomes. The nurse could have chosen to do nothing about the patient’s situation, but she decided to speak on behalf of the patient whose voice may have remained unheard.
I have also seen nurses advocate for themselves in the workplace. Advocating for themselves is typical in the situations where nurses feel like their work environment is not conducive enough to provide the best care to their patients. For example, when the nurses are short-staffed or have been overworked for a long time, they speak up about the issue to the concerned people to get reprieve. This kind of advocacy is for themselves because they talk about their issues so that they can be solved. Nurses advocate for themselves through several activities aimed at addressing their workplace concerns. Advocacy tends to be in the form of engaging in activities which influence decision-making, being active on employee forums (Williams, Phillips & Koyama, 2018), providing mentorship to new nurses, and liaising with nurse leaders about the decisions that directly influence their working environment.
Some of the skills or characteristics observed in the nurses who engage in nurse advocacy include leadership qualities, the ability to negotiate, adequate decision-making capabilities, ethics (Dadzie, Aziato, Aikins, 2017), and proper communication. Nurse advocates know the law and understand professional practice even as they engage in their advocacy activities. As such, a nurse is not expected to advocate for illegal activities or for things that go against ethical standards or the rights of the patient.