Patient Advocacy in Nursing as a Right
Patient advocacy in nursing involves nurses working on behalf of their patients to protect their rights and maintain a high quality of patient care. Therefore, the nurses intervene whenever there is a concern about the quality of care being offered and ensures that proper channels are followed in an attempt to resolve it. Even though some nurses specialise in patient advocacy in nursing, all nurses have to advocate for the patients’ right and ensure a general improvement in patient care quality.
Patient advocacy in nursing question the superiors to ensure that they get the best quality of healthcare. In case there is a discrepancy they report the people involved to higher authorities within healthcare, and verbalise any ideas that are considered unconventional, but have a better chance of improving the quality of healthcare been offered. To achieve this, the nurses are expected to have the skill of getting into a difficult conversation, confident, assertive, have an open mind, and maintain professionalism.
Patient Advocacy in Nursing Education
This knowledge is disseminated in all nursing degrees and with some getting specialised credential. Nurses who work in patient advocacy in nursing often work to manage healthcare organisations, in legal matters that involve medicine, and the coordination of patient care (Imanoff et al., 2019). This patient advocacy in nursing essay looks into the concept of patient advocacy, the various factors that facilitate or hinder it, and how one would expand their patient advocacy skill.
Patient Advocacy in Nursing as an Informant
One of the most intricate factors that facilitate patient advocacy in nursing is the informant, who cultivate a healthy nurse-patient relationship, thus acquiring quality information. A functional relationship between the nurses and their patients is, therefore, very impactful in patient advocacy in nursing. The nurses have the responsibility of cultivating this relationship, which requires them to understand the patient’s various personalities. After obtaining the relevant information, the nurses use it to determine if there are any concerns in patient care or ways to improve patient care.
Quality of Patient Care
Another facilitator for patient advocacy in nursing profession, paying attention to patients’ conditions and needs. Thus, recognising any concerns with the quality of patient care in the healthcare organisation (Imanoff et al., 2019). More than any other healthcare professionals are in a unique position to understand the real patient needs as they get the chance to assess the patients comprehensively. This makes nurses to be more effective in patient advocacy in nursing than the social workers.
The nurse can understand the patients’ health condition and their circumstances, for example, realising that a patient may need a social worker’s attention when they get discharged from the hospital when they have no family or adequate resources. Through this understanding, the patients can advise other healthcare professionals, including their superiors, of the most suitable treatment plan.
Patient Advocacy in Nursing & Patient Data
Another significant facilitator of patient care is patient data that helps inform about the patients’ condition, how it changes within the course of the treatment plan, and the general effectiveness of the treatment plan. The data is also used to ensure accountability and responsibility in patient care to ensure that the nurses effectively play their role as patients’ advocates.
The data can be used to inform on the how much a nurse respects the rights of their patients, their commitment to the professional nursing code of ethics and consequently facilitating patient care. An analysis of that patient data or the healthcare organisation’s general data plays a crucial role in informing the patient’s advocate. Coordination among all healthcare professionals is also useful in ensuring that the nurses can comfortably relay their concerns about patient care quality to even their superiors.
The environment between colleagues in the healthcare organisations is essential for patient care as any nurses’ contribution to what they think is likely to be the most treatment plan. The physician-nurse relationship is just as effective in delivering quality patient care as a functional nurse-patient relationship. Any disagreements between the nurse and other healthcare professionals concerning patient care quality should be handled in a friendly and respectful way (Imanoff et al., 2019).
Skill and Knowledge in Patient Advocacy in Nursing
Skill and knowledge play an intricate part in patient advocacy in nursing, as it is essential for a nurse to have adequate information about clinical experience to advocate for patient’s rights and high-quality healthcare. A well-informed and skilled nurse is likely to notice any discrepancies in the quality of healthcare provided, thus providing a more accurate picture of healthcare quality in any organisation. Skill and knowledge are factors determined by the nurses’ level of education and their level of relevant experience.
It is also essential for the nurses to be in an environment that supports patient advocacy in nursing, for example having a mentorship program that encourages the nurses to share their experiences, about the quality of healthcare been delivered. Place where there is a panel of experts paying attention to patient advocacy in nursing, encourages more nurses to present more concerns, thus ensuring that there is a higher standard of healthcare. Additionally, the level of esteem that nurses are held at in their respective community is also significant as places where nurses are health at higher esteem and involved in policy development having better chances of encouraging patient advocacy in nursing (Imanoff et al., 2019).
Patient Advocacy in Nursing Hinderances
On the contrary, various factors tend to hinder patient advocacy in nursing key among them is helplessness among the nurses. This is a situation whereby there are discrepancies in healthcare quality being offered in a healthcare organisation. However, the nurses lack adequate experience and knowledge to notice the existence of the distinction, of the most effective way of reacting to the any concern on the quality of healthcare delivered in a healthcare organisation (Imanoff et al., 2019).
Criminal Code of Ethics
Nurses should have adequate clinical and awareness of the criminal code of ethics. The lack of support for the nurses discourages them from being good informant of how well the healthcare-related policy has been implemented. For nurses to be credible patient advocates, they need to have an environment that allows them to question the existing ways healthcare and the various ways it can be improved. If the environment is not supportive, the government, policymaker, and healthcare organisation lack a crucial insight into improving healthcare. An example of an unsupporting environment for nurses is the physicians leading, as most of them specialise in various aspects of medicine.
Errors in Patient Advocacy in Nursing
In contrast, nurses stand a better of noticing discrepancies in healthcare organisation records due to their broad knowledge base (Hanks et al., 2018). The physician leading policy makes nurses subordinate to physicians, thus discouraging them from taking patient advocacy initiative. When the physician has this kind of authority over the nurses, it is easier for the nurses to back down because there is a contradiction between their know-how and the kind of healthcare being delivered (Stamps et al., 2020).
Time Constraint in Patient Advocacy in Nursing
Time constraint is a significant factor that bars patient advocacy in nursing, as nurses often have a considerable workload and may lack adequate time to double-check details any time they notice that there is a discrepancy in the quality of healthcare being offered in the healthcare facility wok form. Having adequate nurses allows them to pay keen attention to the patient’s wellbeing and advocate for them more effectively. The lack of proper communication within healthcare organisations plays a vital role in the discouraging patient advocacy in nursing.
This is because it involves a difficult conversation that often includes questioning and disagreeing with the authority of their superiors in healthcare facilities. There is also a smaller communication bandwidth between the patient and nurses in the intensive care unit (ICU), as the nurse can barely obtain information from patients and have to depend on paying attention to their expression to understand them (Hanks et al., 2018). This presents the nurse with inadequate information for the nurse to advocate for the patients’ wellbeing.
This is also often the case when there is a language barrier between the patient and their nurse, as they lack an opportunity to forge a good relationship, that allows the nurse to obtain insightful information about the quality of healthcare the patient has received. It is also essential to note that the advocacy risk too hinders patient advocacy in nursing, as the nurses know that there could be consequences for their actions, especially when it involves questioning the people in authority, which is the case due to the lack of proper legal representation that is effective in case nurses end up been harassed or fired for advocating for the patients’ rights (Stamps et al., 2020).
Patient Advocacy in Nursing Environment
Upon understanding the factors that hinder and facilitate patient advocacy in nursing, I have been able to get a better understanding of the nursing environment after volunteering as a nurse in various healthcare facilities. I realised that I might have lacked adequate skill and knowledge to notice the violation of patient right or a way that the quality of healthcare been delivered in the past. Therefore, I must continue expanding my knowledge to notice all the opportunities for patient advocacy in nursing. This skill and knowledge encompass clinical knowledge, and the patients’ psychology and their culture.
Nurses pay little attention to the overall analysis of the data collected by healthcare organisations whereas the data may contain significant insights that may help patient advocacy in nursing and improve the quality of healthcare (Hanks et al., 2018). Therefore, I have learned that I could analyse the better for further insights in addition to knowing my patients and understanding them.
Data analysis skill is, therefore, an essential tool for nurses. Physician lead is a factor that tends to hinder the patient advocacy in nursing, as a nurse, I learn that I can navigate through this by cultivating a professional relationship with whom I work with, based on respect. This policy can improve by allowing nurses to operate autonomously within healthcare organisations outside of having the physician influence their careers’ progression, which helps mitigate the advocacy risk.
It is also an essential healthcare organisation to provide an environment that supports all nurses and facilitates a good relationship between the healthcare professional. I can also educate my patients so that they can have adequate information to advocate for themselves. It is also clear that nurses’ inadequacy compromises the patients’ rights as the nurses lack adequate time to double-check details required to advocate for patients effectively (Stamps et al., 2020).
Imanoff, J., Mannion, C., & McCaffrey, G. (2019). The Role of Nurse Advocate in Cesarean Sections on Maternal Request.
Stamps, D. C., Foley, S. M., Gales, J., Lovetro, C., Alley, R., Opett, K., … & Faggiano, S. (2020). Nurse leaders advocate for nurses across a health care system: COVID-19. Nurse Leader.
Hanks, R. G., Starnes‐Ott, K., & Stafford, L. (2018, January). Patient advocacy at the APRN level: a direction for the future. In Nursing forum (Vol. 53, No. 1, pp. 5-11).