How Nurses Can Advocate Patients
Patient Advocacy Definition
An advocate is a “person who supports or advances the interests of a cause or group”. Hence, patient advocacy is the act of “supporting” or “promoting” the interests of the patient.
All nurses, regardless of their specialty, are obliged to take care of their patients. In essence, this means that the nurse has a duty to protect the patient from harm, regardless of the cause of the harm. Nurses never tell patients what to do, but they take steps to protect the rights of those they care for.
Four Ways to Help Nurses to Advocate for Patients
- Provide Information Through Education
How do you feel if you find out that you have a chronic illness that requires lifelong treatment? In addition, you now have to make a series of appointments with doctors, attend them, fight insurance restrictions, and acquire resources to help maintain good health. For most people, this type of situation can cause high levels of stress and anxiety. For this reason, one of the most effective methods nurses can advocate for patients is to provide training.
A nurse is walking information, specifically about medical knowledge, from information about medical conditions and treatment plans to successful handling of health care scenarios. The breadth and depth of data are magnificent. The more time caregivers take to share this information, the more confident they will be in managing their care. This will create the best possible success scenario.
- Safeguard Their Rights
From each day’s visit that unfolds cheer to encouraging proper fitness choices, own circle of relatives and pals plays a crucial function in an affected person`s fitness journey. However, those relationships may be damaging if the member of the family or pal does now no longer appreciate the affected person’s proper to make their very own decisions. In conditions in which the dynamics are much less than positive, how can a nurse correctly advocate for patients?
One of the things nurses can do to safeguard a patient’s rights is to seek permission before discussing or providing care in front of family and friends. This simple approach allows patients to control who has access to their health information and decisions. Another way nurses safeguard a patient’s rights is to always (and gently) remind everyone that the facility has a legal obligation to respect the patient’s choices. This type of communication strengthens the patient and clarifies where the facility is.
- Be in Touch with the Entire Healthcare Team
Of all the care providers on the nursing team, nurses interact most frequently and directly with patients. This means that nurses are in a unique position to notice the most subtle changes in a patient’s mood, behavior, and health. In addition, the frequency of interaction between the nurse and the patient creates some degree of familiarity, resulting in patients often finding comfortability to discuss their thoughts, concerns, and beliefs with their nurses.
To leverage this unique function to better advocate for the patients, nurses can take proactive function in disseminating applicable patient facts to the whole care team. For example, if a patient does have a resuscitation ban order, the nurse can ensure that this information is respectfully shared with all nurses of the patient. In addition, the nurse can gather information from her colleagues to gain more comprehensive insights into the patient’s progress. When it comes to health and healing, information is power.
- Help Them to Learn to Advocate for Themselves
No one plays a more important role in providing patient care than the patient himself. From learning about a patient’s condition to proactively executing treatment options, patients have a great responsibility to achieve successful results. However, fear, anxiety, and shame can prevent the patient from moving in the right direction. How can nurses help patients overcome this fear?
Patients empowered to become self-reliant are unlikely to allow the feelings and emotions they pass through to block the path to healthcare. One-way nurses can teach patients to be self-reliant is to help them create a list of questions and concerns that they would like to discuss with their doctor (or specialist). This simple exercise teaches the patient to use all available resources, giving them a sense of self-confidence and control. As is often the case, the greatest impacts are from the littlest things.