Patient Advocacy In Nursing

794 Words 4 Pages
A nurse witnesses a new mother is in critical condition following excessive blood loss after giving birth. She is in the Intensive Care Unit and, fearing her death, she desperately wants to see her newborn. The hospital, however, has a strict rule that does not allow infants into the unit and it is not possible to move the mother. In today’s healthcare institutions, nurses face challenging situations like this on a daily basis. As a nurse, one of the most important aspects of the profession is advocating for their patient. Advocacy plays a critical role in the nursing profession because it allows nurses to fulfill their patients’ wishes, leading them to an overall better outcome. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the meaning of …show more content…
Although there are many forms of advocacy, patient advocacy is an ethical obligation of a nurse that serves to protect and promote patients’ rights (Bouchal, 2014, p. 83). It encompasses many characteristics that are essential to the patient’s experience while in the hospital. To effectively advocate, nurses must ensure that their patient’s “legal and moral” rights are recognized, that the patient is educated in order to “exercise autonomy”, that they receive proper “quality and quantity” care (Hyland, 2002, p. 473), and that patients’ wishes are respected and supported (Schwartz, 2001, p. 38). With each of these resources sharing the same meaning of advocacy, it is evident that these are the key responsibilities of a nurse as an advocate. When a nurse has fulfilled all of these essential conditions they can be confident that they have supported their patient and, thus, have contributed to their overall wellbeing. Advocacy is a vital skill that a nurse must demonstrate in order to provide their patients with excellent …show more content…
In Tilda Shalof’s autobiography, A Nurse’s Story (2004), Shalof advocates for Mrs. Templeton, an elderly patient, whose health is deteriorating, suffering from congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and the incurable disease of emphysema. The client’s son, however, is adamant that the doctors keep his mother alive even though she “pull[s] at her tubes” (Shalof, 2004, p. 47) and “flail[s] her arms” (Shalof, 2004, p. 58) when undergoing medical treatment. Mrs. Templeton’s son finally concedes when Shalof stresses to him that it is important to remember “what she wants” (Shalof, 2004, p. 58). Here, Shalof advocates for her patient, using her defiant actions as an indication that she no longer wishes to receive medical attention. Shalof must intervene in this situation for the reason that the son’s wishes clash with those of her patient’s. By granting Mrs. Templeton’s wish it provides a better outcome for her because it meets her wants and it allows her the peace that she deserves; no more suffering or pain. In health care environments, advocating for a client’s wishes is perhaps the most important aspect of care from the patient’s

Related Documents