Role Of The Nurse As Patient Advocate Essay

801 Words Feb 9th, 2016 4 Pages
The Role of the Nurse as Patient Advocate
The purpose of this paper is to look at the role of the nurse as patient advocate; as well as some barriers they may face while partaking in this role. The term advocate does not have just one definition or meaning. Various areas of study such as psychology, sociology, and law all perceive the definition of advocate in a different way. Some of “the nursing literature relies on a legal definition of an advocate as someone who defends the patient against ‘infringements of his or her rights’” (Mahlin, 2010). Patient advocacy is a central role that nurses have adopted and conformed to over many years. The role is extremely important in the nursing discipline, but it is not without controversy.
The nurse’s role as patient advocate can trace its history back to the mid 1800’s when Florence Nightingale stood up and advocated for her patients. While treating those wounded in a war she wanted to better these patient’s healthcare setting. She “described the importance of creating a healthcare environment that promoted ventilation, cleanliness, comfort and sanitation” (Ronnebaum & Schmer, 2015). Her proclamation led to an improvement in the patient’s healthcare and overall outcome. Florence Nightingale set the standard for nurses paving the way for them to take on the role as advocate. The American Nurses Association went on to create The Code of Ethics in 1926; the third provision clearly states that “the nurse promotes, advocates for, and…

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