The Importance Of Advocacy In Health Care

1233 Words 5 Pages
Advocacy has been long-established as a necessary obligation for each healthcare institution and professional to implement in daily practice in order to be successful. In recent years, the topic has gained much attention, with many claiming it as a professional imperative for each facility. As one author notes, “if we are to adopt a practice grounded in inclusiveness that promotes universal access and equity as a mode of thinking, a therapeutic tool, and an ethical responsibility, then advocacy must be a professional imperative” (Kirsh, 2015, p. 216), alluding the profound role of advocacy in both clinical care and healthcare administration. However, the term is ambiguous to all applications it serves for: law, politics, social work, day-to-day …show more content…
Thus, the true value of healthcare advocacy is expressed through these two variants of advocacy. Case advocacy is defined as an intervention to “give voice to, represent and support the rights, autonomy, dignity and personhood of vulnerable individuals or groups” (Kirsh, 2015, p. 216). A study of Iranian nurses’ experiences of advocacy describes the “core condition that demands [patient] advocacy as one regarding the vulnerability of the client, due to either their fears, medical issues or risks inherent in institutional processes embedded in healthcare institutions” (Negarandeh, Fateme, Fazlollah, & Mansoure, 2008, p. 457-458). The study further explains such vulnerability “comprises the ability of an individual to self-determine their care and protect their own best interests” (Negarandeh et al., 2008, p. 458), endangering them to acts of paternalism that contrast their own desires. The complicated, intimidating and continually progressive healthcare system can often leave clients bewildered of their diagnoses, treatment options, the services they receive and the system in general. In most cases, the “healthcare language that is full of jargon, abbreviations, colloquialisms” (DeLaet, 2013, p. 338) and puzzling terminology can cause difficulties for the patient when comprehending information, leaving them uninformed. Without the proper guidance and …show more content…
According to Schwartz (2002), “advocacy can help clients translate their expressed desires into an effective plan of action that can help steer the healthcare team towards a plan preferred by the client” (p. 38). Advocacy has the power to influence professionals and civilians in believing that the patient’s call to self-determine their care is the ethical right of the individual and the responsibility of the healthcare industry to satisfy in order to provide adequate services for each consumer, thereby limiting the incidence of paternalism and increasing the incidence of patient-centered care, a more favorable and preferable ideal. In addition, advocacy from “healthcare advocates can clarify matters for the client” (Schwartz, 2002, p. 38) to help patients understand medical information clearly and correctly. Also, advocacy safeguards patients “from the incompetent, unethical, illegal, or impaired practice of any healthcare provider” (DeLaet, 2013, p. 338), maintaining both their dignity and personhood. A study conducted on military nurses’ experiences with advocacy found that the act shielded patients from all physical and psychological harm induced by the complexity of the healthcare system, ensured that they had a voice (even if it was limited due to circumstance), and that

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