Define the role of the registered nurse in patient advocacy.

The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

Discussion 1

Specifically define the role of the registered nurse in patient advocacy. Describe situations in which nursing advocacy can assist patients within the healthcare environment. Defend why nurses are, or are not, adequately prepared, in prelicensure education, to act as patient advocates.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

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Discussion 2

The ANA Code of Ethics currently emphasizes the word “patient” instead of the word “client” in referring to nursing care recipients. Do you agree with this change? Why or why not?

Review the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements found in Appendix B of your Butts text.

In Nursing, there will always be instances where the patient’s nurse needs to advocate for their patient. There are numerous reasons why a nurse would advocate for their patient ranging from getting the doctor to change the patient’s orders, helping the patient’s treatment team understand what it is the patient is requiring for the day, to expressing the patient’s last wishes before death. In every situation, the nurse should do what is in the patient’s best interest. Tomajan (2012), “Advocacy skills are the ability to successfully support a cause or interest on one’s own behalf or that of another. Advocacy requires a set of skills that include problem solving, communication, influence, and collaboration”(p. 2). With those skills, the nursing staff will be able to work together to advocate for their patients. Along with those skills, nurses need to keep in mind the three core attributes that are: safeguarding patients’ autonomy; acting on behalf of patients; and championing social justice in the provision of health care. (Bu & Jezewski, 2006)The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

Problem Solving

Problem solving is when there is a problem or issue that needs to be resolved. When there is a problem with a patient the nursing staff needs to try and resolve it to make all parties satisfied. When trying to solve a problem, keep in mind about the core attribute safeguarding patients autonomy. In this core attribute, it involves the patient wanting to be involved in their health care plan, as well as make their own decisions as long as they are competent. (Bu & Jezewski, 2006) Once the problem is identified the nursing staff along with the patient, need to form a plan or possible goals that will help solve the problem.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

In Nursing, there will always be instances where the patient’s nurse needs to advocate for their patient. There are numerous reasons why a nurse would advocate for their patient ranging from getting the doctor to change the patient’s orders, helping the patient’s treatment team understand what it is the patient is requiring for the day, to expressing the patient’s last wishes before death. In every situation, the nurse should do what is in the patient’s best interest. Tomajan (2012), “Advocacy skills are the ability to successfully support a cause or interest on one’s own behalf or that of another. Advocacy requires a set of skills that include problem solving, communication, influence, and collaboration”(p. 2). With those skills, the nursing staff will be able to work together to advocate for their patients. Along with those skills, nurses need to keep in mind the three core attributes that are: safeguarding patients’ autonomy; acting on behalf of patients; and championing social justice in the provision of health care. (Bu & Jezewski, 2006)The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

Problem Solving

Problem solving is when there is a problem or issue that needs to be resolved. When there is a problem with a patient the nursing staff needs to try and resolve it to make all parties satisfied. When trying to solve a problem, keep in mind about the core attribute safeguarding patients autonomy. In this core attribute, it involves the patient wanting to be involved in their health care plan, as well as make their own decisions as long as they are competent. (Bu & Jezewski, 2006) Once the problem is identified the nursing staff along with the patient, need to form a plan or possible goals that will help solve the problem.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

Consider the following scenario. A pediatric nurse feels transferring a little boy to another hospital would further traumatize him and his family, already devastated by a flood, so the nurse speaks up on their behalf. The physician considers the nurse’s argument and agrees. Nurses like these advocate to place the personal needs of individuals and families above hospital routines and bureaucratic red tape.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

As direct conduits to patients, nurses have a profound opportunity to propose safer, more effective strategies that can impact the future of their profession and the health care system as a whole. This is especially true as issues continue to impact the industry, including policy reform, universal access, new technologies, and an aging population of baby boomers in need of care.

Nurse professionals need top-notch leadership, problem-solving, and communication skills to succeed in patient advocacy. They can hone these skills through an advanced nursing degree, such as an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

If you are motivated to act as an ally for patients, read on for examples of patient advocacy in nursing, typical ethical issues, and key skills for success as a health care ally.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

Patient Advocacy Defined
Advocates are people who speak on behalf of those whose voices aren’t heard. They work with decision-makers, such as physicians and legislative bodies, to solve problems and propose alternatives for those in need. For nurses, this may involve advocating for children, mentally ill patients, and patients who are uninformed about health care policies and their own rights.

Patient advocacy is a key part of nursing practice, and it isn’t optional. It’s included in the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics, which states: “The nurse promotes, advocates for, and protects the rights, health, and safety of the patient.”

The advocacy process has four stages, according to an article in Nursing2019:The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

1. Evaluate patients’ needs, taking into account their medical backgrounds, personal values, and level of awareness.
2. Identify patients’ goals, including their choice of treatment options.
3. Set an advocacy plan to meet those goals, which may involve working with other members of their health care team.
4. Assess the results of their advocacy, taking into account the satisfaction of the patient, family, and team.

Common Types of Advocacy
Examples of patient advocacy in nursing include:

Advocacy with the Medical Facility
Nurses can act as mediators between patients and doctors who may have overlooked certain patient needs or solutions. For example, if a patient receives an inaccurate diagnosis, unsafe accommodation, or unclear instructions for self-care, the nurse must alert the doctor or medical facility and communicate the issue.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

Advocacy with the Legal System
Nurses can advocate for better treatment, legal options, and payment solutions for a patient if they believe that patient is being offered unfair options. They may also propose changes to an established medical process or for an entire group of patients.

Advocacy with Families
Beyond their one-on-one work with patients, nurses can extend their advocacy efforts to forge connections to the patient’s family. For example, if controlling family members are making harmful decisions on behalf of the patient, the nurse has a responsibility to intervene.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

The Ethics of Patient Advocacy in Nursing
Ethics is an integral part of building strong advocacy strategies. According to a 2017 paper in Nursing Management, ethics is “the study of moral values and principles of humanitarian duty as they relate to a set of rules that a group or society follows.” Medical professionals, such as nurses, must adhere to certain ethical standards in their jobs. As outlined in the ANA Code of Ethics, nurses need to demonstrate “respect for autonomy, beneficence, fidelity, justice, nonmaleficence, and veracity,” putting the patient’s needs ahead of their own.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

For example, nurses must honor patients’ wishes before assuming what is best for them and overriding their choices. This is particularly difficult when nurses help make end-of-life decisions. Nurses must also be willing to challenge higher authorities in defense of the patient’s needs, regardless of how difficult that may be.

Key Skills for Nurse Advocacy
Nurses need essential skills in order to be successful in patient advocacy . Nurse advocates need leadership, negotiating, and decision-making skills to work with medical teams, legal entities, and families in championing the patient. They need to know the laws and regulations impacting health care and patient treatment options. They also need strong communication skills and empathy when working with patients and understanding their unique situations. According to a 2017 paper in Nursing Management, key characteristics of ethical leaders include courage, compassion, and trust in their intuition.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

The more education nurses obtain, the more skills such as these are refined. Regis College’s online Master of Science in Nursing program and curriculum can help students develop and strengthen the skills needed to be leaders in the nursing profession, empowering them to advocate for patients and communities in need. Students can choose from five nurse practitioner areas: family nurse practitioner (FNP), pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP), psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP), women’s health nurse practitioner (WHNP), and adult-geriatric nurse practitioner (AGNP). Students can build a knowledge base of medical practice and policy and learn how to drive positive change in their fields.

Become a Nurse Advocate for Patients
Nurses are needed now more than ever to help patients navigate the complex, growing health care industry. Regis College’s online Master of Science in Nursing program can help students build skills to become powerful patient advocates. Ranked one of the 50 Best Online Master of Science in Nursing Programs by Master’s Programs Guide, this program is designed to help graduates become leaders in their careers and influence the future of medicine.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

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In Nursing, there will always be instances where the patient’s nurse needs to advocate for their patient. There are numerous reasons why a nurse would advocate for their patient ranging from getting the doctor to change the patient’s orders, helping the patient’s treatment team understand what it is the patient is requiring for the day, to expressing the patient’s last wishes before death. In every situation, the nurse should do what is in the patient’s best interest. Tomajan (2012), “Advocacy skills are the ability to successfully support a cause or interest on one’s own behalf or that of another. Advocacy requires a set of skills that include problem solving, communication, influence, and collaboration”(p. 2). With those skills, the nursing staff will be able to work together to advocate for their patients. Along with those skills, nurses need to keep in mind the three core attributes that are: safeguarding patients’ autonomy; acting on behalf of patients; and championing social justice in the provision of health care. (Bu & Jezewski, 2006)The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

Problem Solving

Problem solving is when there is a problem or issue that needs to be resolved. When there is a problem with a patient the nursing staff needs to try and resolve it to make all parties satisfied. When trying to solve a problem, keep in mind about the core attribute safeguarding patients autonomy. In this core attribute, it involves the patient wanting to be involved in their health care plan, as well as make their own decisions as long as they are competent. (Bu & Jezewski, 2006) Once the problem is identified the nursing staff along with the patient, need to form a plan or possible goals that will help solve the problem.

Caring originates in the relationships of shared human experience. The nurses primary roles of promoting health, preventing illness, restoring health and alleviating suffering places the nurse in a position to always remain an advocate for their patient. A scenario has been created in which a terminally ill patient has asked the doctor about alternative healthcare treatment options. The doctor in this case dismisses them as “quack” practices.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

What role does the nurse play in this situation? “When the patient’s wishes are in conflict with others, the nurse seeks to help resolve the conflict. Where conflict persists, the nurse’s commitment remains to the identified patient” (Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements, 2001). Moral courage is something that helps the nurse to address ethical issues and take action when doing the right thing is not always easy.
When a patient and doctor relationship is strained the nurse can sometimes help mediate a situation while always remembering her legal and ethical obligations. Physicians and nurses have different roles and duties in the hospital.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay
Although nurses do not have the power to make certain types of care decisions, they do have the responsibility to follow the chain of command according to facility policy, until satisfied that good decisions are being made for their patients. Nurses spend more one on one time with their patients than doctors.

The closeness of this relationship may make it easier for some patients to disclose their complaints to the nurse rather than the doctor (Ofri, 2013). Nurse’s responsibilities are to provide the best care to the patients and to insure that all of their rights and interests are met.

“Once healthcare interventions have been adapted to meet the special needs of the patient, the nurse’s role is to articulate the patient’s request for care within the multidisciplinary team, creating patient-centered patterns of health care” (Hewitt, 2002).The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

As a patient advocate, ordering a consultation with those who can help further in the decision making process is paramount. Patient advocacy is described as “nursing activities aimed at securing patient’s legal and ethical rights and satisfying their existential needs, both on the level of the patient-nurse relationship and in the healthcare team or organization” (Vaartio-Rajalin & Leino-Kilpi, 2011).

The nurse should stand for the patient’s rights, dignity and health when others will not, thus becoming the communicator between the physician and patient. This ascertains that the patient receives optimal treatment. The Patient Bill of Rights states: “A patient has the right to obtain information about the specific nature of proposed treatment or procedure, a disclosure of the risks involved, and information about medical alternatives” (Patient’s rights, 2013).The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

Since the physician from our scenario has refused to discuss alternative health care options with the patient, it is the duty of the nurse to become a patient advocate. After first discussing this situation with the doctor, if the nurse is granted the doctor’s permission to provide information to the patient, there are some government agencies and resources like National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), The National Cancer Institute, U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CAM on PubMed.

These organizations assist patients and their families in learning about Complementary and Alternative Medicine therapies (Complementary and Alternative Medicine in cancer treatment, 2013). If the doctor refuses to give permission, it should lead the nurse to share his or her opinions with the medical staff involved in the patient care, following the appropriate chain of command.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

Based on a survey held by The New England Journal of Medicine “most of the physicians reported that when a patient requests a legal medical intervention to which the physician objects for religious or moral reasons, it is ethically permissible for the physician to describe the reason for the objection but that the physician must also disclose information about the intervention and refer the patient to someone who will provide it” (Curlin, Lawrence, Chin, & Lantos, 2007). In order to provide the best care and safe environment to a patient, nurses need to band together and work as a team.

Gloria Ohmart, EdD, MN, APRN, offers a few strategies to protect patient’s rights and nursing profession. Some of them are: 1. “Keep an accurate record of issues that may be dangerous, illegal or unethical; 2. Check with other coworkers to see if they feel the same way about the situation, compare notes and discuss what the problem is and present a united front; 3. Talk to a charge nurse, head nurse, or supervisor to bring the problem to someone else’s attention; 4. Go up the chain.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

If a superior does not act on the complaints, then nurses may need to go to the next level of administration and so on until they get to the top; 5. Pursue an advanced degree. Higher education empowers through knowledge and enables nurses to develop strong communication and conflict resolution skills, the ability to negotiate and provides a deeper understanding of professional ethics” ( Finn, 2013). “Nurses must examine the conflicts arising between their own personal and professional values, the values and interests of others who are also responsible for patient care and health decisions, as well as those of patients.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

Nurses strive to resolve such conflicts in ways that ensure patient safety, guard the patient’s best interests and pressure the professional integrity of the nurses” (Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements, 2001).

The Code of Ethics for Nurses was developed as a guide for carrying out nursing responsibilities in a manner consistent with quality in nursing care and the ethical obligations of the profession. When a hot topic arises in the industry, the American Nursing Association (ANA) will create an explanation, justification, or recommendation for a course of action otherwise known as a position statement.

The Code for Nurses published by the ANA is the standard by which ethical conduct is guided and evaluated by the profession. It provides a framework within which nurses can make ethical decisions and discharge their professional responsibilities to the public, to other members of the health team, and to the profession.The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

According to number eight of the position statement nurses must attend to and be aware of the conflicts of dual loyalty to patients, health care institutions, employers and agencies that provide payment for services (Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements, 2001).

Care and compassion are two traits that most nurses excel in. However these two qualities alone cannot facilitate being a voice for a patient. Education and moral courage are also essential needs when standing for the rights of a patient. It is imperative that a nurse understand their legal and ethical obligations to society and be able to carry forward their role as a patient advocate.

Nurses should always endeavor to become as skilled and qualified in their chosen field as possible by consistently trying to advance their education and training, as well as entering into a partnership with physicians and health professionals.

Policymaking and workforce planning should be done effectively to collect data and provide for a better information infrastructure. Educating ourselves as nurses will be essential to teaching our patients and allowing us to be a strong patient advocate, while standing united and taking comfort in knowing we are not alone. The Role of The Registered Nurse in Patient Advocacy Essay

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