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In nursing, advocating for a patient means preserving human dignity, promoting patient equality, and providing freedom from suffering (Loyola Chicago BSN, 2018). As nurses, it is our job to see what the patient is struggling with, and to address those issues to help promote healing and well being. Good patient advocacy involves not only providing excellent patient care based our education as nurses, but to also provide care in a way that promotes healing as understood by the patient (Gaylord, Grace, 1995). Listening to and understanding the patient’s needs inspires better care and promotes better healing for the patient. Advocacy is also important because it may reduce the chances of errors and harm to patients (University of New Mexico, 2019). This is done when nurses speak to other members of the healthcare team on the behalf of the patient, and together they collaborate to care for the patient.

In my personal experience I remember advocating for a patient who was recovering from an abdominal surgery. The patient was in a lot of pain from the surgery, but he wasn’t due for more painkillers yet. I spoke out about this to the nurse who was in charge of the patient, and she agreed that although it was still a little bit early, we could still administer the medication. After administering the medication the patient felt a lot better and was able to rest.

References:

Gaylord, N, Gracy, P. (1995).

Nursing advocacy: an ethic of practice.

Pubmed.gov


https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7728551/#

Loyola Chicago BSN. (2018).

The Role of the Nurse as a Patient Advocate.


https://absn.luc.edu/blog/role-of-nurse-patient-advocate/#:

University of New Mexico.(2019).

Become a Stronger Patient Advocate.


https://rnbsnonline.unm.edu/articles/become-stronger-patient-advocate.aspx



one reply for this post with using one of its citations:

A nurse advocates for a patient when they stand up for the patient’s rights and meet their need for care (Helbig, 2018). Patient advocacy is a huge part of nursing care. The nurse is the healthcare professional that spends the most time with the patient. Earlier, we learned that when patient needs are met, their outcomes are better. The nurse should be able to advocate for the patient in terms of procedures for care and acknowledge any patient concerns. As a patient advocate, the nurse should make sure the patient receives all medical information, educational, and options the patient needs to make a decision that is best for them (Gaines, 2021). Also, if a nurse finds that a certain medication is unsafe for a patient, they can also voice out that concern with the primary healthcare provider. The nurse acts as a middleman between the patient and all other professionals the patient meets during their hospital stay (Helbig, 2018).

A time I can remember when I advocated for a patient was when I was at work and I was taking my 4AM vitals. I was trying to wake up a patient but he wouldn’t wake up. I told the nurse that he wasn’t waking up and she said that it might be because of his medications. I told her that his blood pressure was also on the low side. She then came into he room and tried to wake him up and cycle his blood pressure. She told me to check his blood sugar and once I checked it, the glucometer read 36. She ran to the med room and got IM glucagon injection. He then woke up after like 10 minutes and then at 15 minutes we checked his blood sugar and it went up to 67. I advocated for the patient’s safety. I knew that this patient would always respond when I ask him if he has any pain. If I didn’t tell the nurse at that time and she checked on him later on, his blood sugar would have dropped severely and possibly lead to coma and/or death.

References:

Gaines, K. (2021).

What is the nursing code of ethics?.

Nurse.org.

https://nurse.org/education/nursing-code-of-ethics/

Helbig, J. (2018). Professional engagement. In Grand Canyon University (Eds.),

Dynamics in nursing: Art and science of professional practice.


https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs430v/dynamics-in-nursing-art-and-science-of-professional-practice/v1.1/#/chapter/5

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