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Advocacy in nursing practice is a relatively modern idea that is of such importance that it is incorporated in the moral codes of nursing institution. For patients, nursing advocacy helps in illustrating the power of nursing and improves the quality of health outcomes. Nursing advocacy in the healthcare sector is regarded essential since nurses act as the link between the patients and the healthcare system (Ahmadi, 2016). Additionally, nurses through appropriate performance of their advocacy role help in protecting patients who are vulnerable and have experienced varying degrees of damage. Nursing advocacy is an ethic of practice and involves practices such as preserving human dignity, promoting patient equality and providing freedom from suffering. Nursing advocacy is also about ensuring that patients have the right to make decisions regarding their health.
The evolving healthcare needs and the challenges surrounding healthcare provision among various countries has made it essential for healthcare providers including nurses to advance the needs of the population (Chicago, 2018). A critical components economic growth and prosperity, the public has a right to access of quality care at affordable cost. This has not been the case in recent years with most insurance and pharmaceutical companies prioritizing profit over wellbeing. Nurses through their role as advocates have aired their grievances over this matter through seeking the development of policies that shield low-income populations from extortionary healthcare costs and ensure access to care at their convenience. In addition to policy development, nurses in their advocacy support patients through providing education about care through facilitating open dialogue about symptoms and healthcare habits.
Nurses can also integrate scientific evidence based knowledge and patient preferences into their care as a way of ensuring improved health and wellbeing. As a nursing provider, there are many instances where I have acted as an advocate. While working in hospice care, there was a cancer patient I was caring for who could not afford pain medication. She had no medical insurance and having been out of a job for six months had no way to pay for her medication through out of pocket means. The patient was always in agony and upon noticing this; I talked to my supervisor about her case. We decided to educate her on alternative therapies for pain management that were accessible to her and as a result improved her wellbeing. We were able to connect her with an acupuncturist who provided free services for chronically ill patients. This is among the memorable cases I have had since upon recovery, the patient called to thank me for the care I provided. Overall, advocacy is an essential component of healthcare that should be embraced and supported.
Ahmadi, F. (2016). Patient advocacy from the clinical nurses’ viewpoint: a qualitative study. Journal of medical ethics and history of medicine.
Chicago, L. (2018, July 18). The role of the nurse as patient advocate. Retrieved from Loyola University Chicago: https://absn.luc.edu