4 DQ 1
An advocate is defined as one that pleads, defends, or supports a cause or interest of another. Nurse leaders can act as advocates for fellow nurses, improving not only working conditions but patient safety as well. They provide a voice for nurses and represent staff in healthcare policy development. Nurse leaders are typically involved in the budgeting process. As such, they can work to protect the interests of nurses even when financial pressures are high. For example, many nurse leaders sit on special budgetary committees. These committees have significant input on the types of supplies and equipment the hospital will purchase. When nurses are involved in this process, they can advocate for purchasing products that increase safety for both patients and nurses. Nurse leaders who empower staff members to address concerns on their own are promoting advocacy. This creates an environment where nurses take ownership in areas such as improved patient care. Staff members trust that their administrator will truly listen to their issues and then take action. While a nurse leader is well-placed to be an advocate for his or her staff members, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do so. Certain workplace cultures can make it very difficult to be effective. Some nurses may find it hard to communicate the issues they are experiencing. They may not provide enough specifics for nurse leaders to do anything. In some instances, nurses are afraid to speak up because they fear retaliation. They choose not to disrupt the status quo because they have concerns about losing their job. Nurse leaders make sure their staff members know they are protected by the law. Effective nurse leaders make sure their nurses feel comfortable enough to speak up without fear of retribution. They also advocate on behalf of nurses to give their staff representation. By doing so, they not only create a better working environment but a safer one as well (Texas A&M International University, 2019).
Advocating for employees creates an environment where nurses work effectively to improve patient care. When nurse leaders advocate for providing employees with personal protective equipment, they can work safely while caring for patients, but if they do not, it can lead to nurses becoming highly infected and absent from work, or it can lead to staff turnover and increased workload, compromising patient safety and outcome. When the nurse leaders voice for the employee to address issues that concern them especially in the case of bullying, the employee feels confident and safe to work in that environment thereby promoting patient safety and provide better patient outcomes. If the employee who is bullied is not listened to he or she might lose concentration and this can result in an error like medication error which affects the patient safety and outcome.
Discuss how nurse leaders serve as advocates for their employees. Describe how advocacy for employees affects patient care and outcomes.
Using 200-300 words APA format with at least two references. Sources must be published within the last 5 years.