The Concept of Advocacy

Topics: Nursing, Patient, Nurse Pages: 4 (1376 words) Published: November 30, 2006
Advocacy is defined as the process of advocating or supporting a cause one believes in. When a nurse makes the decision to advocate for a client, then the patient and his or her best interests become the cause. This is especially true in cases where those seeking care are unable to make informed decisions about the care they receive due to their condition. The idea of advocacy allows the nurse to communicate with the client, the client‘s family, and medical team to ensure the needs of both the patient and family are met. Nurses use critical thinking and ethical theory to make decisions that they feel are in the best interest of their client. The nurse taking on the role of advocate is better prepared to provide the client specific care needed for each unique situation and has a stronger rapport with those involved than one who chooses not to advocate. This concept is important because it is the nurse, not the doctor, who is on hand meeting these needs while the client is seeking care. Advocacy provides nurses with a plethora of opportunities to ensure clients, and their families receive the best treatment available. The Nurses Role in Advocacy

Advocacy in nursing, "has been a part of the ICN and ANA codes since the 1970s" (Butts, p.42). Nurses deal with unique situations on a daily basis, and it is a field where the work of nurses are never done. According to a favorite saying of Zeba Arif (2006), "Nursing is unique, nursing is 24/7" (p.1). The nurse wears many masks in terms of their roles in patient advocacy. Nursing is more than the ability to perform skills, and advocacy allows those in the field to showcase their abilities beyond a blood draw or injection. One of the most important roles the nurse assumes, is the role of listener. Listening to the client and their family is the crux of what nurse advocating is all about. According to Colleen Corish (2005), "Listening to patients, nurses help develop plans that are directed by...

References: Arif, Z. (2006). Speaking up for patients. Nursing Standard, vol. 20 no 28. 32-33.
Butts, J. & Rich, K. (2005). Nursing Ethics. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Corish, C.L. (2005). Advocacy-The Power to Influence. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, vol. 9 no 4. p.478.
Erlen, J.A. (2006). Who Speaks for the Vulnerable. Orthopedic Nursing, vol. 25 no. 2. 133-136.
Salladay, S. (2005). Ethical Problems. Nursing2005, vol. 35 no. 3. 22.
Salladay, S. (2005). Ethical Problems. Nursing2005, vol. 28 no. 2. 72.
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