In healthcare settings, registered nurses are expected to perform not only their professional duties but also work as advocates for patients’ interests. Thus, a registered nurse’s role in the sphere of patient advocacy is associated with acting on behalf of clients where it is necessary to provide support, assistance or educate on specifics of procedures and treatments. There can be many situations when nurses act as advocates for patients and can assist them successfully in medical environments (Butts & Rich, 2016). For example, a woman with a sick female child cannot be allowed to accompany her daughter during specific procedures due to the hospital protocol. However, the problem is that both the mother and daughter can be extremely concerned because of the situation and feel additional stress and anxiety. In this situation, a nurse can evaluate risks in terms of patient safety issues, analyze protocols, and determine how it is possible to help the family to overcome the situation effectively.
In pre-licensure education, nurses can be inadequately prepared as advocates for patients because the main focus is on developing their professional skills. Nevertheless, much attention should be paid to teaching nurses to act as patient advocates because individuals can feel vulnerable in medical settings, and they often need additional support and education from registered nurses (Pozgar, 2016). Furthermore, patients can also feel vulnerable because of their minority status, social status, ethnicity, or age, among other factors, and nurses should respect their interests. From this perspective, it is significant to teach nurses how to communicate with patients and their families in order to achieve the best health outcomes for clients. In this case, nurses can build strong relations with patients to contribute to their healing.
Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2016). Nursing ethics: Across the curriculum and into practice (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning
Pozgar, G. D. (2016). Legal and ethical issues for health professionals (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.