Why we need and appreciate our nurses

CHARLOTTE MURRAY

Nurses fulfill a vital role in the care of people. By working closely with patients, they can be advocates and a voice for those in their care. Advocacy is essential to improving health care.

Nurses see firsthand the effectiveness of treatments and can mediate between physicians and patients. Their regular contact with multiple patients puts them in unique positions in which they can also advocate for major health care policies.

Characteristics of Nursing Advocacy

According to research on patient advocacy in nursing, nurses provide support for patients through compassion and empathy. They create mutual trust by sharing information, managing emotional situations, maintaining communications and encouraging proximity.

In addition to mediating between physicians and patients, nurses often educate patients’ families on treatment recommendations. They might have to speak up if family members are not making decisions in the best interest of the patient.

Influence on Community and Policy

Nurses can apply their advocacy skills to speak to those in positions of power regarding educational, health care and economic issues. Nurse advocates can be found sharing their expertise with the community leaders, elected officials, and educational and health care organizations that are seeking to improve health care.

Some of the issues nurses can advocate for include payment and policy solutions, changes to medical processes, legal options and policies that support certain groups of people (e.g., elderly patients, underserved communities, expectant parents, persons with disabilities).

Role as an Advocate for Patients

Nurses can contribute to improvements in health care. They need communication, decision-making and problem-solving skills to be successful advocates for patients. 

Carlow University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program equips students with the skills needed for nursing in a variety of health care settings and for roles in which they can become effective advocates for patients.

Comments

From the Web