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Advocacy is a basic foundation to nursing. The nurse’s role in patient advocacy involves being the voice for the patient; standing up for the patient and voicing concerns, doing what is right and in the patient’s best interest, communicating properly with the patient and Interdisciplinary team, and many others. Communicating properly can also include charting. Nurses advocate for their patients by charting what really happened, no false documentation, nothing unethical like making up vital signs because they were too lazy to take them.
Collaboration is another way that nurses advocate for patients (Helbig, 2018). In order to ensure patient-centered care, collaboration between other members of the healthcare team is vital. The phrase “it takes a tribe” has never rang more true when it comes to healthcare. We work as a team to ensure our patients are getting the best care possible.
I think we’ve all had our fair share of nursing advocate stories. One recent situation while working in the post-acute rehab unit involved an older gentleman who was supposed to be discharged home the following day. He had been there after having back surgery and would’ve been going home with wife after weeks of therapy. While I was doing his assessment that evening, he voiced some concern about going home and that he felt it was a little too early. I could see the concern in his eyes. He was afraid that his wife wouldn’t be able to help him on her own and didn’t feel comfortable going home quite yet. The patient also said that he didn’t feel comfortable telling the doctor this when his discharge was discussed. Therefore, I called the doctor and told him what was going on and the patient’s concerns. The doctor agreed to keep the patient for a little longer and that we would set up for an aide to come in to the home to help with certain things. The patient was so happy when I told him that he just kept saying, “Thank you so much, you really care about us patients.” It made me realize that not all patients think that nurses advocate for them, so I was happy to sort of change his mind about this situation.