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Nursing Advocacy - Essay Example

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The origin of advocacy is the Latin word advocatus, which means one who is called to support another. An advocate is a person who speaks in support of another. If the nurses are required to act as advocate of their clients, this means literally that they are ethically required to advocate or to speak or write for a cause or issue related to their parents…
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Nursing Advocacy
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Download file to see previous pages In any healthcare team, nurses have maximal contact time with the patient, and their practice centres not only the biological issues, also the psychosocial aspect of health which is person-centred. Therefore, their interactions with the patients would also examine the individual aspects (Malik 1997). Thus within the healthcare team, nurses are in the best position to practice advocacy. For the part that the nurses play in patient care, their knowledge in advocacy is natural, and quite often the client interest is so prominent in any healthcare scenario, nurses and clients may become partners in advocacy (Baldwin, 2003). However, this does not mean only the nurses need to practice advocacy, it is the ethical license for all varieties of health care professionals. It can be very easy to understand, the role of nurses as advocates is lightened much if all other professionals act with awareness of the need for advocacy (Brechin and Brown, 2000, p 23). However, it is a fact that anything implemented in practice is not 100% fool-proof.
It is a must that even the best of practice would have some negative and unacceptable implications. This has led to the controversy as to whether nurses should act as client advocates. In the literature there are indications that in any case scenario where advocacy is implemented, there may be conflicts between legal, ethical, and professional issues. Acting as an advocate for a client definitely enhances the therapeutic relationship between the nurse and the client, which in itself may be an indicator of access to healthcare (Brechin and Brown, 2000, p 37). However, unlimited advocacy always has it adverse effects. In this assignment, the advantages and disadvantages of nursing acting as advocates of their clients will be critically examined, and issues related to nursing practice will be critically reviewed in order to update knowledge and to examine its congruence to the theoretical framework.
The prime duty of the nurses is to maintain professional standards in practice. While doing that within the ethical framework, the health and safety of these patients must be ensured first. Concomitantly, the rights of the patients need to be protected. The nurse's role here is to promote, advocate, and strive to protect all these. This means nurses must advocate for the appropriate healthcare environment with provision for auditory and physical privacy. This could ensure confidentiality which is a basic right of the patients (Breeding & Turner, 2002). Theoretically speaking, advocacy needs skills such as necessary for standard nursing practice. To be able to advocate the cause of the client, the nurse needs to have capability of attentive listening, problem solving, decision making, negotiating and bargaining, ability to resolve conflicts with requisite extent of perseverance (Giddings, 2005a). All these, in turn, are possible only with the nurse's verbal and nonverbal communication. There are certain other traits of a nurse, which make her the best advocate for her client. Chafey and colleagues (1998) indicated that these traits are being empathetic, nurturing, ethical, objective, and assertive (Chafey et al., 1998). Luther (2000) indicated that along with these the attributes of self-awareness, open-mindedness, a broad knowledge base, ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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