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Speaking and acting on behalf of a vulnerable patient is an example of an issue that requires me to perform the role of moral agent or advocate to improve the situation. Walsh (201o) brings forward the fact that "The prime responsibility of nurses is to nurse her patient, and that, in doing so, she is free to express compassion, the emotion that is distressing, but that motivates her actions in satisfying the most basic of her patients needs" (p. 748). It is an ethical or moral issue for nurses to act as advocates for their patients as some of them may be frail, susceptible, and helpless. Through advocacy, nurses are able to eliminate pain, distress, as well as uncalled for forms of treatment. The issue of incompetence is the medical profession also necessitates the need for advocacy. Incompetency may include wrong medications and breach of confidentiality of patients records. The relationship between patients and their doctors does not in many cases allow them to speak freely hence they are not involved in making decisions regarding their treatment. Patients have a right to be involved in the decision making process and are subsequently entitled to decide on the mode of treatment they would prefer (Tomajan, 2012). Therefore, nurses are obligated to act as advocates for patients rights and speak on their behalf.
There are a number of negative outcomes that may result if this role is not fulfilled. Firstly, patients will not have the capacity to make informed choices and decisions in regard to their health issues as well as treatment. A patient may lack the capacity to speak on his or her behalf, meaning that there is poor communication. It is also worth noting that if advocacy for patients rights is not fulfilled, then issues of incompetence may increases (Tomajan, 2012). For instance, advocacy in nursing ensures that patients medical records are treated with discretion and hence if it is
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