According to Barlem et al. (2015), advocacy in nursing is essential because it helps patients get necessary healthcare, assists in defending a patients’ rights, ensures patients receive high-quality care and serves as a link between the healthcare environment and the patient. One of the strategies I can use to create positive change in my current workplace is suggesting relevant healthcare programs and resources that a patient can use to meet their healthcare goals. I can also suggest alternatives that patients can afford if they do not have the money required for the most preferred treatment plan. The second strategy that I can use is collaborating with the other healthcare providers treating my patients so that I can monitor their health progress and ensure that they receive high-quality, consistent care and their needs are considered when making decisions relating to treatment. The third strategy is providing regular updates to the patient’s family to understand the healthcare condition of their loved one and the treatment being offered. Fateel & O’Neill (2015) argue that the family should also be involved in making decisions about the healthcare intervention to be used to improve patient outcomes.
I once provided leadership when I was in charge of a team created to oversee the treatment of one of the patients with a heart disorder and bipolar. I led the team to develop strategies to ensure that the patient took his medication for the two healthcare conditions because he had developed a tendency to refuse to take medicine. Pirotte & Benson (2021) argue that refusal of care is a common issue in healthcare and is founded on autonomy, which gives patients the right to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Healthcare providers are not allowed to impose their decisions and beliefs upon their patients. In the current case, the patient had bipolar disorder, limiting his ability to decide about his healthcare. We, therefore, agreed on counseling the patient to make him understand the importance of taking the medication and how his health may deteriorate if he does not. The patient finally decided to continue taking his medication after seven counseling sessions. If I were in the same scenario again, I would do nothing differently because I am convinced that we made the best decision.
Barlem, J. G., Lunardi, V. L., Barlem, E. L., Ramos, A. M., Figueira, A. B., & Fornari, N. C. (2015). Nursing beliefs and actions in exercising patient advocacy in a hospital context. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP, 49(5), 811-818. https://doi.org/10.1590/s0080-623420150000500015
Fateel, E. E., & O’Neill, C. S. (2015). Family members’ involvement in the care of critically ill patients in two intensive care units in an acute hospital in Bahrain: The experiences and perspectives of family members’ and nurses’ – A qualitative study. Clinical Nursing Studies, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.5430/cns.v4n1p57
Pirotte, B., & Benson, S. (2021). Refusal of Care. NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560886/
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The influence of leadership can be far-reaching in practice and improving patient outcomes even when not in a formal role.
Describe advocacy strategies that you can use as a leader to create positive change in your current workplace. In response to peers, describe a time when you provided leadership and the outcome. Was there anything that you would do differently?
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