Role of Nurse as a Patient Advocate Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1003 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare

Nurses as Patient Advocates

Most people even in the medical industry think of nurses as individuals who provide direct medical care to patients, within the guidelines of their own profession as well as the orders of the physicians managing care. Yet, there is a great deal more to the profession than the simple provision of direct medical care. The nurse has a distinct advantage, over many other health care professionals in that they often spend the most time with patients. In this role they interact on a clinical as well as social level with the patient and in almost every setting learn things about the patient that others providing care may never know. It is for this reason that nurses are the most logical persons to act as advocates for patients. As an advocate for a patient a nurse might be able to influence care to better meet the holistic needs of patients. This work will address the history of the call for nurses to fill the role of patient advocate and will then explore a particular situation where the concepts are being employed, in this case with epilepsy patients.

Nurses have been called to act as patient advocates as an ideal to patient care needs. Meeting the holistic needs of patients is an outgrowth of the needs of nurses to gain more professional autonomy so as to better use their distinct role, noted above, combining medical and ethical concerns, to better serve the patient and their health and wellness goals. (Bernall, 1992, 18)

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Since the 1970s an extensive discussion in nursing literature has been devoted to the suggestion that nurses be "patient advocates" whose primary responsibility is to protect patient rights and interests in the health care setting... those espousing patient advocacy argue that unless nurses achieve greater professional autonomy, patients' rights will not be fully protected in hospital settings. (Bernall, 1992, p.18)

Patients often confide information through natural dialogue with nurses, expressing their understanding of their own health, their concerns about after care and also personal needs they feel are or are not being met by other members of the health care team.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Role of Nurse as a Patient Advocate Assignment

The greatest need for a patient advocate is especially high in circumstances where temporary or chronic psychological diseases or processes reduce the individual's ability to self-advocate. In circumstances of hospital care this would be any time a patient undergoes procedures or treatments that temporarily reduce their ability to speak for themselves. This can be anything from surgical anesthetic, to post care pain medication treatment. At this stage the nurse serves an important role as the advocate of the patient as they not only understand the medical aspects of the circumstances but may be privileged to information, from the patient about their own needs, concerns and wants. This position as advocate may put the nurse into circumstances of conflict with other care providers but the role of the nurse is to advocate for the needs of the client. The American Nursing Association guidelines reflect this belief.


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How to Cite "Role of Nurse as a Patient Advocate" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Role of Nurse as a Patient Advocate.  (2004, November 19).  Retrieved November 27, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Role of Nurse as a Patient Advocate."  19 November 2004.  Web.  27 November 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Role of Nurse as a Patient Advocate."  November 19, 2004.  Accessed November 27, 2021.