Nurse’s role in patient advocacy Discussion

 Discuss the importance of advocacy as it pertains to patient care. What is the nurse’s role in patient advocacy? Describe a situation in which you were involved with patient advocacy. Explain what the advocacy accomplished for the patient, and what the repercussions would have been if the patient would not had an advocate.

Nurse Leadership and Health Care Policy and Advocacy

As an advanced practice nurse, propose strategies you can implement to increase your participation in the health care policymaking in order to support patient advocacy.

Advanced registered Nurses (APRNS) are responsible for influencing the current and future healthcare procedures that guide healthcare delivery. Nurses operate on a framework that seeks to foster patient healthcare across different societal levels. To ensure the effectiveness of their role in healthcare delivery, nurses should influence healthcare policies and standards to improve patient care. They should also address population health through policy advocacy and commit the necessary resources to address social factors.

One of the most effective strategies I can adopt as an advanced registered nurse to increase my participation in healthcare policy-making is assessing the social determinants of health. According to Hanks et al. (2017), the social determinants of health are related to the resources, power, and money distribution both at local and global levels. These determinants include employment, food, housing, security, physical environment, socioeconomic status, education, and social support.

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Nonetheless, 80% of health outcomes are attributed to the social determinants of health (Williams et al., 2018). Therefore, getting familiar with the factors that affect patient health would be essential in advocating for patient care.  Additionally, interacting directly with patients would allow me to understand the problems they encounter regarding the cause of diseases and health inequalities, which directly impact nursing. As a result, it would allow me to understand the factors I should advocate for, increasing my participation in the healthcare policy-making process.

Having adequate knowledge on the social determinants of health in the community that I serve and becoming the voice of the disadvantaged, poor and vulnerable patients would help me understand the underlying factors affecting patient health. Therefore, I would actively engage in making policies that integrate the social, economic, and environmental conditions to ensure all patients receive quality patient care despite their backgrounds, enhancing social justice and overall patient quality of life.

References

Hanks, R. G., Starnes-Ott, K., & Stafford, L. (2017). Patient advocacy at the APRN level: A direction for the future. Nursing Forum53(1), 5-11. https://doi.org/10.1111/nuf.12209

Williams, S., Phillips, J., & Koyama, K. (2018). Nurse Advocacy: Adopting health in all policies approach. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing23(3). https://doi.org/10.3912/ojin.vol23no03man01

Explain how health care policy affects health care organizations, patient care, and cost-effective quality care. What measures can the nurse leader take as an advocate for patient care and addressing health care costs?

Healthcare policies and procedures have an essential role in healthcare organizations as they provide standardization of all the daily activities aimed at patient care delivery. According to Braithwaite (2018), policies set a general plan for action that is used to provide guidance on achieving the desired outcomes and improves the decision-making ability of health providers. They also help communicate to nurse subordinates on the desired organizational results.

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In this regard, healthcare policies and procedures significantly impact the overall health care organization’s performance. Effective healthcare procedures lead to improved patient care delivery as they provide guidelines on how nurses, among other healthcare providers, can deliver quality patient care more cost-effectively. The continued adoption of healthcare policies and procedures such as HIPPA and the Affordable Care Act has reduced the costs incurred by healthcare organizations and patients in providing and receiving care, respectively, while improving organizational performance and the quality of patient care.

Nonetheless, nurses have a significant role in advocating for patient care and addressing healthcare costs. Nurses act as the voice of patients who are often vulnerable to the existing policies and procedures (Williams et al., 2018). In this regard, nurses can listen to patients’ complaints regarding their health and the challenges encountered in receiving healthcare. They then advocate for change in the existing policies and procedures to improve their patient experience.

Nurses can also protect the patients’ rights when receiving care and connecting patients and resources needed to improve their quality of life, such as transportation, financial support, and caregiver support networks. Additionally, nurses can advocate for a change in the healthcare costs as they are some of the health providers in the frontline. In this case, nurses can advocate against unnecessary medication and treatments to ensure healthcare organizations provide quality care at low costs.

References

Braithwaite, J. (2018). Changing how we think about healthcare improvementBMJ, k2014. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2014

Williams, S., Phillips, J., & Koyama, K. (2018). Nurse Advocacy: Adopting health in all policies approach. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing23(3). https://doi.org/10.3912/ojin.vol23no03man01

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