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Just Ask A Nurse

January 10th, 2013

Nurses as Patient Advocates

As a nurse, you are often times the one person a patient relies on to be there when something goes wrong. Nurses are responsible for charting and documenting a patient’s concerns and worries, as well as any issues they are experiencing. A patient relies on the nurse’s expertise to help make the doctor understand what they are feeling and what their needs are. For patients who can’t communicate verbally, it is often up to the nurse to advocate on their behalf.

Nurses spend long periods of time with their patients and begin to understand their needs even when they have difficulty communicating them. A patient’s family members will look to nurses for information concerning the level and quality of care the patient receives. They also rely on them for updates or changes in a patient’s treatment plan.

Nurses are taught to advocate for their patients on a variety of levels. They must be able to communicate with physicians and family members in ways that both can understand. A nurse must also be able to discuss things with their patients and put them at ease when the news isn’t so positive. As an advocate, a nurse is looked to for both support and compassion. Understanding that sometimes words serve no purpose and a healing touch can speak volumes.

As an advocate, a nurse can bring comfort and solace. They can also provide encouragement when a patient has a long road ahead of them. When acting as an advocate, a nurse can provide the patient with the courage to move forward knowing they have someone who will be there for them throughout their healing journe

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