Patient advocacy involves acting on behalf of patients who are unable to represent themselves, or those who do not wish to represent themselves (Kimble, 2012). When a nurse acts as an advocate for their patients they are able to empower the weak and vulnerable, releasing them from their discomfort and from unnecessary treatments (Kimble, 2012). During my clinical, there was one patient in particular who needed a patient advocate more than ever. The patient G. R.
, was quite ill at the time, he had no supports, no family or visitors, and was non-verbal. This patient required the judgment of the nurses in his care, as he had no one to speak for him and could literally not speak for himself. Eventually his care became too complex, and he needed to be sent to the Royal University Hospital (RUH), this was quite concerning to the Rosthern staff, as who would be there to care for him, and stand on his behalf. Using Carper’s (1978) “Five Ways of Knowing” I will examine G. R.’s complex ethical situation, and the role of the nurses and myself in his care.Order now
Patient History During my time at Rosthern Hospital G. R. was one of the patients I felt most connected with, and I felt we developed a therapeutic relationship. He was an older gentleman, and he had some mental health issues, he also was non-verbal for an unknown reason. G. R.
was sent to the hospital by his the mental health worker who was in charge of running the home he lived, as he was vomiting, had quite a distended abdomen, and was constipated. His case was quite complex and serious, so the physician sent him to RUH. RUH then sent him back after giving him an X-ray and viewing a large amount of stool in his abdomen, and sent him back to Rosthern Hospital with some stool softener m. .etween the patient and the health care system. The importance of patient advocacy was exemplified in G.
R.’s case. If G. R. did not have the support of the staff at Rosthern Hospital his circumstances could have been much worse. G.
R. was quite close to death, and the help of the staff prolonged his life, if not saved him. I have learnt from my experience with G. R. to always follow your instinct when caring for patients, and the importance of patient support. Nurses are able to advocate for patients throughout their treatment by using the seven helping skills, remaining ethical, using the science of nursing to explain treatments and procedures, and ultimately advocating for patients in the broader community.
Above all advocacy is supporting patient autonomy and ensure the patient remains at the center of care, with the utmost respect and dignity that they deserve.