When nurses advocate for patients, stand up for patients’ rights, or work to meet their need for care, that nurse is actively assuming the role of patient advocate. The nurse is using knowledge to care for the patient and to coordinate care for the patient (Dynamics in Nursing 2018). This is important because the nurse communicates what he/she believes to be the best methods of care for the patient based off the data in all forms. This is then communicated by the nurse across all levels of care of the patient to ensure the best possible outcomes for the patient.
A situation I recall in my time of patient care in the Emergency Room to where I advocated for a patient was realizing that based off the data I collected when caring for a patient I suggested to the doctor to perform a CT scan that wasn’t previously done and hadn’t been ordered yet. The patient was feeling a bit short of breath and was on oxygen and on the cardiac monitor with a slightly elevated heart rate. We had already performed a chest x-ray and labs right away and cardiac monitoring. Because I was the nurse caring for the patient and monitoring the results in all forms, my concern was that the patient had a Pulmonary Embolism and because the doctor hadn’t actually made it bedside to see the patient yet, my advance knowledge and awareness prompted me to relay to the doctor what I believed we needed to do. Sure enough the patient did in fact have a Pulmonary Embolism and we were able to proceed faster with care and get the patient admitted and to the floor faster as well. Had I not advocated for the patient the outcomes could have went in many directions but mostly would have delayed prompt patient care and potential adverse outcomes.
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