Six Ways Nurses Can Advocate for Patients
1. Ensure Safety - Ensure that the patient is safe when being treated in a healthcare facility, and when they are discharged by communicating with case managers or social workers about the patient’s need for home health or assistance after discharge, so that it is arranged before they go home.
2. Give Patients a Voice - Give patients a voice when they are vulnerable by staying in the room with them while the doctor explains their diagnosis and treatment options to help them ask questions, get answers, and translate information from medical jargon.
3. Educate - Educate patients on how to manage their current or chronic condition to improve the quality of their everyday
life is an important way nurses can make a difference.
4. Protect Patients’ Rights- Protect patients’ rights by knowing their wishes this might include communicating those to a difficult family member who might disagree with the patient’s choices and could upset the patient.
5. Double Check for Errors- Everyone makes mistakes. Nurses can catch, stop, and fix errors, and flag conflicting orders, information, or oversights by physicians or others caring for the patient. Read the orders and previous documentation carefully, double check with other nurses and the pharmacist, and call the doctor if something is unclear.
6. Connect Patients to Resources- Help patients find resources inside or outside the hospital to support their well-being. Be aware of resources in the community that you can share with the patient such as financial assistance, transportation, patient
or caregiver support networks, or helping them meet other needs.
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