If you're a nurse, you can feel excessively stretched for time and attention as you're caring for multiple patients and adhering to typical protocol. However, one central role of nurses that is often overlooked is the importance of patient advocacy and education.
At the end of the day, you can't be there for patients 100% of their lives, and developing an understanding of their conditions through education can help them get back to health independently.
In What Ways Are Nurses Involved in Patient Education and Advocacy?
As nurses learn while studying various nursing certifications, responsibilities such as advocating and communicating with other professionals and stakeholders are essential aspects of the job.
While it might seem like lots of work, these important aspects can make all the difference. This article will describe how nurses are involved in these processes so you can get a better understanding of this invaluable profession.
i). Educating Patients About their Health and Wellness
As a central point of communication and care, nurses are positioned to educate their patients about their health and wellness.
They are often tasked to provide important information about a patient's specific conditions, which will, in turn, help them understand their diagnosis, treatments, and medications so that they can take an active role in their own care.
Nurses are incredibly influential in these roles because they can communicate complex medical information in plain language. This means that nurses can help patients navigate the often-confusing world of healthcare rather than be bombarded by complex language and communication from doctors or physicians.
This more precise understanding and instruction will help patients adhere to protocols, improving long-term outcomes.
ii). Advocacy for Improved Healthcare Facilities
Another advantage that nurses have is the ability to advocate for better patient care since they have a deeper understanding of what patients really need.
Because they are constantly at the frontline, serving as the connection between other professionals and the patients, they can spot holes in the system and find where improvements can be made. This can come from pushing for more resources like staff, equipment, and technology to improve long-term healthcare outcomes.
This voice of reason and compassion can help spur much-needed change in healthcare facilities nationwide, which is something that is needed, especially in public institutions. Through this passionate commitment to patient care and advocacy, the entire industry can be improved so society can benefit for years to come.
iii). Developing Patient Support Groups
The role of nursing isn't only about administering medications or checking vital signs. Another important aspect is their emotional support, which can be enhanced by developing patient support groups.
These are simply networks of individuals going through the same conditions to share experiences and help each other through their journey.
Because they can bring these groups together and facilitate these meetings, nurses can provide education about the disease and create a supportive environment. While it might not be perfect for all patients, it can be monumental in delivering positive change for those with severe conditions.
iv). Promoting Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Nurses are central not only in directing patients to recovery through active means but it is also vital for them to promote healthy lifestyle habits to follow. While surgery and medication are integral in recovery, a healthy lifestyle also plays an important part.
If patients can follow nurses' directions when it comes to treatment options and also be educated on healthy lifestyle habits they can implement, then they have the greatest chance of success.
Things like healthy eating, exercise, and other habits not only improve the quality of life but can also contribute to better responses to treatments.
Because nurses work closely with clients, they can better help them get education on nutrition exercises and set some goals with patients. This, in turn, helps patients take control of their health and take it into their own hands.
v). Exploring Alternative Treatments Options
Nurses are responsible not only for maintaining the current treatment options available for patients but also for prescribing other treatments that might be more suitable. This is why it's so important that nurses take an objective stance on the situation and think of the patient first and foremost.
Everyone is an individual, and what works for one person might not work for another, so the ability to step back and find the most suitable recovery. This might mean referral to other healthcare professionals or prescriptions that involve alternative therapies alongside current treatments.
Nurses indeed have a lot on their plates, and this burden is also one of their most significant advantages. There are few healthcare professionals who can holistically care for their patients as well as communicate with a variety of stakeholders during the process.
Being able to advocate for patients, educate them on healthy habits, or even manage treatment options is invaluable in getting better outcomes, and these tasks should be appreciated.