Nurses advocate for their patients in many ways and on a daily basis. Many do not realize that by providing care and communicating with patients, they are practicing advocacy. Ways the nurses advocate for patients include; through inter and intrapersonal communication, therapeutic communication, collaboration, socialization, implementation, networking with organizations (specifically those that move to influence legislative change), and identifying health care disparities and health care delivery Grand (Canyon University, 2018).
We are all put in daily situations in which we advocate for our patients. One that jumps out to me, is a patient who came in as an outpatient and was status post op for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The patient came over from PACU into second phase recovery after over an hour and a half in the PACU. Bedside report revealed that the patient was thrashing upon arrival to PACU, pain was not manageable, and the patient’s blood pressure decreased while heart rate increased. The patient was still uncomfortable and thrashing around. I immediately contacted the physician who came to assess the patient. He stood there stating he didn’t know what was wrong or could be wrong with the patient. I, alongside my charge nurse, pushed for an order to draw a stat hemoglobin and hematocrit as I felt the patient was bleeding internally. It took convincing, but there were no further interventions we could do at this time to help this patient. When the H&H came back, it had dropped significantly compared to his preoperative levels the day before and below the norms. The patient was rushed back into the operating room where it was discovered he had ripped his internal stitches due to the thrashing around postoperatively. If it wasn’t for us advocating and pushing for the lab draw, the surgeon may have let the patient discharge where he would have bled a significant amount more. He could have potentially died. An Incident Report Form was completed on this situation.
Grand Canyon University. (2018). Professional Engagement. Retrieved from