Hi, I'm Jessica Spellman and
we're gonna be reviewing advocacy in nursing.
After taking this course you will
be able to define nursing advocacy,
understand specific organizational views regarding advocacy,
specifically professional nursing organizations.
You'll be able to explain the types of nursing advocacy.
List barriers and challenges
that nurses face as advocates.
Describe how to be an advocate
for patients and the nursing profession.
And then be able to summarize the importance of
nursing advocacy in the profession of nursing.
So I'd like to start with the definition of advocacy.
Advocacy is using ones position to support,
influence or protect issues affecting individuals
or groups. Sounds a lot like
what nursing does, right?
So an example outside of the
nursing profession of being an advocate is
an informed voter that cast their vote
in opposition of or in favor of
an issue on a ballot.
That is the way the public can be advocates.
Within nursing professional organizations,
position statements are developed by
professional nursing organizations, nationally and
internationally, that help guide the nursing profession
in how we take care of our patients and
highlight the importance of advocacy.
A few of the nursing organizations
that I wanted to bring into
discuss with you for a few moments is: the International Council of Nursing
are nurses that advocate for equity and social justice
globally and work to ensure
social and economic services
internationally. So the American Nurses Association
is specifically in America.
Of course, it's made up of nurses also and
they are responsible for articulating the values of nursing
and maintaining the integrity of the
profession and the practice.
The Institute of Medicine is
another advocacy group.
Nurses are a part of that. Obviously,
there's also physicians that are a part of that group as well, but they
are in a position to advocate for the
healthcare consumers more than the profession itself.
A few types of advocacy. I wanted to start with the
direct form of advocacy and that's where you speak directly to
those involved in policy decisions. F
or example, calling a meeting with legislators,
providing testimony, protesting.
Those are direct way of dealing with issues.
And nurses can and should be involved at that level.
But another level that nurses are involved in is indirectly,
where we influence the public's perception of issues.
So we might write letters
to an editor or editorials in magazines,
petitions for consumers to sign or
just educating the population on
the issues that they are gonna go vote on
so that they are more likely to
understand the issue and
vote for how it will affect them.
Another form of advocacy is workplace issues.
So we always think politically as the only form of advocacy
but there's other types that we're talking
about right now. This one is the workplace issues.
So nurses can influence either
patient safety or nursing safety.
So within the workplace we may
advocate for issues that are
affecting patient safety or issues that are
affecting the profession of nursing within that organization.
And I think this is the level right here
that most people think of advocacy and are a little scared of it.
And this is the State, National, International Policy.
It's approached by professional nursing organizations
and they create the position statements like
I said earlier that influence policy development, but,
of course, professional nursing
organizations are full of nurses!
So nurses are functioning as advocates
at this level not only in the workplace.
A few of the challenges and barriers
that nurses face as being advocates.
The first is a lack of knowledge of
how to address concerns and issues.
The second is the fear of being seen
as a complainer. The third is fear of retaliation
for voicing their opinion
and their knowledge.
And the fourth way is they feel like they have
limited time and resources to allocate towards being an advocate.
So I wanna address a few of those in order
to overcome these barriers. The first
barrier, being aware of the steps and the involvement
in advocacy can help you overcome the knowledge deficit
of not knowing what to do about an issue
that you feel passionately about. The second issue,
having knowledge of the issue will
overcome the knowledge deficit and
it'll look more like you are an advocate
instead of a complainer. So just because we advocate for something
doesn't mean that we're gonna be seen as complainers.
It means we're voicing our concern
for the population that we're taking care of.
Third, advocacy is part of every nurses duty.
Discussing issues with administration or
policy officials should not have repercussions.
It's in fact part of our responsibility to do this.
So advocacy does not have to take a lot of time.
If you find an issue that you feel passionately about,
talking to others about it
doesn't have to be time consuming and
it might actually be something that you enjoy in
your work. So let's review the steps in advocacy
that help you overcome the knowledge deficit
of not knowing how to voice
your opinion about an issue.
First, you wanna educate yourself about the issue.
You wanna become very familiar with it
and have facts to back up your opinion
or your passion for that issue.
After you identify the issue and educate yourself about it,
you wanna reach out to professional advocacy groups for help if needed.
That's what they're there for.
They help nurses identify issues and find the right people to
discuss the issues with. And then lastly you wanna
identify and contact the appropriate person to discuss your issue.
Again, this doesn't have to be policy makers.
This could be your nurse manager, it could be
your director of nursing within your facility.
It doesn't always have to be legislators
globally or nationally.
Why get involved in advocacy?
National and international organizations have
identified it as a role of the nurse to be involved in advocacy.
Nurses are on the front lines.
We're talking care of patients and we have special insight into consumer needs.
In 2008, there were 3,1 million nurses and 660,000 physicians.
So nurses outnumber doctors 4 to 1.
Since there's such a large
number of nurses, it is our responsibility
to identify issues with patient safety
and the nursing profession and advocate for those.
Nurses are well educated,
we can communicate knowledgeably, we're empathetic,
we're passionate about patient needs
and about our own profession,
and it's important that we use our voice
as a profession to make change.
So in summary, many types of advocacy.
Patient advocacy, nursing advocacy,
political advocacy are all examples of ways
nurses can function as advocates.
There are several different forms of advocacy.
The first is direct, where we approach those involved
that can make the change. Example: speaking to a legislator
about an issue, or your nurse manager.
Second, indirectly by educating the public
about issues through the media.
Advocacy is an expectation of the nursing profession.
However, advocating on hospital committees
or within your workplace is considered advocacy.
When we advocate for patients in any arena,
it is considered advocacy.
Not every nurse has to speak with political leaders in order
to be an advocate. Advocacy does not have to be time consuming
and it can be a part of your role as nurse that you really enjoy.
I am Jessica Spellman and this has been advocacy and nursing.