ROLE OF NURSES IN PROMOTING PATIENTS RIGHTS 2
Therole of nurses in promoting patient rights
Nursesplay an important part in advocating for patient rights to empowerthe vulnerable patients and liberate them from discomforts andunneeded treatments. They also protect them from unethical andincompetent acts of health professionals (Thacker, 2008). Iencountered a case where a patient died in a surgery bed after thesurgeon left in a hurry after having received a call only to leave anintern to finish the operation. There are various nursing practicesthat nurses could use to promote patient rights and responsibilities:
Accordingto Vaartio & Kilpi (2004), nurses need to ensure that patientsare aware of their rights and responsibilities through educatingthem. Some patients are just naïve and do not know when healthprofessionals deny them their rights.
Nursesought to ensure equal access to health screening and adequate healthcare to all patients (Peate, Wild, & Nair, 2014). Discriminationbased on tribe, race, and social class is rampant in hospitals. Byfighting for equality within the hospitals, nurses would be promotingpatient rights.
Peat,Wild & Nair (2014), argue that nurses should ensure that allpatients get all information they need in a way that enables them tomake well-informed decisions. In other words, they should promotepatient rights by campaigning against information asymmetry which isprevalent in our hospitals. Doctors always withdraw some informationfrom their patients claiming that it is confidential.
Anotherway to promote patient rights is through encouraging health-promotingbehavior by being role models (Fowler, 2008). Some medicalprofessionals are at the forefront in engaging in an adverse healthbehavior in their work. In such cases, nurses need to chip in andadvocate for the rights of their patients.
Fowler,M. (2008). Guideto the code of ethics for nurses.Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association.
Peate,I., Wild, K., & Nair, M. (2014). NursingPractice.Hoboken: Wiley
Thacker,K. (2008). Nurses’advocacy behaviours in end of life nursing care. Nursing Ethics.England: Open University Press.
Vaartio,H., & Leino-Kilpi, H. (2004). Nursing Advocacy in Procedural PainCare. NursingEthics,16(3),340-362. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0969733009097992