Advocacy is “the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal” (Advocacy, n.d.) It is an undeniable fact that we are first and foremost advocates for our patients. Our patients have found themselves in situations out of their control, in a world very foreign to them, and it is our jobs to ensure not only their safety and wellbeing, but to help guide them through their illness. Many of our patients have never been sick or hospitalized, nor have they been around any hospital settings. There is a whole new language most don’t understand. We become their advocates, we help guide them in their decisions by teaching them what we can. When they are too sick to understand, we teach those closest to them, or we become their sole advocators.
There are many times I have advocated for a patient, it is something I do every shift at work. I had one particular case that comes to mind. We had a mother who during birth began hemorrhaging and became severely hypotensive. She was transferred to the ICU and never got to see her baby. This was her first child and they had tried for several years for this baby. Dad brought in several pictures of the newborn throughout the day and had them everywhere for mom to see. I came in that night and happened to go in and round on her. She had been recently crying and I asked if there was anything, I could do for her and she smiled and said no, I just want to hold my baby. I called over to the nursery and asked if there was any chance there was someone available to bring her baby over, I could get her in the room right next to the side door that way the first stop was moms’ room. It took a little while, but they were able to make arrangements to bring the baby over. We opened her door and she began to sob. She held that baby as close as she could. There are many instances where going a little above and beyond can truly turn a patients’ life, in that moment, around.
That was a happy case. I have advocated for end of life care more than I can count. There are many times when patients are in pain and suffering and family continues to push for more and more and more and I have stepped in for that patient to help the family cope and understand so that the patient no longer suffers. Those are some of the more difficult cases, but advocaries just the same.
Advocacy. (n.d.) Merriam-Webster online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocacy
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