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Patient Advocate: The Voice of the Patient

Patient Advocate: The Voice of the Patient

QUESTION

Patient Advocate: The Voice of the Patient

ANSWER

A nurse’s role is to ensure a patient’s safety while also providing quality healthcare. The role of nurses has evolved since the days of Florence Nightingale, one of history’s most famous nurses who advocated for safe care. However, current nurses play a variety of roles, ranging from leadership to patient advocacy, to ensure that safety is at the heart of nursing practice (Stanley et al., 2018). In a medical facility, patients spent the majority of their time with nurses. It implies that nurses have a better understanding of the situation as well as the needs of the patients. Nurses have the ability and opportunity to converse with patients, which means they are the best people to cater to their needs. The focus of this article is on patient safety and advocacy, particularly how an oncology nurse can advocate for cancer patients while also ensuring their safety during cancer treatments.

The Function of Oncology Nurses

The role of an oncology nurse, like that of any other nurse in a healthcare department, is to ensure that the patient in his or her care is safe and receiving the best treatment that the nurse can afford at the time. “An oncology nurse is a registered nurse who cares for and educates cancer patients” (Henry et al., 2016). “Oncology nurses work in a multi-disciplinary team in a variety of settings, from the inpatient ward to the bone marrow transplant unit, through to the community,” they add. According to Henry et al. (2016), “they may work with a variety of patients, from children to the elderly, from outpatients to palliative care.” Assessing a cancer patient is one of the most important roles of an oncology nurse. Their responsibilities include assessing patients who have side effects from the treatment, as well as assessing patients during and after chemotherapy. Furthermore, an oncology nurse plays an important role in education. An oncology nurse primarily provides palliative care. The nurse is helpful to the patient in this way because they give them hope for a better life. Most of the time, these nurses spent their time with the patient educating them and giving them hope for a better life in order to help them stabilize their health. As a result, they have strong interpersonal skills that help them examine patients and assess their knowledge of the disease, the process involved, and the client’s emotions.

The Advocate’s Role

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A nurse’s role as an oncologist is critical in ensuring that patients in his or her care have a voice that represents them not only in the hospital but also in the country as a whole. Cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases that humans are currently facing. Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018, according to Ghoncheh, Pournamdar, and Salehiniya (2016). Cancer is responsible for approximately one in every six deaths worldwide. Cancer kills approximately 70% of people in low- and middle-income countries” (Ghoncheh, Pournamdar, and Salehiniya, 2016). According to the World Health Organization, cancer deaths are most common among patients whose needs exceed their financial means. In this sense, the oncologist’s role is to advocate for better cancer services and institutions that can better care for cancer patients. These individuals must help to reduce cancer not only in the United States but also in other countries around the world. However, people should be aware of how to advocate for cancer patients. There are numerous ways for nurses to ensure that patients receive better cancer care from high-quality healthcare facilities. The first step is to educate the patient. Nurses must ensure that the patients in their care are active rather than passive consumers of healthcare services. In this way, they must educate the patient on better ways to reduce pain during cancer treatments. In this context, the struggle includes both physical and financial aspects. Most patients face numerous tasks because paying for cancer services is expensive. Oncologists can advise patients to seek financial assistance from charitable organizations to help with treatment. They can also recommend the best facilities where the patient can receive more attention and better services. In this way, they will enlighten the patient to be more health-conscious (Riley & Riley, 2016).

It is also the oncologist’s responsibility to advocate for cancer patients’ rights in society. In this regard, they can work with numerous cancer organizations that fight for cancer patients’ rights and advocate for their well-being in the country. In this case, an excellent example is the American Cancer Society, a well-known organization that has long fought cancer. The American Cancer Society believes that “everyone has the right to quality cancer care” (Henry et al., 2016). This organization also believes that “quality care necessitates safety, efficacy, and timeliness, a patient-centered approach coordinated by a multidisciplinary team, and the incorporation of evidence-based practice to continuously improve care” (Henry et al., 2016). According to the American Cancer Society, the best way to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality is for people to implement cancer risk reduction strategies. It is also the best way to ensure that cancer patients have a higher quality of life. The ecologist can ensure that cancer services include detection, prevention, risk reduction, clinical tests, treatment, psychosocial and palliative care, end-of-life care, and survivorship by collaborating with the American Cancer Society. These are the tenets of a healthier, cancer-free society.

Finally, oncologists can advocate for better legislation in the country aimed at creating a better society in which cancer patients can access not only facilities with cancer services but also better facilities with better cancer resources that can help stabilize their lives. As a result, these individuals can organize, meet with state legislators, and make recommendations on how best institutions should treat cancer patients. They can also propose better healthcare policies that will make cancer patients feel less alienated from healthcare reforms. Furthermore, they can form cancer associations and connect with government bodies in order to obtain better resources to assist cancer patients in gaining access to quality health that is better for their lives.

Patient Security

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In the United States, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, prioritizes patient safety. According to Henry et al. (2016), “the Act’s goal is to ensure that more people obtain health insurance coverage.” “The other is improving the quality of healthcare and health insurance, regulating the health insurance industry, and reducing health care spending in the United States,” the authors add. According to the World Health Organization, “patient safety is the prevention of errors and adverse effects to patients related to health care.” The goal of Obamacare is to reduce the cost of care, which is critical to improving patient safety. Obamacare advocates for universal health care coverage, which is linked to patient safety. When people have insurance and access to high-quality, safe healthcare, the country’s budget will be reduced. The reasoning is that the medical staff will be less concerned about how the patients will pay their bills. In this sense, they have the assurance that the patient can afford the best services, which will encourage them to give their all.

Oncologists’ Role in Improving Patient Safety

Oncologists play a critical role in ensuring the health and safety of their patients. It is because cancer patients are emotionally vulnerable, and any mistake can harm them. Nurses must understand that emotions can lead to stress and depression, further complicating cancer patients’ health. Pain, survival thoughts, and hallucinations are common in palliative care, and these are sources of emotions that jeopardize safety. An oncologist must ensure that such patients are placed in appropriate environments, ensuring their emotional security through education and ensuring that all is well.

In the healthcare sector, patients’ roles have shifted. Currently, the level of patient involvement in their care procedures defines the care sectors. A nurse’s role is to ensure that patients are fully informed about any procedure or medication that they are about to receive. If a patient is concerned about a specific diagnosis or medical procedure, it is the nurse’s responsibility to ensure that such procedures are changed, or that the patient receives assurance that the treatment information they are about to receive is the best for them at that time. The same is true for cancer patients. Oncologists are responsible for informing patients about all procedures like this, which is the best way to ensure the patients’ safety.

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There are numerous laws in place to ensure proper standards and patient safety. These healthcare laws play an important role in ensuring that all medical personnel meets the standards required for patient safety. In this regard, an oncologist must meet the requirements for patient care. In the event of a complication that they are unable to control, the nurse and patient should refer the patient to a specialized person to handle the case. Furthermore, the medical industry has established evidence-based procedures. These are critical in ensuring that organizations follow the correct procedure when performing medical procedures. The nurse must ensure the safety of the patients by following the prescribed procedures when handling them. They must also follow standards and regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of the patients in their care. In this manner, the institutions will cater to the patient’s safety, and quality care will be unavoidable.

Finally, an oncologist’s role in patient advocacy and safety is critical. The patient is dependent on the nurses, and the nurses must retaliate by providing the best care possible to ensure that the patients have a voice and are in a safe environment that will aid in their stability and quick recovery. At all times, an oncologist or other nurse must ensure that he or she acts as the patient’s voice and minimizes risk while performing his or her duties.

 

Patient Advocate: The Voice of the Patient

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