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Relevance of the Surrogate Role in Contemporary Nursing Practice: An Evaluation of Peplau’s Definition

Relevance of the Surrogate Role in Contemporary Nursing Practice: An Evaluation of Peplau’s Definition


For numerous decades, the surrogate function has been a notion in nursing practice, as defined by Peplau. This discussion investigates the surrogate role’s relevance in contemporary nursing practice by examining its alignment with current nursing experiences. We will assess if the surrogate role remains important or has become less critical.

The Surrogate Role’s Importance in Contemporary Nursing Practice:

1. Patient Advocacy: The surrogate function is strongly related to the primary idea of patient advocacy, which is still very important in modern nursing practice. Nurses are frequently called upon to advocate for patients’ rights, autonomy, and well-being. Nurses can provide support, communicate patients’ needs, and ensure their voices are heard by acting as surrogates, especially when patients cannot articulate themselves adequately. As a result, the surrogate function is essential in modern nursing practice since it improves patient advocacy.

2. Person-Centered Care: Person-centered care is emphasized in modern nursing practice, emphasizing individual needs, preferences, and values. The surrogate role enables nurses to form genuine connections with patients and thoroughly understand their personal circumstances. Nurses can give treatment that aligns with the patient’s wishes and actively includes them in decision-making by taking on the surrogate role. This strategy improves the delivery of person-centered care, demonstrating the surrogate role’s continuous relevance.

3. Collaborative Care: In today’s healthcare environment, collaboration is crucial, with interdisciplinary teams working together to produce optimal patient results. The surrogate position promotes practical cooperation by encouraging communication and coordination among healthcare workers. As surrogates, nurses can acquire and communicate essential information, ensuring all team members are thoroughly aware of the patient’s needs. This collaborative approach offers cohesive and holistic care, emphasizing the surrogate role’s continuous relevance.

4. Ethical Issues and Collaborative Decision-Making:
Ethical difficulties are common in modern nursing practice. The surrogate position gives nurses a framework to manage these circumstances. Nurses can participate in shared decision-making processes with patients while respecting their autonomy and maintaining ethical procedures by acting as surrogates. The surrogate role allows nurses to support patients in making informed decisions, which is especially useful when complex decisions must be made. As a result, the surrogate function is still relevant in addressing ethical issues and facilitating shared decision-making.

Conclusion: Although the surrogate function has received little attention in recent nursing research, it remains relevant in contemporary nursing practice. Patient advocacy, person-centered care, cooperation, and ethical decision-making are essential to the surrogate role. Nurses can develop meaningful connections, advocate for patients’ rights, foster interdisciplinary collaboration, and engage in shared decision-making by taking on the surrogate position. As a result, in today’s healthcare scene, the surrogate function remains essential in refining nursing practice and fostering high-quality patient care.

The surrogate role is not one that is frequently mentioned in recent nursing practice literature. Is that role as defined by Peplau relevant to nursing practice as currently experienced. If so, in what way. If not, why?

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