Nurses have always been the best advocates for patients. Although over the years more and more patients are able to take care of themselves during their diagnosis and treatment, it is still of enormous importance that they receive the best information they need to make informed decisions. Help to make the right choices and support in this process is for everybody necessary to make sure their unmet needs are recognised and nothing is done without their consent and interest.
-What is patient advocacy?
-How can nurses fulfill the patient advocacy role?
-What do nurses need to be able to be a patient advocate?
In the era of evidence-based medicine clinical practice is often characterized by a protocol-driven approach to individual patient care. This trend seems to be amplified by a growing organisational focus on efficiency improvement (e.g. ‘lean management’). At the same time patients express their opinions about their treatment more assertively. Some show signs of disease-related infobesity when they discuss this with doctors and nurses. In this context practising respectful, attentive care becomes imperative. In patient-centred healthcare individual patient needs are as important as patient values. This approach optimises patient buy-in and satisfaction with the chosen treatment without compromising its scientific quality. Nurses and doctors have complementary roles in this respect. The presentation will address what respectful, attentive care involves and how nurses can align with patients in mutually satisfactory shared-decision making about their treatments.