Speech: Leadership- Nurse as an advocate
Speech: Leadership- Nurse as an advocate
(Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
Honourable Masters/Mistress of ceremonies, invited guests and friends, it gives me great pleasure to be addressing this gathering today. It is an honour to be chosen to speak about my role as a nurse and how the responsibilities make me eligible to advocate on my patients’ behalf, especially, when they feel helpless.
Therefore, this auspicious event of the ‘Nurses’ pinning ceremony’ is no better opportunity for me to express my sentiments concerning ‘Patient advocacy’ in our roles as leaders and twenty-first century nursing professionals. As such, the question is asked of this audience, who is a leader? Who is an advocate? For these brief moments in which your attention is engaged by my presence, the desire is to attempt answers for these two pertinent questions. Precisely, they must have crossed your minds from time to time over the years. This nurses pinning ceremony is another occasion for such reflection.
Laura Wisniewski speaking on all nurses are leaders asked a vital question too, do you consider yourself a leader? Someone has correctly said that people are born leaders; others have achieved the expertise to become leaders through training while others had it thrusted upon them through progression within their professional practice.
In this subtly discourse with you today, could it be posited that leaders are advocates; advocates who are not afraid to stand out with integrity for the rights of patients’/ clients rights which allow social planners to see that denying the uninsured quality health care is unethical just as mercy killing through the administration of morphine in end of life stage illnesses
A nurse’s responsibility is distinguishable. Training has equipped many of us with skills to show empathy towards our clients/ patients. Sure! It is my belief that all of you under the sound of my voice regard the duty of providing safe ethical nursing intervention, solemn just as Florence Nightingale did. Therefore, social justice must not only be a jargon related to gender inequalities within the social context of family relationships, but more importantly within the execution of tasks in a clinic or hospital setting as well.
Modern scientific nursing interventions in twenty-first century classrooms and clinical areas are solely based on evidence based practice. As leaders in this profession how many of us are eager to implement evidence based interventions on our clinical areas? Do we complain to administration about the difficulties encountered in the implementation; or we advocate that it is just and right for our patients’ safety.
Someone has said that it is much better to teach a person to fish rather than giving that one a fish everyday. While this is very sound theoretically, for healthy people, so often it is not always logical for a person lying in an intensive care unit on life support with no one to say keep the plug on or pull it, since keeping it in may be too costly.
A leader advocate is an instrument for change in health care practice. Precisely, the nurses’ role is to be an activist. Societal change is the focus of activism inculcated through advocacy leadership. It means cultivating attributes which foster flexibility and adaptability. Two significant qualities which allow change to occur smoothly when flexibility and adaptability are nurtured, are willingness and vision.
Unwillingness is the greatest obstacle to change as well as lack of insight. Imagine someone who cannot see and does not want to move because he/she is being paralyzed by blindness. This makes that person very unwilling to accept changes due to lack of vision and unwillingness. We are encouraged to open our eyes as twenty-first century nursing professionals and see the effects of evidence based practice interventions as a device whereby leaders have the tools to advocate for more efficient quality healthcare for our clients/ patients.
There are times nurses have to become political advocates, especially with regards to Medicaid and Medicare eligibility of care. It is a shame when patients have to turned way from health care facilities or their treatment discontinued because health insurance cannot the cost. How ethical becomes nursing intervention in societies when health care is so costly and the State does not regard the health of pregnant women in offering quality prenatal care.
Nurses have no power to decide the appropriate time to call a physician, choose the care plan which is best for a patient, and intervene when necessary; it all comes under policies executed by managed care. This is an area requiring advocacy for change. To create leadership advocacy within the profession nurses ought to be involved in the policy decision making mechanisms of health care within this country. This can forge development of leadership competency in the profession.
Experience teaches wisdom. It is true that leadership is an attitude.Nurses are leaders because they must address the safety of clients, patients and in many other cases families in their communities. In concluding, who is a leader? Every nurse is a leader. Who is an advocate? Every nurse is an advocate. We are all leaders! We are all advocates! We Must create change!