Patient Advocacy & Ethical Nursing Practice $27.95
8 Contact Hours
Needs Assessment and Target Market
Nurses are the heart of the healthcare system. In
virtually every care setting, it is the nurse who provides the care and
compassion that a patient and family needs. This vital role is even more
important in the challenges of the modern managed care environment of the
twenty-first century. Perhaps the most pressing foundational challenge is
functioning as a patient advocate. Advocacy–holding the patient’s best
interests, upholding patient rights, and assuring patient understanding of their
health and plan of care–is vital to the professional nurse’s role.
Numerous ethical practice dilemmas confront nurses
today. The complex healthcare climate poses challenges for staff nurses,
managers, supervisors, case managers, advanced practice nurse practitioners, and
other nursing roles. Several factors and trends that impact nursing practice and
patient care also lead to an environment ripe for ethical challenges and
questions about ethical choices.
Significant trends today include:
The impact of managed care systems
Changing models of care delivery, and staffing issues
An aging society and resultant healthcare issues
Cultural shifts and challenges in patient-focused care
A more well-informed patient and family, in part due to
the World Wide Web and other media
Increased consumer use of complementary and alternative
medical therapies, and the medical communities’ response to this trend
A discussion of patient advocacy and ethical challenges
must include discussion of standards of nursing practice, the underpinnings of
the nursing profession’s accountability and responsibility to patients. The
trends previously mentioned also impact the importance of professional practice
standards. The added twist is the ongoing focus upon defining healthcare
practice (nursing, medical, and other providers of care) in a measurable way,
and to articulate how these roles and practices contribute to patient outcomes.
Healthcare providers are seeking to define outcomes of
care, as are federal, state, and private healthcare agencies. Leaders within the
nursing profession continue to monitor the changes and trends in both the
external environment and the healthcare scene, to analyze the need to revise
existing practice standards or to develop new ones. Standards of ethical nursing
practice are defined by the American Nurses’ Association for the general
nursing population, as are standards of ethical practice for advanced practice
nurses such as case managers.
completion of this home-study course, you will be able to:
Describe standards of practice and standards of care as the basis for
Identify key ethical terminology as it relates to patient advocacy.
Identify nine important aspects of patients’ rights.
Describe the central importance of patient choice in three key areas:
end-of-life decisions, complementary and integrative medical therapies, and
healthcare decisions in general.
Discuss the problems of healthcare fraud and abuse of the system, and
implications for ethical nursing practice.
Identify guidelines for ethical practice, and resources for an ethical
model of decision making in healthcare.
This course introduces the essence of patient advocacy
today as applied to important patient choices such as: patient's right to
privacy, protection from abuse and other safety issues such as healthcare
errors, end of life decisions, complementary and alternative medical therapy
choices; and issues in healthcare such as healthcare fraud, and ethical nursing
practice related to each of these topics.
The course is presented in seven chapters that discuss
patient advocacy and patient choice concerns important in modern healthcare. The
text begins with an overview of ethical nursing practice and patient advocacy
within the underlying framework of professional practice standards and the ANA
Code of Ethics. In addition, the nurse is given the opportunity to review and
analyze the basis of ethical decision-making in healthcare. The seven chapters
are presented as listed below.
Unique Features to Facilitate Learning
Within each chapter key questions are presented to spur
further thought and analysis for nursing practice implications. These key
questions are suggested as tools for individual learning and thought, as well as
tools for group discussion in work or academic settings.
Patient Case Scenarios
In addition, patient case scenarios pertinent to the
ethical topic discussed, are included within the chapters to provide opportunity
to apply the concepts and issues presented. Within any learning context, it is
vital to integrate application of learned concepts to better enhance taking the
knowledge and skills with you to your professional role.
Links and Resources
To encourage ongoing learning and competency in patient
advocacy and ethical nursing practice, the author has provided links to Web
sites and other media. These resources are intended to keep the nurse current in
ethical issues, ethical nursing practice, and patient advocacy.
About the Author
Cynthia A. Parkman, RN, PHN, MSN is an instructor at
California State University in Sacramento, where she teaches nursing leadership
and management, managed care, and case management. She is also co-developer and
faculty in the first Case Management Certificate Program for CSU’s Regional
& Continuing Education which began January 2000. She has 20 years experience
in nursing and publishing, and is also a healthcare consultant for State of
California health projects, case management, alternative therapies, and legal
and ethical issues. She is a member
of the American Nurses’ Association, the Case Management Society of America,
the American Holistic Nurses' Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International.
Ms. Parkman is also listed in many "Who’s
Who” biographies since the 1990s.