Florence Nightingale, the ‘lady with the lamp’, was a nurse advocate.
She ‘lit the way’ for us as nurses, to serve as patient advocates as well as caretakers of our patients’ physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.
She believed in care that focused on unity, wellness, and the interrelationship of human beings and their environment.
Our training has always included patient advocacy.
My history as an advocate
Advocacy has been my natural focus since day 1 of nursing school. My job performance evaluators over the years have consistently rated me at exceeding job expectations in patient advocacy.
I have been a voice for my patients when they could not find their voice. I educated and attempted to empower my patients to advocate for themselves and when they could not, I assumed that role as my response-ability.
“I will always be grateful for Donna’s support during my mothers illness and extended hospital and rehab stay. Donna spoke with me on several occasions and answered questions I had regarding my mother’s condition and care she was receiving. Through Donna’s guidance, I was able to be my mother’s advocate which allowed me and my family to intelligently speak on her behalf. Better understanding my mother’s condition as well as the proper procedures that should be followed was extremely valuable. Thank you, Donna for your continued heart centered love and support.”
—Cindy B. Melbourne, FL
What does my role as an advocate encompass?
My role as an advocate is similar to my role in all the services I offer…to support, educate and empower.
In this role, I function as a holistic nurse, similar to Florence Nightingale, who many see as the first holistic nurse, believing in care that is focused on unity, wellness, and the interrelationship of human beings and their environment
I have always advocated for myself and my family members when we accessed the mainstream medical system. Since becoming a holistic nurse I have expanded my advocacy to include ensuring that those I am assisting understand the collective mind body spirit and relationship effects upon their well-being or state of dis-ease.
I also can serve as a bridge between conventional and complementary healing practices, as I am trained in both healthcare models.
As an advocate, I:
- Protect each patient’s rights
- Serve as a guide and provide information, ensuring patient and family have accurate information upon which to base decisions
- Encourage and empower patient and family members to ask for information and reinforce that asking questions is important.
- Place the patient’s needs, desires and safety as priority
- Step in when the patient is hesitant, or unable to speak up for whatever reason to voice questions or concerns
- Foster communication with health care professionals and serve as a liaison between patients and doctors
- Provide a caring, healing presence
- Reduce anxiety
- Promote informed decision making
How you may benefit from a Nurse Advocate:
- Do you or your loved one feel powerlessness about your health care choices?
- Do you feel you lack sufficient knowledge to advocate for yourself?
- Do you assume the professionals know best and feel disempowered or unable to trust your own thinking?
- Do you discount your intuition?
- Do you KNOW that something isn’t right for you…but you cannot put a voice to exactly what it is because you lack the knowledge to fully assert yourself or ask the necessary questions?
- Do you feel that your visits with your practitioner are hurried and you do not get all your questions answered?
- If you or your loved one has several specialists involved do you feel confused about what is happening and unclear about the plan of care?
Even the most compassionate and dedicated practitioners must place as priority your physical needs…diagnostics, medications, surgery, procedures. They have many demands on their attention and time. They generally are not trained in holistic approaches and the perspective of seeking to ‘know the person who has the disease as well as the disease that has the person’.
Feel free to contact me for a complimentary 30 minute discovery session to discuss how you might benefit from my advocacy services.