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Nursing Advocacy for Access to Healthcare

Clinical Situation: Limited Access to Care

Opportunities for increasing the accessibility of healthcare services have been a contentious topic for discussion for a while. Although numerous steps can be taken to advance the levels of care accessibility by eliminating the barriers associated with economic concerns, language barriers, and similar obstacles, the problem remains unresolved (McKinley et al., 2017). In order to address the concern on both local and global scales, one should revisit the role that a nurse plays in advocating for the needs and rights of patients. Particularly, the vulnerability of in- and outpatients can be addressed by a nurse communicating their needs to an interdisciplinary team to prompt the creation of the setting for patients to recover more quickly.

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The case under analysis can be described as the lack of advocacy for patients’ needs caused by a reduced extent of nurse-patient communication in a healthcare facility. Specifically, the support and education of patients that seek healthcare resources and receive information from healthcare experts are critical to improving access to care. For instance, with a nurse providing a patient with clarifications concerning their diagnosis, the options for testing and treatment, and other related data, patients will be able to develop an understanding of how to manage their health using the available resources. Moreover, a nurse can drive the attention of other experts in an interdisciplinary setting to specific concerns that a patient has. By giving their patients a voice, nurses can raise the accessibility of care.

Applying the Bioethical Decision Making Model

To manage the problem of miscommunication in the in- and outpatient setting, a nurse will need an updated decision-making model that will increase the visibility of a nurse’s opinion and a patient’s voice in the healthcare context. The Bioethical Decision Making Model designed by Husted suggests that the notion of the educator-learner agreement should be integrated into the nursing environment and the strategies used for patient-nurse communication (Gutierez, 2015). Consequently, the premises for improving access to care will be constructed.

Autonomy and Beneficence

Integrating the Bioethical Decision Making Model to the described situation will simply shifting the focus of the nursing processes to patient education and the enhancement of the role of an RN as the mediator between a patient and a healthcare provider. Suggesting that an implicit agreement between a nurse and a patient is made, the specified model will require providing the patient with autonomy in selecting healthcare options independently. At the same time, patients should be fully informed about the effects of the choices that they make, which aligns with the principles of beneficence. Thus, expanding patient education to ensure that informed consent is made is a critical step in the described scenario.

Freedom and Privacy

The notions of freedom and privacy should also be regarded as the foundational constituents of the model and the principles that will increase access to care for vulnerable groups. By acknowledging people’s agency in choosing the options that they deem as appropriate, a nurse will comply with the idea of freedom, whereas the concept of privacy should imply that the personal information about patients’ issues should not be disclosed to any third party.

The latter standard may imply particular difficulties for providing assistance to underage patients with restricted access to care since the identified demographic may need the active assistance of their family members and their support. In addition, by providing critical information about the health issues faced by underage patients to their parents, a nurse can ensure that the process of increasing the quality of self-care will be launched and that patients follow the provided treatment guidelines directly (Koch et al., 2019). Thus, as a nurse, one has to learn to encourage open dialogue between a patient and their family members, as well as address the obstacles caused by the lack of health literacy, conflicting beliefs, and other possible roadblocks in providing the required extent of care.

Veracity and Fidelity

The notion of fidelity as a critical item in Husted’s Bioethical Decision Making Model is also a crucial concept in addressing the problem of care accessibility. By remaining devoted to the cause and the plight of vulnerable groups, a nurse can ensure that impediments to addressing their concerns are overcome. For people that have restricted access to care, the fidelity of nurses means being able to reach essential health-related information and tests for identifying health concerns and preventing them effectively (Gutierez, 2015). Thus, the notion of fidelity in the case under consideration implies regular communication with patients and the provision of health resources.

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Nursing Advocacy in the Clinical Setting

The role of a nurse as the mediator between a patient and the healthcare system may have been seen as insignificant, with nurses being relegated to basic functions. However, as a nurse, one has the power to advocate for vulnerable groups and, thus, improve their access to healthcare services. The described ability has to be recognized in order to support patients that have difficulties receiving essential care. For patients that are limited in their opportunity to receive care, either due to financial restrictions, or infrastructure issues, or cultural concerns, or any other reason, there has to be substantial support.

In the clinical setting, the advocacy of a nurse suggests that the latter should become a mediator between healthcare practitioners and patients. For instance, the process of the patient handover should be performed in the manner that acknowledges the presence of a patient and invites them to participate in a conversation with healthcare staff members to ensure that the critical information is registered and a patient’s needs are met (Santos, Yakuma, Andrade, Ventura, & Mello, 2017). The described approach toward managing patients’ personal data in the clinical setting will encourage the collaboration between a patient and a nurse, at the same time spurring the development of patient education (Santos et al., 2017). As a result, the gap in access to care and especially the information that allows one to maintain their health levels high will be closed.

The encouragement in acquiring health literacy by gaining access to healthcare-related resources needs to come from nurses and be directed at both patients and their families, as well as local communities as a whole. Thus, problems associated with the limited access to care can be managed on a broader scale and be handled through active collaboration and the reciprocal conversation between a nurse and the intended audience. As a result, the issue of low accessibility of healthcare may be addressed through the reinforcement of nurse advocacy. As a nurse, one has to utilize strategies for involving patients’ family members to build a robust support system and create an environment in which knowledge can be shared actively. Thus, the accessibility of care can be improved for vulnerable patients.


Gutierez, S. B. (2015). Integrating socio-scientific issues to enhance the bioethical decision-making skills of high school students. International Education Studies, 8(1), 142-151. Web.

Koch, D., Schuetz, P., Haubitz, S., Kutz, A., Mueller, B., & Weber, H. (2019). Improving the post-acute care discharge score (PACD) by adding patients’ self-care abilities: A prospective cohort study. PloS One, 14(3), 1-15. Web.

McKinley, L. E., Mansoor, M. M., Van Liew, C., McKinnon, S. A., & Cronan, T. A. (2017). Demographic predictors of the perceived likelihood of hiring a health care advocate. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 15(3), 59-67.

Santos, J. S., Yakuma, M. S., Andrade, R. D., Ventura, C. A. A., & Mello, D. F. D. (2017). Children and adolescents health advocacy: Nursing contributions. International Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health, 5, 23-28.

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