Please respond with a paragraph to the following question, add citations and references:

Advocacy Defined: According to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary Advocacy is defined as the act of supporting a cause or proposal whereas an advocate is the person that pleads, defends, or supports a cause or interest of another.

There are several healthful driven advocacy strategies that can be incorporate in the working environment such as:

Skillful Problem solving: The main focus is on addressing the problems in need of solution. The first step in the process is to carefully identify the problem to addressed and identify the strategies and goal needed to address the problems. A plan of action is then developed to organize advocacy efforts and establish a time line for completing each activity that supports the strategy. Most advocacy initiatives are accomplished through collaboration, negotiation, and compromise; they may require a series of actions over time in-order-to achieve a desired outcome

Adequate Communication: Most advocacy initiatives involve bringing individuals and groups together to address an issue or concern. Advocates need to communicate clearly and concisely and to structure the message to fit both the situation and the intended audience. Advocates must be comfortable with verbal, written, and electronic formats. Communication regarding the issue should be factual and consistent. While it is important to be prepared to discuss the specific facts and data associated with the issue, it is equally important to discuss the impact of the situation on those involved. It can be helpful to put a ‘human face’ on the issue by using ‘word pictures’ (words that create a picture in another’s mind) to make the communication more

Influence: To facilitate change or solve an issue, nurses must be able to influence others to action. Influence is the ability to sway an individual’s or group’s thoughts, beliefs, or actions; it is essential to the advocacy process (Merriman-Webster, 2009b). Influence is built on competence, credibility, and trustworthiness. Keeping the best interests of those involved in the situation builds trust and credibility. An effective advocate influences decision makers by building a case for the desired change, backing the case with facts and data, and putting a human face on the issue using a compelling visual image. Persuasion is a stronger form of influence that makes use of an appeal or argument to make one’s point. While effective in small increments, persuasion can elicit defensiveness in others, thus undermining the overall success of an initiative.

Collaboration: Nurse should be able to establish positive, collaborative relationships with others to gain the support necessary to address the issue. Collaboration is working with other individuals or groups to achieve a common goal. It differs from cooperation which involves groups working together to achieve their own individual goals. In collaboration, the individuals or groups involved develop common goals, along with common strategies and activities that will achieve that goal. Collaboration is built on trust, mutual respect, and credibility.

Point of care Nurses as Advocates for Nurses and Nursing: It is essential that point-of-care nurses develop and use advocacy skills to address workplace concerns, promote positive work environments, and advocate for the profession. Never before has the voice of the nurse at the bedside been so critical to patients, colleagues, and healthcare facilities. An increasing number of facilities have, or are developing shared governance structures to ensure that nurses at the point of care have a voice in decisions related to patient care and the work environment. The impact of registered nurses on patient outcomes is increasingly evident; and nursing input into organizational decision making related to safety and quality initiatives is invaluable. Nurses are increasingly positioned to advocate more effectively than ever before not only for patients, but also for themselves and the nursing profession.

Opportunities for Point-of-Care Advocating:When serving on a committee, council, or team, it is important to represent the needs of both colleagues and patients. Sometimes this means considering the impact of an issue or proposed solution on nurses and staff in other departments as well as one’s own workgroup. The best way to work through the needs of multiple groups is to consider what ultimately is best for the patient, client, or population served. Engagement in organization-wide activities provides opportunities to advocate for colleagues and for the profession. Nurses can also use employee forums or town hall meetings to raise awareness of their concerns. When making use of these opportunities, it is important to use good advocacy skills, which include communicating with credibility and promoting a sense of trust.

Empowerment: Work Place Advocacy and Shared Governance can both empower the nurse to provide quality patient care. These strategies are complementary in nature, focusing on strengthening nursing’s voice and ensuring nurses’ involvement in workplace decisions that affect patient care. Shared governance focuses on the micro level of the organization, while WPA includes the organizational level of involvement and extends beyond to the larger health care system.

Organizational policies, such as nurse staffing, can be influenced by participation of nurses in a hospital’s nurse management council. Management councils are hallmarks of SG strategies and serve as examples of how SG has an influence at the micro level. Staff nurses involved in the hospital’s management council could additionally become active in advocating for policy changes at the state (macro) level, where statewide staffing rules are developed and implemented. Whether operating at the micro or macro level, empowered nurses can improve the environment and enhance delivery of quality health care.

Conflict Resolution

According to Porter-O’Grady (2003a), many organizational structures reflect a parent-child system of interaction and communication between mangers and staff. Such structures reflect a vertical notion of power, interaction, and authority, and often lead to conflict. To improve the patient care delivery system and work environment, new leadership structures should engage nursing staff in nonhierarchical decision making and work design by providing decision support and conflict resolution at the point of care delivery. Principles embedded in conflict resolution (collaborative) strategies can enhance nursing empowerment; however, conflict resolution is an area in which nurses typically have limited skills. In the ideal world, health care organizations would embrace conflict resolution strategies as the standard way of doing business. In reality, nursing may have to take the lead by adopting the principles of conflict resolution.

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Reference:

Nursing world. 2004. “Shared Governance and Work Place Advocacy – Strategies for Nurses to Gain Control over Their Practice”. Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANA… bleofContents/Volume92004/No1Jan04/SharedGovernanceandWorkPlaceAdvocacy.aspx

 
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