Quick Chats: What is Patient Advocacy?
What is patient advocacy? In this Ausmed Quick Chat, Liz Crocker explains the important role that is patient advocacy. Advocating for patients (and, by extension, their families) in an intrinsic aspect of providing healthcare. Embedded in the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency's (AHPRA) Registered Nurse Standards for Practice are the words '[a nurse] advocates on behalf of people in a manner that respects the person’s autonomy and legal perspective' (Standard 2.5). The International Council of Nurses' Code of Ethics also states that ‘the nurse advocates for equity and social justice in resource allocation, access to health care and other social-economic services.'. The proactive nature of advocacy requires nurses to have knowledge and insight into what could be improved or corrected before it becomes problematic. Learning the skills of advocacy, including the need for navigating complex fragmented health systems, as well as exercising moral courage, are essential.
Liz Crocker has been a health psychologist for over 40 years. She is extremely experienced in supporting people and their families to manage difficult health issues (i.e. cancer, infertility, obesity etc.), as well as providing support with relationships and other personal wellbeing issues. Liz is co-author of The Patient Advocate Handbook which aims to support patients and families to feel supported and empowered as they navigate the healthcare system. For more information please visit: www.thepatientadvocatehandbook.com. See Educator Profile