Conference highlights role of nurses as patient's advocate

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A positive patient experience translates to a shorter duration of stay in the hospital, faster recovery and better outcome for the patient, says Normah Medical Specialist Centre director of nursing Nadzrah Basri.

“By looking at various aspects of the patient’s experience, we can assess the extent to which patients are receiving care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient’s preferences, needs and values.

“Evaluating patient experience along with other components such as effectiveness and safety is essential to providing a complete picture of health care quality. This is what we are doing. As there is clinical scientific evidence of this, those patients with positive experience outcome recover better,” she said at the 13th NMSC Annual Nursing Conference held at the hospital yesterday.

Under the theme ‘A Voice To Lead Patient’s Advocate Patient’s Experience,’ the one-day event was participated by 160 nurses from Indonesia, Sibu, Miri, Lundu, Simunjan, Saratok and Sri Aman. They are from the public and private hospitals, clinics and private nursing colleges.

Nadzrah referred participants to the original intent of their profession which is ‘to cure (the) patient and to alleviate suffering’. She cautioned, however, that in the present world the profession may be compromised or driven by profit for business, which it should never be.

The ‘hospital business cannot be like any other business’, she warned.

Collaboration between the doctor and nurse as patient advocates was also highlighted. Each needs the other ‘to combine their knowledge and skills to effect a positive outcome for the patients’, she said.

Nurses, however, must voice out their thoughts and opinions, and stand up as an independent profession to let people hear “our voice in our areas of expertise.”

“It is important for nurses to develop a strong sense of advocacy for the patients under his or her care. They are in the best position to be their voice in discussions about their plan of care with doctors, support staff and even family’s members. As patients advocate, they are to help and guide a patient and the families members to go through the health care system,” said Nadzrah when she discussed the role of nurses as advocates for patients.

Nurses thus play multiple roles such as working with patients to deliver health services, educate them and empower them.

Describing patient experience as ‘a journey from the moment we receive them until the moment we bid farewell to them’, she said nurses play a major role in delivering positive patients experience

“I hope at the end of this conference all participants are able to update their knowledge and confidence in nurses’ role as a patient advocate and delivery of positive patients experience as the area of their expertise.”

Speakers at the conference were resident consultant neurologist Dr Shahid Masud Baig, nurse educator Rosalind Leong, lawyer Leonard David Shim, dietician Bibiana Chee, director of sales Bidari Mohamad Suhaili and Dayang Rokaiyah Abang Naim who led a sharing session as a patient.


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