Advocacy is defined as any action that speaks out in favor of, recommends, argues for, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of another person or group of individuals (Alliance for Justice’s Nonprofit Advocacy Project, 2016). Advocacy may entail taking steps to bring about positive change. Advocacy is the process by which an individual or group organizes themselves in order to take steps to address a particular issue. There are also different types of advocacy, such as self-advocacy, individual advocacy, and system advocacy (Eaton, 2021).
Self-advocacy is literally the act of advocating for oneself. It can be difficult to speak up in certain situations. It can be extremely frightening at times, especially when you're just getting started, but the more you do it, the less frightening it becomes (Eaton, 2021). As an example, when applying this concept to my situation, I advocate for myself by addressing the common misconception that nurse practitioners are unqualified to perform liposuction procedures. It is extremely difficult to overcome this stigma, and the only way to do so is through a rational argument. Unfortunately, a lot of people aren't interested in hearing rational arguments.
A group of nurses will frequently come together to advocate for a specific issue or issues. As a profession, nurses must unite and collaborate in order to influence the structures, powers, and support systems in place, allowing us to provide safe and effective health care to our patients. Because after all, isn't the safety and effectiveness of our care our number one concern (Eaton, 2021)? In order to address my current issue on an individual level, I am attempting to involve various nursing associations, such as the Florida Nurses Association and the American Nursing Association, in an investigation into the matter. By contacting those organizations, I am able to bring more people on board to raise awareness about this issue.
Policy, law, and rule change are all examples of systems advocacy, and they all have an impact on how we function and perform our jobs. This type of advocacy is typically conducted with the assistance of local, state, or federal agencies or governments. This type of advocacy can have an impact on the scope of practice and standards of care for nurses. It is critical to be involved in systems advocacy, particularly when it comes to advanced practice issues (Eaton, 2021). My ultimate goal is to elevate this issue to the level of system advocacy it deserves. If this issue reaches the level of system advocacy, I can anticipate that laws and regulations will clearly specify the role and responsibilities of nurses in invasive cosmetic procedures such as tumescent liposuction, among other things.
Advocacy enables us to provide services to our patients that they require or desire, and it has the potential to open new doors. Nurses who advocate for themselves and have strong communication skills can break down barriers and prepare for self-sufficiency. Even if we already have a great deal of self-determination and confidence, the majority of us can benefit from putting in the effort to improve our advocacy skills and abilities. Anyone can be a successful self-advocate, regardless of how difficult the situation is or how complex the needs are. As we progress through life, having role models and peers to guide us will provide valuable insight and lessons because they have gone through similar experiences. Seeing other people succeed in advocating for themselves helps everyone realize that people of all abilities can achieve success through self-advocacy and that everyone has something to contribute (Pratt et al., 2020).
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