Patient Advocacy

Part of being a professional is always looking out for the best interests of your patients. Being an advocate for your patients is especially important because some patients can’t be their own advocates. They may have dementia, lack knowledge, or have language barriers or literacy limits. As an advocate, you can help patients and/or their families find the information and resources they need to manage kidney disease.

You can also advocate for your patients by bringing their concerns to the attention of the staff person who can best address their questions. If a patient has a question about phosphorus in his diet, be sure to pass it on to the dietitian. A patient who is worried about her access needs to talk with the nurse. A patient who is worried about losing his job needs to know about other treatment options that are more work-friendly, and may benefit from a talk with the social worker. You can help make this happen.

By learning how to bring attention to the needs of your patients, you will be acting in a professional manner. And, you will also ultimately improve patient care.