Everyday Advocacy: Patient needs and home care

"My advice is to always advocate for your patient and remember that the chain of command is there to navigate until your patient's needs are met."

Donna-Kay Hylton, FNP

While working as a family nurse practitioner in otolaryngology, I was presented with a situation where I couldn't help but advocate for the patient and family's needs.

This was a patient who just had oral surgery and was unable to speak. He was scheduled to be discharged home a few days later, with the necessary follow-up appointments. However, the family expressed concerns that he would be alone for a few hours each day until his spouse got home from work, and they were concerned for his safety. I understood their needs and concerns.

I spoke with the case manager and social workers who told me that his insurance would not cover any home services, because he did not qualify. I explained his situation and emphasized the safety risk involved; still, if insurance did not cover it, insurance did not cover it.

I asked to speak with the director of case management. I explained the situation and expressed the family's and my concerns. After hearing about the situation, she gave three hours of home health aide services per day for about a week until his follow-up appointment.

A satisfying outcome for patient safety!


ANA's Position: Risk and Responsibility in Providing Nursing Care

Webinar: Nursing Ethics: Strategies to Address Professional Ethical Dilemmas Nurses Face – February 21, 2018

Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements