The Value of the Caring Moment in Patient Advocacy

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Lorraine Emeghebo, EdD, MS, BSN, BS1
Kathleen M. Lamaute, EdD2
Kathleen Maree Dauz, BSN3
Sonia Ponton, BSN4
Antoinette Kunz, BSN4
(1)Division of Nursing, Molloy College, Rockville Center, NY, USA
(2)Division of Nursing, Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY, USA
(3)School of Nursing, Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY, USA
(4)School of Nursing, Molloy College, Rockville Center, NY, USA


As student nurses navigate their way through clinical experiences, they may not understand how to learn the value of caring through patient advocacy. According to a study conducted by Archarya Pandey & Chalise, (2015), nursing students have low levels of self-esteem. They therefore, may feel that they do not have the necessary education to advocate for their patients. The American Nurses Association (ANA) states that high quality practice should include advocacy as an integral component of patient safety (ANA, n.d.). The purpose of this research study was to explore the experience of nursing students’ caring advocacy using the basic concepts of human-to-human caring during the therapeutic relationship with their patients in the clinical setting. According to Ozam and Oumus (2015), the four basic concepts of Human-to-Human Caring include healing processes, interpersonal maintenance of relationship, the caring moment, and awareness of healing. The basic question was: “when you are a student nurse, where does advocacy begin?” Advocacy is the pillar of nursing and nursing students may not be aware of the extent that they advocate for their patients.


This is a qualitative study, based on Dr. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring. Watson’s theoretical framework was used to capture the essences of the participant’s experiences. A convenient purposive sampling of 26 senior level nursing students from a baccalaureate Nursing program in the Northeastern region of the United States completed a survey of three statements: 1) describe a caring moment you have experienced in the clinical setting; 2) identify the phase of the therapeutic relationship where the caring moment happened; 3) what specific actions, if any, did you take? Four themes synthesized from the data were: 1) communication 2) relationship 3) advocacy and 4) presence.


Rich data was unearthed as participants clearly described moments in their relationship with their patient when their presence communicated advocating for their patient and their family. They all described feeling a rewarding moment, although they did not recognize that advocacy was what they were doing.


Findings from this study illuminated the interaction between students’ motivation to be present for their patients and their clinical experience. Findings from this research study may also add to nursing education curriculum by emphasizing caring moments during the phases of the therapeutic relationship.