In 1966, Snowball used 15 experienced nurses to study their understanding of advocacy. The study revealed that nurses articulated the importance of “therapeutic relationships” in forming the basis for advocacy. (MacDonald, H. 2007). This study is not surprising for us nurses because we know that the particular nature of the relationship between nurses and patients, as well as the particular dynamic and culture between nurses and other members of the healthcare team are the key elements in nursing advocacy. (MacDonald, H. 2007).
In our field of practice, mental health nursing, patients often have difficulty in articulating their needs, and they depend more on us, the nurses, to be their advocates and get them the services they need. To fulfill the role as the patients advocate nurses first need to have a good understanding of the patient advocacy process, and then know how to succeed as a patient advocate.
For advocacy to succeed in practice nurses need to collect and sharpen their collaborative skills. This is relevant when nurses attempt to advocate within a work environment of competing values, and perspectives. In this intense environment it is important for nurses to learn and utilizing skills of negotiation, mediation, and conﬂict resolution techniques to prepare as advocates in practice. Jezewski (1993) draws on studies in anthropology and its culture-brokering model for advocacy to show nurses the need to develop skills of mediation, negotiation and innovation to succeed in the