Perianesthesia nurses are called to advocate for their patients, promote a safe work environment, and contribute to the continued advancement of the nursing profession. Nurses must demonstrate vigilance in their nursing care to protect patients from harm. It is an ethical and legal responsibility to request physicians to review with patients their informed consents when they report they do not understand or have questions about the surgical procedure. Likewise, nurses need to alert managers and administrators when they experience unsafe work environments, such as actual or potential nurse staffing issues, unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios, medication errors, and nurse fatigue. This article focuses on the valuable role perianesthesia nurses play in patient advocacy by: (1) speaking out on behalf of the patient, (2) assuring a safe work environment, (3) assessing for nurse fatigue, and (4) advocating patient safety for the global nursing profession. © 2008 American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses.
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