Advocate vs Dictator?

“Individuals should be taught to limit the drinking of alcohol to less than one drink per day for women and less than two drinks per day for men.”-Contemporary Medical-Surgical Nursing, 2nd Ed. Daniels.

First and foremost, I’d like to say a lot of women would actually laugh at this statement. Hell, one of my girlfriends is dying to crack open her bottle of red when she gets home. Currently, I’m more of a moscato guy, myself. But, that’s neither here nor there.

In light of primary preventive measures against the development of cancer, I’d like to say that I encourage everyone to venture into seeking lifestyle changes. But, the key word here is encourage.

Now that that’s out of the way, I actually thought this was a loaded quote, to say the least. You could take a feminist perspective and surely challenge the man next to you to a pint of your favorite Belgian Ale, or you can challenge the healthcare provider in telling you what the hell to do, how to do it, when to do it, etc.

Throughout my education in nursing, medical school and ventures into the healthcare profession, we are taught to be advocates. However, sometimes along the way, I feel many of us lose sight of the fine line between advocating and dictating.

This goes for the smoking issue too. I was a smoker for 10 years, until I finally gave up the habit. It was my personal choice. And I’m just as stubborn as the next guy. I didn’t need a doctor to tell me what I “needed” to do. Hell, I can easily pick up another pack, if I wanted to, no problem! That’s my freedom to. But, I won’t. I can. But, I wont.

Instead of saying “individuals should be taught,” I’d rather say “individuals can be encouraged to.” In my opinion, it just seems much more less direct and more therapeutic. It gives the patient a further sense of autonomy to think for themselves. It also seems less defensive, as if we as a society are dumb clowns! We get it. Then again…#knowyouraudience…and let’s not bring statistics in the matter. I’m literally just ranting now.

In the end, I say, HAVE A VOICE IN YOUR CARE! Work along side with your healthcare providers. Build on that relationship. Collaborate with your team in pursuit of that common goal of “getting better…” Not to say you’re not ok now. It’s just what society can dictate. Ugh, the debate on jargon can be endless.



Author: nursesarereal

My nursing professor once said that keeping a journal, over time, will allow me to see growth. In myself? I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping. I like to believe that nursing school saved my life. Maybe I’ll have some fun doing this. Cheers.

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