Step 5: Use an Advocate, Be an Advocate for Others
What’s a Patient Advocate?
Everyone getting medical treatment should have someone to support them, to help raise questions, take notes, enhance communication with medical staff and make sure they are receiving patient-centered care.
This person is called a “patient advocate”. Such an advocate can help organize support from others, run errands, and generally support a patient’s needs throughout their care and treatment. And the sicker, less “on top of things” the patient is, the more that advocate is needed.
It’s something anyone can learn!
Choose and Use an Advocate
Some patient advocates are professionals, but anyone can provide this kind of support for a family member or friend. Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education and Advocacy offers training courses and phone support that teach you how. Pick someone willing to be your advocate ahead of time, before illness or accident strikes. Go over with them what you’d like them to do and not do. Then, if something happens, call your advocate first thing.
Be an Advocate
You can return the favor or “pay it forward” by offering to serve as advocate for someone else, be it a family member, partner or friend. Offering to be an extra set of ears, take notes, help understand the care plan, medications and assist in updating the medical records all make it easier on someone who needs to take care of themselves.
Learn more with these helpful links
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