NShore Patient Advocates, LLC
150 S. Wacker, Ste 2400, Chicago, IL 60606
info@northshorern.com  ·  312-788-2640

The NSPA Blog

Get to Know Your Advocate — Patsy Tongren

    [0] => 83
    [1] => 52

Posted on January 1st, 2018 by Teri Dreher, under Alternative Therapies, Patient Advocacy

Q: Tell us a little bit about how you got into private patient advocacy?

A: I spent over 38 years being a nurse. I advocate for my patients, but outside of the hospital, patients come in to the ED or go into their doctor’s office who are alone, who don’t realize they need help, they need someone to advocate for them. I had two very critically ill sisters and I come from inside the hospital but stepping in from the outside, you don’t have the benefit of looking at their chart or talking to the doctor. You only get what they give you. So, it was difficult to steer. Healthcare really is broken, and people really need someone looking out for them. I had some ear surgery done and so I kind of changed positions a little bit and then I came across colorpuncture and I was really intrigued. Next thing I know, here comes Teri’s job description and it felt perfect for me. It allowed me to keep being a nurse and to do colorpuncture clinic. It was like two dreams come true.

Q: So outside of traditional nursing and advocacy, you also study colorpuncture. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

A: Sure, it’s energy medicine. Everything about you is inside of you, in terms of energy. When I deal with people in colorpuncture I look at the spirit. Colorpuncture has triads to it. The top of one is the spirit. The spirit is all about information that makes you you. Next is the soul and the soul is pure energy and it circulates throughout your body. If there’s any dysregulation that happens, it happens early and gets circulated out to your body and that’s when cells become dysregulated and illness pops up. So in colorpuncture we treat the wholeness of the body, we treat your spirit, your soul, and your cellular body. You really can’t heal anyone until you’ve addressed all three. Western medicine recognizes it, I just don’t think they know how to do it. You hear that they’re going to treat all of you all the time, but they just don’t. I know it sounds kind of out there, but when you actually study how energy moves in your body, you see that this is a fantastic way to practice medicine. If you’re going to practice medicine, why not combine all we know about what works in Western and Eastern medicine together? Can you imagine how powerful that would be?

Q: If you had to say, what’s the best and worst part of your job?

A: The best part is when things turn out. The worst part is when people hire you for a specific outcome that isn’t realistic or achievable, that’s the worst part because I have to tell them that we can work on different issue, but the outcome might not be what they wanted.

Q: Do you recall any specific case that was particularly rewarding or challenging?

A: Yes. I had two challenging cases side by side. Both patients passed, they had similar issues and were supposed to have better outcomes. I got really attached to both of them and their families, so it still puts a tear in my eye. They were challenging and complex cases. What the patients wanted as outcomes weren’t totally in line with what various family members wanted. So, that was difficult. But I was close to them all and in the end, they had a good death. I have to say, I helped them to have a good death and that’s important. I miss them both very much, but they were definitely challenging and rewarding.

Q:Just like we all end up being advocates in some way or another, we’re also all patients at some time. What’s your top tip to advocating for your own healthcare?

A: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And don’t be afraid to find another physician if yours isn’t willing to answer them. People always say, “Well he’s my doctor and he said…” but he doesn’t have to be your doctor and if you’re doubting what a doctor is saying, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. Sometimes when it comes to ourselves, we put ourselves on the backburner. You really need to be able to step back and listen to your body and prioritize yourself.

For more information on Patsy, check her out on our home page: http://www.northshorern.com/meet-your-advocates/

With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

For a no-cost 30 minute initial consultation, please call 847-612-6684 or click here to fill out our online callback request form.