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The NSPA Blog

Let’s Start with the Basics: Speak up!

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Posted on March 19th, 2012 by Teri Dreher, under Patient Advocacy, Tips & Resources

Patient advocacy means many things to many people, depending upon the challenge they face when interfacing with the health care system in America today. It is important for every person to think about ways they can start to advocate for themselves and their loved ones in small, tangible ways. The Joint Commission of Accreditation of Hospitals suggests the following points:

Speak up if you have questions or concerns. If you still don’t understand, ask again. It’s your body and you have a right to know.

Pay attention to the care you get. Always make sure you’re getting the right treatments and medicines by the right health care professionals. Don’t assume anything.

Educate yourself about your illness. Learn about the medical tests you get, and your treatment plan.

Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate (advisor or supporter).

Know what medicines you take and why you take them. Medicine errors are the most common health care mistakes.

Use a hospital, clinic, surgery center, or other type of health care organization that has been carefully checked out. For example, The Joint Commission visits hospitals to see if they are meeting The Joint Commission’s quality standards.

Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.

For some people, especially those with a nurse or physician in the family, these points may be obvious and easy to do. For others, the medical establishment can be a frightening, overwhelming experience, especially if there is a complex health care crisis to navigate. Private professional nurse advocates are available to act as your personal health care advocates. They help assure safety, ask questions that you may not know how to ask, and ensure a greater level of confidence as you navigate stormy waters. Nurse advocates can make a life changing difference. For more information, feel free to peruse the website attached to this blog, or call for a free 30 minute consultation to determine if we can be of help.

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.