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Trisha Torrey

Patient Advocates Find the Spotlight

By March 21, 2013

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The idea of advocating for yourself when you are seeking healthcare is a theme throughout this patient empowerment site. Sticking up for yourself, asking lots of questions, spending your healthcare dollars wisely, making informed choices, preventing safety problems - it's a lot of responsibility that none of us were ever taught, but all of us know is good practice.

But there are times.... times like when you are too sick. Or times like when you're concerned about a loved one who lives in another town and you can't be near him or her to help out. Times when a drug you are taking makes it difficult to focus or ask questions. Even times when you are feeling railroaded and can't seem to get your own healthcare train back on its tracks.

Those times are when advocating for yourself, or on behalf of a loved one, seems impossible. You know you aren't getting what you need, you know you aren't getting the best the system can offer, yet.... you just can't handle it yourself.

So what are you supposed to do about it?

If you needed help with a legal matter and you couldn't handle it yourself through OnlineLawyersAreUs.com then you would.... call a professional - a lawyer. A lawyer can help you out of a legal bind.

If your child was flunking math and you couldn't remember how to bisect a triangle or figure out the cosine of X(squared!) then you would... call a professional - a math tutor. A math tutor would help your child pass math.

If your roof was leaking and you didn't have the ability to get up on that roof, figure out what was wrong, then replace the shingles yourself then you would.... call a professional roofer. And that professional would repair your roof.

So - if you can't get what you need from the healthcare system, and your own efforts just aren't cutting it.... who will you call?

Yes - a professional patient advocate - someone who will help you navigate the system to get what you need and to keep the pricing fair.

Next week is Private Professional Patient Advocates Week - a week for learning more about this profession, whether you might hire a professional advocate, or might even consider joining the profession yourself.

When it comes to healthcare, we need all the help we can get. Further, we don't know what we don't know.

I encourage you to learn what you can about private advocates, see if you can benefit from hiring one yourself, or learn about the profession of patient advocacy to see if it's the right one for you.

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Share your experience or join the conversation!

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Comments
March 21, 2013 at 10:35 pm
(1) Jesse says:

Hi Trisha,

I enjoyed reading your article. I currently live in Dallas/Ft Worth area and am graduating this month with BS in Health Administration; however, Patient Advocate is something I have been seriouly considering. Do you have any resources to help me find the right place for me to pursue a career as a patient advocate. Thank you

March 22, 2013 at 9:07 am
(2) Trisha Torrey says:

Hi Jesse,

There are a number of articles right here at the patient empowerment site, most linked from this article.

You might also find some help from this site, too.

Best of luck – we need all the advocates helping patients we can get!

Trisha

March 26, 2013 at 9:12 pm
(3) gemdiamondintherough says:

Hi Trish,
There are probably a lot “old nurses” that could fit this bill well. Many of them are in a predicament in that their bodies can no longer do the physical things that nursing requires~! They have spent their lives helping others and now some have a difficult time, because many of them “fall through the cracks’, so to speak financially. Many of them may not be able to do the things needed physically, BUT THEY STILL HAVE BRAINS LEFT!!!!!!!
This would be a great way to utilize this experienced “army” of already medically trained individuals, in a way that would be a win, win!
Would you be able to share some resources as far as fiances to be able to pursue this avenue.

March 27, 2013 at 7:06 am
(4) Trisha says:

Hi Gem,

All the resources I know about are linked from the post above – except – there is also a book on the subject which has several chapters devoted to how much it costs to get started, how to budget for the business, and so forth. Find more information here:

http://www.healthadvocatepractice.com/SGOP/index.htm

Trisha

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