What Are You Doing to Prepare? August 2019
Lillian felt she was a perfectly good advocate for her mother when her mother was preparing for surgery. She knew to take notes and ask questions. Yet, while in the hospital, she saw that the nurses, though gentle and kind, were also very busy — so busy that her mother’s medication came late, when she rang the call bell no one came for over an hour, and when Lillian asked to speak to the doctor about a new medication, no one put the call in. Her mother, on a special diet, was given the wrong foods, the garbage was overflowing and the patient in the bed next to her mother had a steady stream of family and friends who spoke loudly and laughed a lot, keeping Lillian’s mother from getting her rest. And as soon as Lillian’s mother began to rest, someone would come into the room to ask questions or to take her blood pressure and temperature – often without washing their hands first. Lillian became frantic and afraid to leave her mother alone. Has this happened to you?
When you arrive at the hospital you will be given a packet of information which includes your healthcare proxy form and a Patient’s Bill of Rights among other things. Some of these packets are thick with papers to educate you on hospital policies and rules such as visiting hours, and will encourage you to “Speak Up” if you don’t understand something.
Coming into the hospital through the emergency room, as many people do, or preparing for surgery or a procedure and experiencing normal anxiety, this is probably not the best time to start reading this information and learning about your rights, policies and procedures.
Instead, now you can come to a class and learn this information, as well as information about HIPAA, “who’s who in the hospital”, the complaints process, patient safety, communication skills and much more. Learning this information from others who have had experiences, as well as from qualified, trained instructors can help you and the people you care about navigate the healthcare system for yourselves, for the best possible outcome.
Many of us know what the nurse or doctor should do. But what are you doing to be part of the care team?
Don’t make patient safety an afterthought – register for one of our programs now.
Learn more at Family Centered Patient Advocacy
You can learn how others share the situations that may concern you by attending or hosting a PACC Patient Activation through Community Conversations.
Thinking of hosting a program for your office staff, friends, family, religious community? Give us a call and we can help improve your advocacy skills in just hours!