the source of revolution


Why a patient advocate is a good idea

Patients need proper care and protection and a patient advocate should be the first line of defense. A patient advocate is someone who advocates on behalf of a patient who; For the most part, you are unable to stand on your own or advocate for yourself (when the need arises) to ensure your needs are met when you are in a hospital, care facility, or nursing home.

What does a patient advocate do?

1) A patient advocate provides comfort

It is normal to want company when you are well, especially when you are sick and alone. It’s comforting to know that someone you know and trust is available and close by.

2) A patient advocate provides additional care

Care centers are often understaffed and nurses are overworked. If the patient has an immediate need, such as a need to go to the bathroom, a patient advocate can quickly bring to the attention of a nurse who may not be aware of the need. The advocate can take care of simple things like closing curtains for privacy, turning on a TV, picking up dropped items, etc.

3) A patient advocate delivers elevated care

Who doesn’t act their best when they know someone else is watching? Of course, in today’s world there are those who do not give a penny, but I think that for most people, workers will tend to do their best when they know they are working under a watchful eye.

4) A patient advocate can provide an emergency response.

If the patient has any adverse drug reaction and the nurses are out of the room, the Patient Advocate can get help right away.

5) A patient advocate provides an eyewitness

Things happen, abuses can and do happen. A patient advocate can document any misconduct by staff members they witness (whether in writing or captured on camera) that can be helpful in the event of a lawsuit being filed against the facility or workers involved. First, however, any cause for concern should be raised with management staff to be addressed. If management seems indifferent or distant, a small threat from a few public reviews can often generate a call to action.

Case in point …

My mother recently suffered a stroke and was admitted to the hospital. There happened to be a dark-skinned male nurse with a strong foreign accent. I just didn’t have a good feeling about him, which isn’t to say that he did something wrong that I know of, but I’ve learned to trust your gut. Since I have heard many reports of abuse from patients and elders, I wanted to be more vigilant when it comes to my own mother. I thought a good policy would be to never allow a nurse to be alone with a patient, especially when the curtains are drawn. I observed whether this would be the case or not. He began that a nurse accompanied him when they treated Mom, but at some point he was alone with her and that did not make me feel comfortable. I stayed as close as I could. I couldn’t point to anything definitive as I said, but I still didn’t have a good feeling about him. The mother was soon moved to a different, more permanent room, so she was no longer his nurse.

However, along with her new accommodation came a new team of nurses. Again, multiple ethnic groups. The head nurse had a British accent and was very loving, patient and kind. The others were also fine for the most part. However, a dark-skinned nurse came by at one point to present some medicine in a cup to my mother and instead of helping my mother take the pills, she let my mother try to remove them with her fingers even though she had problems. of health. coordination from just having the stroke. As a result, my mother ended up throwing the pills between the bed and the bed rail. The nurse just stood there and watched as my mother struggled to reach them until she finally intervened and helped to take them out and put them back in the cup and give them to my mother. I was horrified, first that she didn’t help in the first place, and second that she didn’t go looking for new drugs to take. I’m mad at myself for not standing up and saying something. I should have said something like “if it was you in bed, would you want to take those meds? Or how would you feel if that was your mother? Please go get some new pills for her to take.”

Since I was my mother’s patient advocate, I slept in the room (if you can call it sleeping) and I am glad to be available not only to her but also to her roommate. When a patient needs to go to the bathroom, they need to go to the bathroom! I was able to seek help when I needed it in this regard. Also, my mother’s room only had a curtain screen. His roommate had a machine with an IV attached to it. From my conversation that I overheard the nurses had with their roommate, the machine would sound an alarm whenever bubbles entered the IV, which turned out to be quite frequent. The alarm wouldn’t go off until a nurse practitioner came and reset it. None of us could sleep with that thing constantly ringing, so each time I would get up and find a nurse so we could all try to sleep. More than once I would go out into the hallway and find no one in sight! I tell you …

After being away for a while, I returned to my mother’s room just in time to find her looking bad. I asked him if he was okay and he said he wasn’t feeling well. I tried to clear it up and she had a haunted look on her face, she leaned over the bed, looked at the floor and then reached for the nearby sink. I deduced that she needed to vomit, so I quickly slid the trash can to the side of her bed, where she quickly used it. When the nurses returned I told them and they prescribed anti-nausea medications, but again they were not present at the time of their need. Imagine the mess that would have been if he hadn’t been there to help her!

Aside from the above examples, I also did a number of minor things like helping with the blanket cover, fixing the curtains for privacy, helping to bring her her cup of water and a straw to ensure she was comfortable.

I can also count the time I walked into the ER with a broken toe. I got the impression from how they saw me and treated me that the initial conclusion of most of the staff was that my toe was not broken and that it was just an annoyance. After checking in, a nurse told me to follow her into the exam room as she took off like a pony express. I tried to keep limping as fast as I could while feeling pain, but she pulled away and rounded a corner without even looking back. Okay, my toe didn’t seem visually broken, but is that any reason to make me “walk like an Egyptian” down the long hall? After the x-rays were examined, the assistant told me “he did a number.” Really? It would be nice if they treated you as if you knew your own body.

I have experienced patient and hospital care first-hand enough to know that it is always a good idea to have an advocate there to help you and witness any peculiar occurrences. Whenever I have a doctor’s appointment or a hospital stay, I always try to have someone with me as a witness to how I was treated.

A word of caution about short or long term stay …

Before assuming responsibility for acting on behalf of a patient in a short or long term stay. illuminated is a good idea to find out from those who work directly with the patient what is allowed and what is not allowed to do. You can avoid violating company policy and possible lawsuit by acting in an unauthorized manner with someone who is not in your designated care. This is especially important if you are not a direct relative or if you are coming after the fact to be an advocate for the patient.


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