When going through any major medical procedure, having an advocate is a very important aspect of your care to consider. What is an advocate? It’s someone who is there to go to your appointments with you and also help you keep track of the coordination of your care. This could be a family member, a friend, or sometimes there’s even services that you can hire to act in this capacity.
Being your own advocate
First off, the most important person to be an advocate in your care is you! In the past, the words of the doctors were taken as absolute truth and patients just followed directions and that was the end of the story. Being an empowered patient is all the rage in the 21st century. Otherwise known as “participatory medicine,” this is a situation where both you and your physician work as a team in your medical goals. Taking notes during doctor’s visits can help you remember fine details later when you are at home. Getting second opinions is part of this process and can totally give you a different perspective on your choices.
Now this doesn’t mean just consulting Dr. Google and having it take over as the expert in your care. Patients need to make sure that the websites they are consulting are reputable and valid sources of information. There is a lot of bad information and outright disinformation floating out there on the web about health products and health care decisions. Be cautious of who you take advice from and check your sources for credibility.
The impotrance of having an advocate
Beyond being your own advocate and taking charge of your health care, having another set of eyes and ears on your situation is extremely important. Doctors visits happen fast these days. A lot of physicians are pushed into 15 minute encounters by insurance companies or hospital administrators. When by yourself, it can be difficult to remember all of the questions that you have for your physician. And sometimes topics are embarrassing to address by yourself, or maybe a patient is just not the type of person who’s used to speaking up for themselves. There are many factors that could play into this situation, and having someone there to help guide the visit so that you get all of your needs met can be a total game changer in your outcomes.
Sometimes, because of your medical circumstances, you may not be thinking as clearly as you normally would. Asking questions to your providers is a big part of maintaining proper healthcare. This is when it’s essential to have someone with you to make sure all of your questions are addressed. You can’t be afraid to ask questions and having someone there to be your support can help you think more clearly and remind you of things you may be forgetting to talk about. They can also help to take notes if you’re not up for it or if your circumstances make it difficult for you to do so.
Navigating the healthcare system is a whole other challenge. Making appointments with various providers, whether it be physicians, physical therapists, mental health providers, acupuncturists, or any other person within your care team, keeping track of everything can be overwhelming. Dealing with the insurance companies can be a whole other predicament, and sometimes it takes someone who may have a little more organizational skills or maybe more of a fighting spirit to help you in these situations.
Sometimes circumstances make it so there’s just no one around in your life to take on these challenges with you. This is where we go back to the second paragraph above and remind you that it is up to you sometimes to find the help you need. There are professional services available for patients to tap into, depending on where you live. Social workers from hospital systems can provide you with information to different agencies that may be available in your local area. Sometimes there are even volunteer organizations that can help in this role.
We at LifeBiotic understand that the journey through treatment to recovery can be scary and confusing. Our team of experts is always here to help you, your family, or a professional advocate you trust with information about how our products can work with your treatment plan.
We are here for you!
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