health advocates and navigators

Burned Out? Leaving Medicine? Advocacy Might Be Right For You

exhausted medical worker

Understatement warning! (Like a spoiler alert only it’s no spoiler!) Burnout among medical professionals is huge right now. The COVID pandemic has caused exhausted healthcare professionals to suffer feelings of fear, frustration, anger, sadness, and the sense that each has lost control over his or her own life… As a result, many people who work in medical environments are looking for an alternative to the craziness. The question becomes… Is there something I can do for a living, a new profession I can choose, that allows me to take advantage of my health and medical education and experience while I …

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Marketing the Pivot: Getting Our Clients Back into Their Health Groove

vinyl record grooves

As we all know, the pandemic has thrown so much of life into a tailspin! We’re constantly reminded that in order to get our lives back, we must pivot. We’re all resetting our personal lives. We’re resetting our work lives, too, as more and more of us (and the rest of our worlds) are getting vaccinated, and are opening up. After a year of pivoting in one direction, we’re now having to pivot again – back to, or into our new normal. As smart advocates and care managers, we must also remember this is true for our clients, too. For …

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Just What Does It Take to Be a Successful Patient Advocate?

strong and self-confident

I heard recently from a woman who represents many of you. Specifically, she wanted to know whether she could be successful if she committed herself to advocacy. She isn’t sure if she knows enough to be able to handle every client situation that comes her way. She wanted a pep talk. She wanted me to convince her that she knows enough. Yes, it was time to invoke one of my favorite quotations, provided to us by Henry Ford of Model “T” fame: “If you think you can do a thing, or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” The …

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She Crossed the Line: An Ethics Violation Which Gave Us All a Black Eye

bruised - black eye

It was jarring. It was upsetting. And it was taken care of swiftly. One among us decided that advocacy ethics don’t apply to her. And her actions, way outside our best practices and ethics, could have caused a patient to die. This is what happened (with no names or identifiable citations, because it could have been anywhere or anyone, and those specifics aren’t the point): I was first informed of the problem last October (2020) when I heard from the Senior Investigator from the State Board of Nursing. She had identified me as a leader in the profession of independent …

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What Aretha Franklin Can Teach Us About Communication

r-e-s-p-e-c-t

This post asks the question: Under what circumstances do we go to the wall for our patient-clients? And when we need to go there, what’s the best approach? Scenario: Your patient-client checks in for a medical appointment and the receptionist is rude during the process. Do you say or do anything? And if so – how and what?  Scenario: As you sit by your patient’s hospital bedside, a nurse comes in to change a dressing already wearing gloves. You ask her to wash her hands and put on new gloves and she cops an attitude. Do you insist? And if …

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All That – But Missing Your Bag of Chips?

Over the years, I’ve met, discussed, emailed, pleaded, and thrown my hands up at (probably) hundreds of advocates who have never truly become professional, independent, practicing advocates. They might have told you they were/are advocates. They SAID they were in business. But their efforts were half-hearted. They didn’t ever ACTIVELY go into business. Instead they joined an organization, or set up a website, or printed business cards, or told their friends they were in business… they might even have listed themselves in a directory or two… But it was all very half-hearted. Why? Because of that idea that they weren’t …

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Employers as Clients – Pushing the Right Buttons and Avoiding Landmines, Too

employee benefits button

One great idea for marketing our advocacy services and acquiring new clients is to reach out to employers to encourage them to hire us on behalf of their employees. When done well, and right, it can be a win-win-win situation for all involved, and in the end, the patient-client-employee feels extremely well served. Seems pretty simple, right? Well, maybe not so… Many independent advocates have attempted such outreach in the past, only to be met with brick walls and great frustration. I think they just didn’t have enough knowledge about the HOW and the WHY. So that’s a bit of …

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