Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Patient Advocacy Training

As I prepare to spend a week at an out of state hospital with a friend who is going for surgery, I reflect on all I have learned about patient safety and what I can do to be sure she is safe and receiving the best quality of care. Sadly, I recognize that her fate is ultimately in the hands of the professionals who will be treating her.

There are many things I can do for her comfort, the things I teach patient’s families to do. As a professional, things I would rarely do, as a friend, things I look forward to doing.

Making sure the patient is comfortable but also, spending the time to disinfect anything that is touched. The door knobs, TV remote and side rails to the bed. These things may be cleaned before a new patient comes in but also need to be done often while the patient is there. Especially, when there is surgery and wound care. Being sure the patient understands treatment, after care has all her questions answered. I will be keeping lists, lots of lists. She will only have to think about getting well.

Each time I do this it is a learning experience. There is no school for teaching patient advocacy as much as there is for living it. When I teach it next time, I will be using experiences I have from this trip, I’m sure. Positives and negatives that will become part of my next lesson.

I am deeply honored to be part of this experience. I am a lucky person.

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