Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More on Patient Advocacy

Not enough can be written in regards to defining the job of Patient Advocacy. This job is not for everyone – and the pay is lousy. A Patient Advocate can be a friend or family member. The Patient Advocate must keep the patient’s best interest in mind at all times, and attempt to represent what they know to be the patients opinions or attitudes. The Patient Advocate has to both deal with the reality at hand, and keep an eye down the road. Health decisions are complex and the PA has to rely on his wits to try to make the best ones. The PA cannot get discouraged by anything, but must be able to maintain balance and equilibrium (objectivity). The job of a Patient Advocate is often without rewards. It is not a rewards based job. Oftentimes the PA gets neither sense of purpose nor no sense of accomplishment. Any sense of worth has to be provided by the PA from his own resources. Discipline is a necessary trait for a PA. It allows him to build his own structure and to set his own pacing in the face of uncertain progress. In trying to define the tasks, obligations and reality of being a Patient Advocate, this PA will divide the material into categories. Some specific suggestions are made, some personal accounts are given. Both are necessary. This is not a personal journal. It is a guide established by one PA. Finally the PA has to think about money because fighting this disease is an expensive operation.

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