HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF AS A PATIENT

Dealing with a serious illness or injury is challenging. However, you want to receive the best treatment possible so you can get back to the activities that you love. 

Choosing a great healthcare team is vital, and you can't underestimate the importance of dealing with doctors and nurses who are committed to your health. In addition, it's important to advocate for yourself throughout the process.

HOW TO ADVOCATE YOURSELF AS A PATIENT

Ask Plenty of Questions

If you are feeling overwhelmed about all that's involved with your condition, you are not alone. It's normal to be frustrated when so many things are out of your control. However, you can take charge of the areas that you can control by asking plenty of questions.

You are a valued part of your healthcare team, so you should feel informed and confident about what is ahead. If you're unsure about something, don't be afraid to ask plenty of questions. When you fully understand what is occurring and why you have chosen your treatment plan, you can move forward with confidence instead of uncertainty.

Keep Careful Notes

You're dealing with a lot of information in a short period of time, and it's almost impossible to remember everything. That's why it's so important to take careful notes at your appointments. If your doctor schedules a tumor marker test, make careful notes about how to prepare for the test, where to go and when it is scheduled. If he recommends vitamins and supplements that could help you, write down the supplement names and recommended dosages.

Enlist the Help of Family and Friends

You're intelligent and strong, but that doesn't mean that you can handle everything in your own. Instead of trying to tackle a long list of tasks, enlist the help of the people who love you the most. Your friends and family members want to assist you and encourage you during this time, but they might not always know how to help. Whether you need someone to talk to without offering advice or you just don't have the energy for grocery stopping right now, be honest about what you need and what is not helpful. Relying on the kindness of others doesn't make you weak. It proves that you are strong enough to let other people in.

When you advocate for yourself and allow people who care about you to assist you, you can thrive through this difficult phase and emerge stronger than ever.

(Image: CTO)

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