Print

Library >> Browse Articles >> Nurse Management

+1

Patient Advocates: Be a Friend in the Hospital

Patient Advocates: Be a Friend in the Hospital

Megan Malugani / Monster Contributing Writer

Patient’s Problem Solver

What do patient advocates do? On the most basic level, they solve problems for patients and their families. In many instances, a patient doesn’t know where to turn and may feel at the doctors’ mercy. Patient advocates represent patients with problems and get them through the system.

“The best part of my job is knowing I’m helping frustrated people who felt they had nowhere else to turn,” Spicka says. “It’s a good feeling knowing you make a difference in people’s lives.”

Many people aren’t aware that patients have rights, Spicka explains. “Patient advocates help patients exercise those rights and provide channels to find solutions to concerns that haven’t been met in the healthcare facility.”

Patient advocates serve as liaisons between patients and the institution. Because they are insiders, they can usually get results faster and avoid red tape.

The array of problems patient advocates help with range from billing issues to patients who are unhappy about prescribed treatments. It’s not always easy. “The worst thing a facility can do is ignore a patient’s complaint,” Spicka says. “Listening to the person is often as important as the problem itself.”

Patient advocate careers are now so popular that a number of colleges have instituted certification programs. People who go through the programs often have an edge over those who do not.


+1
  • A_christmas_hello_max50

    jinjinjoel

    over 5 years ago

    20 comments

    IM A FILIPINA AND A GRADUATING MOM IN BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN NURSING. STILL HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES I WANT TO GO IN AMERICA, IS SOMEONE OUT THERE WHO WANTS TO HIRE ME IN ANY POSITION IN THE HOSPITAL OR EVEN A CAREGIVER AR NANNY IM AVAILABLE BY APRIL.TNX ,MY EMAIL santiagomaryjane@ymail.com

  • Darae_max50

    DaraeStarr

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    Kansas Medical Center has pt advocates. They are usually only used to run recon on an old issue (day or shift before current nursing staff). They simply are a sounding board who gather information on issue or concern ( usually quality or quantity of care ). This information is given to nursing supervisor of unit then the staff member is asked their side of issue or concern along with documentation (pt notes, meds, history of pts stays). Then supervisor speaks with pt and reassures their future cares, as well as actions taken if dimmed necessary. The pt advocate follows up next day to make certain pt is satisfied with outcome. Check with your local state hospitals, Veterans Health Administration,U.S. Army Medical Command Center, Bureau of Prisons/Federal Prison System or Department of Health & Human Services. These are facilities that often have this job position.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Emmatol

    over 5 years ago

    186 comments

    I'm very confident in being a patient's advocate, but will like to know if it's a specialty on its own.
    All nurses' performs this advocacy role to an appreciable extent.

    Thanks for the anticipated enlightenment.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    123adr

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    we nurses are patients advocate and we have a license and no need to take others courses or certification.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    maryodlb

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I feel I am already a patient advocate.
    I try to treat each patient as I would my own family member.
    However, if there is a "legitimate" occupation as a patient advocate, I certainly would like to have the information. My email is maryodlb@comcast.net

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    nursepatrice

    over 5 years ago

    18 comments

    THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING TO LOOK INTO. ARE THERE CERTAIN COURSES YOU HAVE TO TAKE. HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT APPLYING FOR THIS POSITON. IF THERE ARE ANY PATIENT ADVOCATES OUT THERE , PLESAE FEEL FREE TO E-MAIL ME AT idelora@yahoo.com. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT I NEED TO DO. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    barbarajannicegladys

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW TO GO ABOUT BEING A PATIENT ADVOCATE. AND WHAT ARE TH REQUIREMENTS? my email is jcjk51@embarqmail.com

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    mmn1958

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    How do I find a certificate program for Patient advocates?

  • Grandbabies21_max50

    mammadukes1

    over 5 years ago

    8 comments

    what are the requirements on being a advacate?

NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a nursing or healthcare degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.