Setting aside time to read about the typical day for a patient advocate will help you decide if this is the career you truly want to pursue once you graduate from college. If you are interested in working in the healthcare arena as a professional who advocates for patients, you need to be able to handle individuals with tempers who are in volatile situations and often emotional states. For those who are compassionate and capable of diffusing difficult situations, the fairly new title of patient advocate could be one of the most rewarding healthcare jobs to work towards. Read on, and learn more about what a day in the life of a patient advocate entails.
Opening the Lines of Communications
In a hospital setting, the role of a patient advocate is fairly new. Some advocates carry a wide range of different titles, from patient representatives to guest service representatives, but the roles of each of these professionals are similar in nature. A patient advocate plays a vital role in reopening the lines of communications between patients and physicians or nurses so that all complaints are addressed no matter how simple or complex.
Patients want to build good caregiver relationships with their nurses and their physicians, and having a third-party representative to speak with about issues with the care being giving is imperative. An advocate will use a variety of different methods to hear complaints and investigate the situation on behalf of a patient. In the morning, advocates will consult with nurses and social workers within their departments and units to find out what has happened overnight. After the advocate is debriefed and updated on issues that may have arisen, they will make their rounds to visit patients and speak with families in crisis.
Making Arrangements to Resolve Patient Complaints or to Put a Smile on a Patient's Face
Being in the hospital can be an emotional experience for the patient as well as other parties involved, such as immediate family members. After a patient advocate visits patients and families, they will need to investigate complaints and become a strategic problem solver. A day in the life of an advocate speaking up for patients and families is never the same.
One day, you may be working with an elderly patient's family to reassure them of their loved one's status, and the next moment you may be helping a family with a young one in critical condition find housing near the hospital for convenience. Within the same 8 hour work shift, you may be working with the janitorial team to arrange the cleaning of a patient's room while they are taking medical tests or attending a rehabilitation session. It is not uncommon for new complaints or issues to arise throughout the day, which will keep you on your toes.
Patient advocates play an important role in a hospital setting. If you want to fill a very important position within a facility and you would like to earn a decent salary in the process, the first step is to degree or a certificate in patient advocacy. The next step will be to compare salaries, which range between $22,880 and $70,000 per year, so that you can start competing for listings. Once you do the leg work, you can live the day in the life of a patient advocate 5 days a week.