In the United States, one person in eight is over the age of 65. As the growing population ages more help, services and resources are needed to care for our aging population. One area of great need for the elderly is Patient Advocacy, what has caused this great need, and more importantly how can this need be filled?
Consider the following scenarios:
- Three thirds of a patient's lung is removed due to lung cancer. While recovering the patient slips and falls on the hospital floor. The next day, the hospital proceeds to discharge the cancer patient. The original scheduled discharge was supposed to be two weeks later. In addition, the patient is released without the proper prescribed medicine.
- Another patient with numerous health problems is prescribed an upwards of fifteen different types of drugs for her medical problems. After many years of taking these drugs thinking that she was doing the right thing, during a medical visit, the patient is told that she is being over medicated, and that the drugs had caused other serious health problems.
- An elderly patient complained about the pain she was experiencing in her knees. Without taking any X-rays or any further examinations of the patient’s knees, the Doctor proceeded to prescribed medicine for arthritis. Over time, the patients knee pain greatly increased, and it was discovered that the patient was in need of knee replacements, because all of her knee cartilage was gone.
These scenarios are only a few of the many situation faced regularly by the elderly. What can be done to improve the health care situation of the elderly? What is the commonality between these three cases? A Patient Advocate was sorely needed to assure the best patient care. Patient Advocacy helps to protect the safety and well being of the elderly.
What is the role of a Patient Advocate?
The Patient Advocate serves as a representative of the patient when responding to large health care institutions and providers. They counsel and inform the patient about insurance rights, patient empowerment, HMO’s, Medicare and other health providers. A Patient Advocate is also, one who helps the patient and their families to navigate through the complexities of the modern health care system to ensure that the patient's health needs are completely met.
What Educational Requirements are needed?
A certified degree program in health care, medicine, public health or social work can serve as a foundation for and facilitate a career in Patient Advocacy.
Patient Advocacy can be a very rewarding career. If you have the needed skills, enjoy helping people, and have a special fondness for the elderly, this job is tailor made for you. You will become a part of a large organization of people who are working very hard to stamp out elderly abuse on many different levels by helping one elderly person at a time. Join the team, accept the challenge, and become a Patient Advocate.
if you love the elderly and want to make a difference in there lives, why not consider becoming a Patient advocate.
Reference: www.degreefinder; http://www.socialworktoday.com
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