ADVOCATING FOR YOURSELF - 1
Advocating for Yourself - 1
- Joan writes:
I need to step out of the closet for just a bit because I just must
respond to your and XXXX's dreadful and inexcusable events. As a nurse for
over 30 years and a professor of maternity and pediatric nursing for over 20
(I also manage several online cancer support lists where we discuss what patients-adults
or children-experience in the hospital and what to do about those experiences)
I want to let you know for the future that there are many resources available
to you to intervene when these things happen to you or your child.
The first and most important is that you and your husband are the experts on
XXXX's condition and what his needs are - please believe that and know it in
your heart. If you run into a situation like this, depending on the setup in
the hospital, you have several options. Here are just a few:
hospitals have nursing supervisors. Don't hesitate to ask for or
call the nursing supervisor. Let her/him know the situation and point out how
the diet is potentially causing harm to your son. You can clearly give a scientific
rationale and tell the supervisor you'd like this remedied. On some units you
can start with a Head Nurse or Charge Nurse.
* Many hospitals
have Diabetic Educators, Clinical Specialists (or some
such similar title) who are nurses. They usually work with newly diagnosed
diabetics and do intense education for the first week of admission and then
are available for follow-up. Ask to speak to that person. Again, explain the
situation and ask for assistance in advocating for XXXX.
* Never hesitate to head for the Hospital
Administrator to complain about the care your child is receiving. You'd be
amazed at how quickly a lower level
administrator, usually in nursing, is assigned to assist you in
getting the situation resolved.
* Most hospitals have Risk
Managers for prevention of lawsuits. Taking it from a 'first do no harm'
position, ask to speak to the Risk Manager. If you're
lucky, the Risk Manager will be a nurse or other medical person. Explain
how your child is being potentially harmed and putting the facility at
risk of liability. They'll generally get on it pretty quickly.
* The more savvy hospitals these
days have Patient Advocates or
Ombudsmen/persons. You might find out if your hospital does. They're more of
an 'iffy' resource, depending on the person in the position and how the position
is set up in the hospital in terms of authority and/or influence.
* Finally, a follow up letter to the
Director of Nursing, Hospital
Administrator, Chief of Pediatrics, Head of Dietary, and Risk Management with
a copy to Matt's chart, clearly outlining the situation you had (including
how Matt could have been harmed and the potential liability to the hospital)
would probably be helpful not only for your own peace of mind but in helping
to prevent such a situation from occurring again. It's a good 'heads up' for
the LI listserve
This single book has been more informative than any doctor I've spoken with. The opening chapters outline underlying causes for these various illnesses and go into great detail. This gave me the tools to better approach my doctors and explain what was going on to family members.
- B. Gentry