The third of a weekly five-part series by Tiffany Matthews, BSW, MJ, Contributor
I wrote this series of articles to inform you of several methods you can use to improve your health care experience immediately. I assure you, if you use tactics that I give to you, your care and treatment will improve.
Every single time I go to a local restaurant, they always seem to get my order wrong. Something is cold that needs to be hot, or hot needing to be cold. I constantly have to take things back. I have to stop going there - but it's close to home and the coupons are great.
But is it really worth it if I am not getting what I want or what I asked for? Probably not. This is especially true when this applies to your health care.
Getting the health care you deserve starts with you. You must change your mind and your attitude about treatment to become an active patient. I want to give you some tips on adopting a better mindset because it is a vital action in becoming the patient you need to be.
Know that healthcare is your right and not a privilege, even though many would have you believe differently. Everyone, including you, deserves good healthcare and respectful treatment while receiving care.
Determine what kind of patient you are. Are you assertive or passive? Do you go along with the doctor's directions or do you do things your own way? Figuring out how you participate in your treatment may bring about a change or an enhancement in what you're doing. The way you interact with your healthcare
providers is an important aspect of how you will receive your care.
Understand that healthcare is a business like any other. Grocery stores, restaurants, and retail stores go out of their way to treat customers right. And good service is hard to come by these days, especially in the healthcare arena.
Hospitals and healthcare systems do the same thing by telling you that they can take care of everything going on with you. But how are you being treated during your treatment?
If you feel that the way you are being cared for is negative in any way, changes need to be made immediately. That means going to a new doctor or a new facility to get what you need, or filing a complaint. Changes can also come from within you. For example, if you are passive ordinarily, you may have to become more
If the way you are treated during your treatment makes you feel uncomfortable, speak up! You don't have to blow up, just politely address the situation and get a fair resolution. If no resolution happens, there are avenues that you can take to get justice.
Take responsibility and exercise your right to great care. Why? Because you deserve it.
Remember, just because you're wearing one of those gowns with your tushy exposed, does not mean that your power goes out of the window. Stand up and speak up. If you do, you will be on your way to becoming the head of your healthcare team.
Tiffany Matthews, BSW, MJ, is a Writer, Social Worker & Healthcare Advocate at Live Better Boomer! Healthcare Access & Advocacy Services, in the greater Philadelphia area. You can also connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.