Channeling Paul Harvey today….
(Don’t know who Paul Harvey is? Maybe you’re too young, or you never spent much time listening to Talk Radio… Paul Harvey was famous for his radio broadcasts called “The Rest of the Story.” His stories always featured a twist or turn, or something unexpected.)
Over the past few months, I’ve blogged about points, lessons, or stories, some of which have interesting follow-up or twists to them. So I’ve put them into one post for you – and thus we’re channeling Paul Harvey.
What Happened to Sam?
In April, I told you about a good friend Sam, who had suffered a heart attack in the ER waiting room. The point to the post was that his neighbor, Tom, drove Sam to the hospital instead of calling 9-1-1, and we were concerned that Sam might not pull through because he didn’t get medical attention quickly enough (knowing that EMTs could have treated him on the way to the hospital, perhaps preventing the heart attack to begin with.)
Sam died just a few days after I wrote the post. I cannot tell you how upset we are, not only because we lost our friend Sam, but because we will always wonder if Sam would have survived and recovered if Tom had dialed 9-1-1. It’s hard to lose a friend. It’s even harder to lose someone to poor decision-making.
But there is a silver lining to this story. The loss of Sam has raised awareness in our community about calling 9-1-1, when and why it’s prudent, and even which hospital to to go for which kind of medical problem.
I hope you can find a good takeaway from the post, too. Please share it with clients, friends, and family. Be smart about emergencies. Don’t let any of them be Tom OR Sam.
Did We Find a Screen?
In May I wrote about the absence of logic and what to do instead when I told you the story of arranging for a screen to use at our APHA Summits in Newark. I explained that I always take a projector with me instead of paying $350 – $450 a day to rent one, but that I just rent a screen because they usually cost just $75 or $100 a day.
But the hotel in Newark wanted to charge us $960+ for two days… yes, almost $1000! An outrage, to be sure.
So what did I do in the face of such highway robbery? I simply purchased a screen from Amazon which was delivered to the hotel for $106 including shipping – half what I usually pay, and about 10% of what they wanted to charge us! Better yet, one of our Summit attendees was happy to take it home, which was a great solution – better than just leaving it there. (Shipping it home would have cost $130!)
Next up – Chicago! We’ll purchase a new screen for the Chicago Summits, too. (Will we see YOU in Chicago? Do you want or need a new screen? 🙂 )
Losing Business – Mixing Causes
A handful of people I respect took me to task for my post in March entitled Stop! Halt! Keep Quiet… or Lose Business. The point to the post was to make it clear that when you are a business owner, or work at the behest of others (clients) who may make decisions about hiring you including consideration of your political views, then it’s smarter business not to go public with those views.
The point was NOT to say you shouldn’t have political views, nor was it intended to suggest you shouldn’t be active. There are many non-public ways you can be politically active (writing letters to legislators, for example). The point instead was that someone who disagrees with your politics might dismiss you as a potential service provider even though your politics have nothing to do with whether you can be an effective advocate for them. Since YOU are the face and brand of your business, potential clients will not separate you and your political beliefs, whether they agree or disagree with you. So why let your politics get in the way of your business when there are other ways you can be politically active?
Here are two perfect examples that have popped up just since that post was written. Good illustrations of my points:
- We all know what happened to Roseanne. Enough said.
- I live in the land of Publix Supermarkets, and it was discovered recently that Publix was very publicly and visibly donating to the campaign of a pro-NRA candidate – this, in the land of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Pulse Nightclub shootings. Protestors held a “die-in.” Publix took a major hit both in a loss of shoppers and negative PR, because of their very public pro-NRA political stance (excuse me, but what do groceries have to do with politics and guns?) Publix has now announced they will no longer donate to political candidates.
Since that post I’ve discovered a website that lists businesses and how much they donate to what causes called OpenSecrets. I have already used it to make decisions about who I will do business with. I don’t have to give my hard earned money to businesses so they can turn around and support candidates and causes with which I vehemently disagree.
And Finally… What About the Mean Girls?
In May I wrote Revisiting the Mean Girls in Our New Advocacy Environment. The entire point to the post was to say that, with few exceptions, that attitude that many nurses had in our early advocacy profession days, the idea that someone must be a nurse to be an advocate, no longer exists. Then I provided some reasons why that attitude is a moot point today anyway.
The post elicited (what to me) were the oddest of reactions: I heard from several dozen nurses who quite defensively wanted to be sure I didn’t think THEY were the Mean Girls. (Not sure why? I can only think that they, themselves, know they used to think that way but no longer do?) I also heard from a handful of non-nurses telling me of their experiences with other advocates who ARE Mean Girls. For all but one, I disagreed with that perception and explained to them why.
But here’s the good news: that post sparked many great conversations about what is required to be a good advocate! It has been discussed in online forums, at the APHA Summits, and I’m sure among advocates who network with each other.
It also brought more attention to our new credential, the BCPA (Board Certified Patient Advocate) and what is required to earn that certification (totally unrelated to being a nurse.)
It also brought further clarification to why it’s very wise to work with a nurse to discuss client needs if you don’t have a clinical background yourself.
So – bottom line – while the post caused some defensiveness, the overall outcome was very positive as it opened a good dialog about advocacy, effective advocates, and how to be sure clients get what they need.
I hope you’ve learned more from the rest of these stories. If so, let me know. We’ll do it again sometime!