When people ask you what you do for a living, what do you – as an independent health / patient advocate, or care manager — reply to them?
It would be simple to say “I am an advocate” which, then, may require further explanation. That further explanation would likely include examples of the kinds of work you do (I attend doctor appointments with seniors. Or, I manage medical bills and negotiate them when they are too high. Or I help people figure out what their own choices are for treatments… or…. )
That further explanation is always valuable, especially if the person asks you additional questions – meaning you have engaged them. And they often do! They also tend to launch into stories on their own, beginning with “Where were you when….?” and then relate some horrible situation they or their loved one found themselves in. At that point you know they understand.
But this week, during a conversation with a gentleman who wants to jump into “our” world, I found myself telling him…