Once upon a time, the word “advocate” was contentious: doctors didn’t want us in the room, nurses didn’t want us next to a hospital bed, and health insurers thought we patient advocates were nothing but troublemakers.
But in recent years there seems to have been a major shift in attitudes. I’m hoping you can help us assess that.
This point came up in several recent conversations with people who have been doing advocacy work for many years; who have been able to observe attitudes for quite awhile, and who tell me they have seen this shift with their own eyes.
The shift? From wary standoffishness – to a lovefest!
The phone rings. It’s a new, potential client calling. You answer, “This is Joan Advocate. May I help you?”
The client, Juanita, is relieved to hear your friendly voice. She launches into her story about the doctor not listening to her, and that she can’t fill her prescription because it’s too expensive. Then she asks if you can help her.
Regular readers of this blog know a couple of things about me.
For one thing, they know I live in Florida, having moved here from Upstate NY two years ago, no longer willing to freeze my cabungus off during the winter. (Or, as my husband phrases it, “you don’t have to shovel 90 degrees!”)
They also know many of my blog posts are metaphorical, based on inspiration I get from my daily life which at times is well, yes, pretty darn metaphorical!
And thus we set the stage for today’s post – The Sinkhole. Pure Florida. Pure Metaphor. See what you think.
It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s always an eyeopener and usually quite unsettling.
When done well, and handled well, it can turn out to be therapeutic, and has the potential for great opportunity.
I’m talking about moaning, groaning, complaining and yes – b*tching. Whether it’s a client complaining about an advocate, or the other way around, sometimes it’s fair and understandable, sometimes not. Sometimes it can escalate. Other times it can be diffused.
In all cases we can learn from complaints. So let’s take a look.
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.