The Importance of Advocating for Yourself
Last updated: May 2023
Sometimes it is so difficult to speak up for yourself during doctor visits. I have found it hard to get a word between all the information. It has even been hard to express my opinions. I have sometimes felt like I wasn’t educated enough to talk about my body and its symptoms. Honestly, it’s been difficult to advocate for me.
Advocating for myself
Advocating for yourself on this lupus journey is an important skill that can help ensure you receive the best possible care. Being able to advocate for yourself can help you gain the respect of your doctors, build relationships with others, and ensure that you are getting the help and support you need. It involves being able to speak up for yourself, express your needs, and make sure that your voice is heard.
Advocating for yourself is important
Advocating for yourself as a person with lupus is important for several reasons:
Ensuring quality care:
First, when I began advocating more for myself, it helped to ensure that I received the best possible care. I was able to ask questions, voice my concerns, and provide important information that helped my healthcare providers make informed decisions about my care.
Second, as I raised my voice, advocating for myself helped improve communication between my healthcare providers and me. By speaking up and sharing my needs and concerns, I helped build a stronger relationship with my healthcare providers and work together to develop a care plan that worked for me.
Third, as I raised my voice, advocating for myself helped improve communication between my healthcare providers and me. By speaking up and sharing my needs and concerns, I helped build a stronger relationship with my healthcare providers and work together to develop a care plan that worked for me.
Avoiding medical errors:
By keeping track of my medical history and advocating for myself, I have helped to avoid medical errors and ensured that I received the right treatments and medications. We often think the doctors remember our case, but they aren’t able to. They see plenty of patients daily, which can get confusing. Ultimately, I had to actively look at my medications, symptoms, and the effects everything had on my entire being.
Protecting my rights:
Furthermore, advocating for myself helped protect my rights as a patient. As I educated myself, I learned I had patient rights. This helped me to gain my voice and advocate for my rights as a patient, including my right to informed consent, confidentiality, and access to my medical records.
Overall, advocating for myself on this lupus journey is an important way to ensure that I receive the best possible care and take an active role in my health and well-being.
How can you advocate for yourself?
Advocating for yourself can be overwhelming and scary. Here are some tips I learned on how to effectively advocate for myself:
It was important for me to learn about lupus and treatment options. I asked my healthcare providers questions and sought out reliable sources of information.
I practiced being clear and assertive communicating my needs and concerns. Additionally, I spoke up when I had questions or felt unsure about my treatment. It also helped to be honest about my symptoms so that my treatment was effective for my body.
Built a strong relationship with my healthcare providers
I worked really hard with my healthcare providers to develop a care plan that worked for me. I was open and honest about my needs and concerns.
Kept my own records
Because I began to advocate myself more, I understood the importance of keeping track of my medical history, including test results, treatments, and medications. This helped me stay on top of my healthcare. I was informed about my care and provided important information to my healthcare providers when they were confused from patient to patient.
Knew my rights
I began to learn and understand my rights as a patient. As stated before, knowing your right to informed consent, confidentiality, and access to your medical records is important in being an active participant in your care.
Take an active role in my care
Essentially, following an agreed upon treatment plan was important to play an active role in my health care. As I asked questions, it showed my healthcare providers that I cared about myself. Furthermore, when I spoke up when I had concerns or noticed any changes in my health, it helped me learn about my body and empowered me to advocate better for my healthcare.
Advocating takes practice
On the whole, I have learned how important it is to advocate for my healthcare. After all, it is a fact that I know my body and its needs better than anyone else. Researching and understanding lupus, medications, and treatments helped me make informed decisions about my healthcare. Additionally, advocating for my own healthcare has helped to ensure I receive the best care possible. Being active in my healthcare empowers me to make the best decisions for my health and well-being.
Without a doubt, advocating for yourself as a patient is important. But remember it's also important to work collaboratively with your healthcare team to ensure you receive the best possible care.
How are you most likely to respond when someone offers you unsolicited advice about your lupus?