Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Patient Advocate

Recently I had a procedure called a heart cath.  This is where they thread a small tube into your vein and up into your heart to check things out.  Naturally I freaked out.  I also had to go to a hospital that I wasn't real thrilled about, it being a teaching hospital and all.  I didn't want to be the training tool.  I also didn't want Versed.  Big surprise right?  So I did what I have suggested to others who want to avoid Versed...I hired an advocate.

I looked on-line and found a woman named Amy who had worked at that hospital previously.  She had inside sources who outlined what to expect.  Of course FentanylVersed (deliberately run together) is what they wanted to use.  Not an option.  So we collaborated (free of charge) as to what I wanted her to do, expected to be protected from etc.  I hired her to come with me to the hospital, help get my point across with the nurses and make sure that my wishes were typed into the computer.  I can't tell you how much having her there helped.  She even took notes and names.

The upshot was, I didn't get Versed.  EVERY SINGLE NURSE THERE said that they had had patients who reacted very badly to Versed.  Odd isn't it?  I still get notes from a certain advanced practice nurse who demonizes me for saying bad things about Versed.  Yet *I* personally heard the great nurses at the hospital I went to telling me that Versed IS a bad drug for a lot of people.  My advocate had heard it as well, so I was in good hands.  I got a fabulous nurse who gave me Fentanyl and Zofran (antiemetic for nausea) ONLY!  She offered me Benadryl if I wanted (refused) and in general was very concerned about my welfare.  I LOVE REGULAR NURSES!  She wasn't an anesthesia nurse, so I'm still convinced that somehow anesthesia training makes nurses develop "narcissistic personality disorder".

I highly recommend a "patient advocate".  I won't have another procedure without mine.  Amy gave me peace of mind and moral support.  The nurses were receptive to my advocate.  There was no animosity whatsoever having Amy there.  Amy charged me $60 an hour for the time she spent in the hospital with me, which I found very reasonable.  So for 210 bucks I got peace of mind.  Having her by my side was priceless.

Anybody can contact me to find out more.  Names, which hospital this was and the like.  If you live in my area I can highly recommend Amy.  Those of us who have had a bad experience with medical workers riding rough shod over us and ignoring not only our wishes, but informed consent law would do well to hire an advocate for themselves.

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