Happy Giving Tuesday to all my Spirited friends out there! I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving Holiday! Today I found myself contemplating what it is that I give to my patients that makes me different than the other providers out there. When I really boiled it down, the word I came up with was Empowerment.
You see, I left the acute care hospital nursing scene at the beginning of this year in a bit of a rage. I wish I could say that I was diplomatic, but my “Spirited”-ness (forgive the double entendre) took over and I went down virtually swinging at every big wig CEO and director I could. I felt powerless to help my fellow nurses and colleagues and even worse for the patients who deserved better. It’s a scary time to be in the hospital folks, and I tell as many people as I can that if you end up as an inpatient, you better have a someone who cares about you at your side. The truth is, the system has become so disjointed from what the true north should be (i.e., patient outcomes and safety). The bottom line now prevails; leadership trajectories are aimed solely on financial profits and how much the budget can be cut with the least amount of say, “collateral damage.”
The same rang true as I entered the world of primary care during my master’s program. The revolving door of patients, the countless insurance barriers to effective care, and ultimately feeling defeated at the end of the day once again. Sure, there have always been good moments, but the underlying theme that became overwhelmingly pressing is that the current United States healthcare system is geared for profits over patients when it should be the other way around.
Now, this isn’t a new issue obviously. Americans have been complaining about it for decades, and now more than ever in the post COVID world! I think we all wish things were easier and cheaper, but there is no quick and easy fix. And you can’t place blame on the providers and healthcare workers out there because they are just trying to survive in this asylum of a healthcare delivery model too! We are all victims in this mess!
To be empowered means that you have the knowledge, confidence, means, or ability to do things or make decisions for oneself (Merriam-Webster). That is what I give to my patients; you will leave with the knowledge and tools to be your own healthcare advocate. I am here to provide supplemental care to the insured and primary care to the uninsured/underinsured. Additionally, I can be there for you in the very literal sense during those times where you need a little extra support. I will provide you with documentation and written treatment plans with supporting evidence to give to your current providers (which is immensely helpful if you are having trouble getting them to listen and hear you out). I will even come to your appointments with you if you need someone to help you remember and focus your questions. Lastly, if you find yourself in the hospital you can count on me to be by your side to make sure you are getting the care you deserve.
I’m ready to prove that your healthcare provider can be a trusted partner in your health journey.
Jules, the Spirited NP