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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dedicated and Random Acts of Kindness CAN... Save Lives!


16 Iyar 5769

teaches you how to cope with medical challenges. Among the lessons in it is this: the need to advocate for the person receiving medical treatment.

The Resources section of "It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry if I Need To" includes a recommended reading list among other helpful things. One suggestion is the free Zine (E-mail messages sent on regular basis) called "A Daily Dose of Kindness."

One of the "Kindness" readers recently made some marvelous comments, echoing the advocacy lesson I teach in "It's MY Crisis!" I have permission to repost those comments here (highlights mine):

" My mother was in and out of the hospital
more in than out) over an 8 month period.
She’s very ill. When she was in the hospital, we dealt with all types of
nurses, patient care technician’s, etc.
Some were extremely kind and went
out their way to help. Others were so nasty
they made my mother cry.

She’s totally paralyzed except for [her] head, on a respirator and is totally
aware and awake. My sister and I are her only advocates. We are her 'voice.'

We’d like to let all those who are going
through a similar situation know that
giving up is not an option.

No matter how long it takes,
fight for the patients rights.

We started by addressing the nurses directly. When this didn’t work,
we went to the nurse manager,
then to the patient representatives,
then up to the vice president
of patient relations, then to the
vice president of the entire hospital.

It was a lot of work – hours and hours
of it, but in the end, we got our mother
the help she so desperately needs.

Every case is different.

Keep in mind, most hospitals
are in financial crisis.
Insurance companies pay very little for claims. Still, your patient should
NEVER be subjected to mistreatment.

One example (a very common problem):
[is] if the patient isn’t turned often enough.
Find out the protocol. It’s usually 2 hours.
If it’s approaching the 2 hour mark,
gently remind a nurse.
If anything is 15 minutes or more
behind schedule, you have the right
to complain and try to move things along.

We have a 10 minute rule –
we remind the staff every 10 minutes
until it gets done.

No matter how nasty they get, stay calm.
You need their help, especially for
the times the patient will be left alone.
If it goes on too long (1/2 hour or longer),
we go to a higher person in charge.
The staff is overwhelmed at times,
but they are there for a reason.

Offer your assistance if they’ll allow it.

If you can’t be there as often as you’d like,
call an organization like Bikur Cholim
[YG: a charitable organization for ill people] and see if they can send
volunteers to sit with your patient.
They’re available day and night.

Try to get friends, neighbors, relatives, etc. to sit in the hospital just to
keep any eye out. NEVER
be ashamed to ask for help –

your asking could save the person’s life

For information about the Daily Dose of Kindness Zine, contact Shmuel Greenbaum .

Like that story? You just might love my book, which advocates the lesson in it, and other lessons to help the ill person you care for.

Click on
I'm Buying "It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry if I Need To" so I can Improve Someone's Health with a Book that "Helps You to Dry Your Tears and to Cope with a Medical Challenge".

To your good health,

Yojeved Golani
Coping with a Medical Crisis?
Make the Changes You Need in Your Life

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