The Gratification of Integration: RN Patient Advocates at Work
My name is Karen Mercereau, RN, iRNPA, and I have been working with patients as an independent RN Patient Advocate for 18 years now. Amazing experience. I would like to tell you about one of my patients now:
65 yo male diagnosed with Stage 4 Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) in December, 2012. About 40 percent of NSCLC patients are diagnosed with lung cancer when they are in stage IV. The five-year survival rate for those diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer is less than 10 percent.
Having been a clinical RN for 52 years now, I can honestly say that being an independent RN Patient Advocate is the most rewarding work that I have ever been privileged to do.
This gentleman still has Stage 4 NSCLC but is living a quality life – working on his old cars, traveling to visit family and working around the house. Still fatigued though and needing lots of sleep. However, we are going on 8 years now! How is this possible? Not magic, just need to learn how. Care for this patient involves conventional western medicine, Functional Medicine, Systems Biology and the Human Microbiome. All tools with which RN Patient Advocates are prepared to utilize as indicated.
The Care Plan:
Basic premise of care for this patient: building the optimal treatment and support team. Integrating the work of providers of mainstream oncology – chemo and radiotherapy, providers of naturopathic oncology — immune support, detox, advanced nutritionists, expanded lab testing – along with a great deal of teaching and expanding family support systems. He is also receiving IV therapies of hydration and vitamins/minerals. He has a PET/CT scan q 3 months and has been holding fairly steady for years now.
Having a solid knowledge base/skill sets in all medical paradigms: Conventional, Functional and Integrative Medicines, Systems Biology and the Human Microbiome enables us to expand the accuracy and effectiveness of diagnostics and therapeutics.
Sound intriguing? Honestly, as an iRNPA you never know what is coming your way. Having a solid knowledge base/skill sets in all medical paradigms: Conventional, Functional and Integrative Medicines, Systems Biology and the Human Microbiome enables us to expand the accuracy and effectiveness of diagnostics and therapeutics. We work closely with healthcare providers and they are enthusiastic about the work we do with their patients.
Having been a clinical RN for 52 years now, I can honestly say that being an independent RN Patient Advocate is the most rewarding work that I have ever been privileged to do. My background in ICUs of all settings (except NICU), paramedic training, flight nursing, nursing administration and education, clinical guidance of new RNs have all led to my success as an RN Patient Advocate. This is an emerging new practice model for experienced clinical RNs. We get to do what is right for our clients, working closely with them, their families and their healthcare providers brings such improved outcomes. Is this the time for you to explore this opportunity?
You can learn more at www.rnpatientadvocates.com.