Patient Advocates Can Also Support Each Other

Patient Advocates Can Also Support Each Other
| by GNA Admin

by Ilene Corina BCPA She / Her

Are you a patient advocate? Are You Listening or Asking Questions?

Whether you are professional or helping family and friends, you are probably a caring person — who wants to help others.

It can be a difficult position to be in. You may become close to the patient and even their family or friends. You may FEEL like family even if you are not.

You may be in a position that the person you are caring for succumbs to an illness or because of their age, they pass away. You may have become very attached to the person and their family and now feel you have no place in their life. You are left to grieve alone because you may not be family, but you may still be hurting.

Self-care is so important. You are not in their life to make things happen – in most cases you are there for support.

If you are listening to a patient advocate or care partner tell you this experience, be sure to listen to them. After over twenty years, I recognize that being a patient advocate can be lonely. We do this because of our love of people and we want to help but where is the training manual and support team for you.

If a patient advocate or caregiver shares that a patient he or she was caring for passes away, It is not surprising that people participating in the conversation become curious. Why did the patient die, how old was she, what hospital was she in?

These questions should not be part of the conversation. At Pulse, during our programs, we discourage questions such as this but instead, learn from the person who is sharing, what they are going through, how they are coping and how they are managing.

As a patient advocate or care partner, people often forget how difficult it is for you to watch someone who you have grown to care for become sicker and pass away. Patient advocates can be curious because we want to fix things but we cant always do that – the best we can do is listen and by listening to the person in front of you ate the moment, you may be able just fix a broken heart.

Learn more about Ilene Corina BCPA at