Advocating for Yourself
Use your voice, assert your needs effectively and know what to ask for.
- Arrive at your appointment early, that way you are calm and composed.
- A visit to a doctor should be a two way conversation, and not one where the doctor is doing all of the talking.
- If you have a question that hasn't been answered or a concern that hasn't been addressed, bring it up. If you're confused about something, ask the question and if you're concerned about a particular course of treatment ask about alternatives.
- Remain consistent and persistent in what is important to you.
The Alberta Health Services website recommends the following regarding Advocating For Yourself-Well on Your Way:
- Learn how to explain your health condition clearly.
- Practice speaking about your health condition with a parent, friend, or someone else you trust.
- Write down your concerns or questions before you go to your healthcare provider. It reminds you to talk about them at your appointment.
- As whatever questions you need answers to. It is your body and you need all the information to make informed decisions about your health.
- Keep track of all your doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers including who you see, when you see them, and what you talked about.
- Stay calm and polite, but assert yourself to get the support or information you need.
- Speak up if you don’t agree with your healthcare provider. You are the boss of your own healthcare; no one knows your body better than you do.
If you think you have communicated clearly but do not feel the healthcare provider ‘heard’ you, or you do not agree with the choices for treatment, you can get a second opinion.
For more information or support, you can contact Alberta Health Services Patient Concerns and Feedback or the Alberta Government Health Advocates.
It can also be frustrating when you want to feel heard, but you feel that all you are getting is advice. Do not be afraid to ask others to just listen and be supportive.
The above was taken from the Alberta Health Services website: Advocating For Yourself | Alberta Health Services
For More Information on Advocating for Yourself Resources
Alberta Health Services:
- For more information or support, you can contact Alberta Health Services Patient Concerns and Feedback or the Alberta Government Health Advocates.
- Website: Advocating For Yourself | Alberta Health Services
If You Always Get Tongue-Tied at the Doctor, It’s Time to Work on Self-Advocacy-Here’s How (Lanquist, L. 2021):