Caring for a family member who has cancer has it’s own unique challenges. Challenges not found in other long term care situations. These include, but are certainly not limited to chemotherapy and radiation and the side effects that go with them.
However, there are challenges I faced with Mom’s care that are applicable to any situation that involves working with health care professionals, from hospital staff to hospice staff.
Building positive relationships with everyone who cares for your loved one is an absolutely necessary building block. It will help ensure that your ill family member will receive good care, especially when you are not present.
In my opinion, an empowered patient is nicely assertive. I have always believed in building positive relationships with healthcare professionals. I want them to look forward to seeing me, never dreading my presence. I want them to know that I am part of my health care team, and in no way their enemy. I want the professionals who take care of me or my loved ones to feel comfortable with my suggestions and requests, never thinking that I am out to ‘get’ them in any way.
Please understand, however, that if I do have a concern that I think needs to be taken to a supervisor, be it nurse manager, or hospital administrator, I will not hesitate to do so. That is a given.
What I am saying in this post is that, I believe much more is accomplished with health care professionals if we establish a positive working relationship as quickly as possible. That foundation will then make possible the ‘give and take’ that is necessary during the treatment of illness.