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Ed 17, Mar - Apr 2020

Giving patients a voice

Navigating our hospital and healthcare systems can be emotionally exhausting and overwhelming. A growing number of people seek out someone independent to help. Known as ‘patient advocates’ these personal representatives can speak – hence advocate, on behalf of the patient and/or their family. As a result, not only can health outcomes be improved but also stress is reduced. By accessing the correct medical path in a timely and effective manner, such advocates can literally add years to someone’s life. When Dorothy Kamaker’s mother was at risk of dying from poor medical management, Dorothy knew she had to intervene: “The ageism and lack of collaboration were diabolical.” As a result of Dorothy’s expertise and efforts, her mother enjoyed nine more good years with her husband and family. In addition to intensive care nursing qualifications, Dorothy enhanced her skills by graduating as an independent patient advocate –making her perfectly positioned to advise on medical treatment and hospital management. “It’s not about being the loudest voice in the room – it’s about knowing your rights, having a plan,and working with people in the health system to get a good result. It takes a high level of health literacy, honed

DOROTHY KAMAKER communication skills and emotional equanimity to effectively collaborate with health providers to engineer good outcomes.” Now Patient Advocates is becoming the go-to agency for support regarding safety through the onset of the coronavirus. “The latest enquires are related to our concierge services (how to plan for this health event) and to modifying our role for our current client load (reviewing in home/residential care safety),” Dorothy reports. “There are major revisions needed for every older person and for everyone with upcoming planned surgery; we are increasingly negotiating with doctors, nursing homes and families to keep vulnerable people as safe as possible.” In 2019, Alicia Dunn joined Dorothy and their diverse clinical nursing backgrounds mean

Patient Advocates Australia is ideally placed to support those facing difficulties or barriers in the health system. Other common situations they advise on include confronting new and overwhelming diagnoses, relatives with a “gut feeling” that hospital care is not good enough or concerned their loved one is being discharged too early, to those not satisfied with medical advice or treatment. Clients can rely on them to, for example, locate and monitor quality services to allow them to keep living independently at home while, for those requiring aged care accommodation, “we’re often requested to collaborate with nursing homes to revise protocols and monitor their care”. Interacting with medical providers is intimidating for many while trying to obtain reliable, plain English reports from doctors’ appointments can be frustrating. As well as,

sending understandable reports to families and attending medical appointments, those living outside Sydney often want someone on the ground to visit the family member as well as to ensure correct hospital care. We provide a completely independent perspective on what they’re being told about their health or aged care – and we’re with them as much or as little as they want,” Dorothy assures. “We end up with clients who are incredibly relieved and grateful that they’ve had someone on side, someone that they can trust.”

DOROTHY KAMAKER MN RN Independent Patient Advocate

0421 011 430 www.patientadvocates.com.au

Support and experience on your side, at your side

Returning to work after raising kids Helping local families with their finance needs!

Churning out essays, assignments and cramming for exams can take 3-4 years, or in my case it was 9 years and 3 degrees later, with a few part time jobs, social life and volunteering thrown into the mix. You land a job that is a great stepping stone to the next. Then after a few years of climbing the ladder you realise your passion lies elsewhere and you move into a different industry and profession.

Marika is the Director and Lending Specialist at Nest Quest Finance in Rose Bay. A local for 22 years, Marika is a founding Member and now President of Rose Bay Community Garden, so she loves to keep it local. With a young family of her own, Marika specialises in helping local mums and dads get the finance they need to achieve their goals. Need a loan? Speak to Marika today!

MARIKA NABUNG Nest Quest Finance

0411 394 575 | marika@nestquest.com.au Nest Quest PTY LTD Credit Representative Number 501513 of Australian Credit Licence Number 384704

Just when your career is in full flourish, 'Mother Nature' has a different plan and you take on the role of parenthood. This job is no longer 9-5, rather you have been catapulted into a 24 hour responsibilities. Your job descriptions now entails broken sleep, endless washing, cooking, cleaning and folding laundry. The KPIs of this position include relentless internal pressure to look good and plan your return to work. You are on a mission to get your body and career back. However, the universe has a different plan, perhaps your role has been made redundant in a restructure or your boss is not au fait with flexibility. At this stage, you may need to reconsider your career and how it will fit with baby or babies in tow. This is such a common story and one which is hard to navigate without planning and support.

Now, as a mum of two kids who are past the baby stage, I have greater insight into what I would have loved to have known on my journey back into the workplace. Here are some statistics according to the Australian Human Rights Commission: • 27% of women reported experiencing discrimination during pregnancy. • 32% experienced discrimination when applying for parental leave. • 35% reported discrimination when returning back to work (34% related to family responsibilities and 8% related to breastfeeding or expressing). If any of this resonates with you and you would appreciate someone to help you through this process, Flourish HR provides career consulting for individuals and SME's including career coaching, resume development. Services for small businesses include update and set-up of an HR function, employee relations advice or assistance with a specialised project including training or change.


0418 484 578

hello.flourishhr@gmail.com https://www.facebook.com/flourishhr

Profile for Eastern Suburbs Life

Eastern Suburbs Life - Mar/Apr 2020 - Edition 17  

Informative articles by local writers, business professionals and community bodies covering Health & Wellbeing, Finance, Car Care, Local His...

Eastern Suburbs Life - Mar/Apr 2020 - Edition 17  

Informative articles by local writers, business professionals and community bodies covering Health & Wellbeing, Finance, Car Care, Local His...