Rampant consumerism has engulfed the healthcare system in the United States.
This will be no surprise to people who read about medical doctors at major insurance companies denying medical procedures without even looking at the medical records that accompany the request, the “opioid crisis” built around a drug that has made billions of dollars for its manufacturer, and even elite private “concierge” medicine where those who can afford it get private, quick medical consultations on their own schedules.
I’m proud to be one of the last bastions of patient and personal health advocacy left – the legion of registered nurses who have had enough and are doing what they can about it. Many people only associate RNs with bedpans and pills in a hospital, or as obedient people who follow doctor’s orders without question.
RNs have independent licenses, meaning we are free to use the 200+ nursing diagnoses at our disposal to assess, diagnose, plan, treat, and evaluate our practice and our interventions. When you come to see me for private health counseling and life coaching to guide you in making your own decisions and plans for health behavior changes, you remain in control but you also have a distinct advantage. People who don’t receive a sense of empathy, understanding, and warmth are less likely to be able to put changes and recommendations from their doctors into place, but those who do receive understanding and warmth from a nurse case manager (a nurse who works directly with you), are able to benefit from making changes (Fuertes, JN, Boylan LS, Fontanella JA. Behavioral indices in medical care outcomes: The working alliance, adherence, and related factors. Journal of General Internal medicine. 2009; 24(1): 80-85).
In other words, nurses who stand ready to help patients privately and with intentional education and scientific based behavior change support are rare enough – but if you find one and work with her or him, you have almost doubled your chance of making those health-affirming behavior changes like losing weight, understanding medications, or stopping smoking.
Finally, it’s good to know that an RN’s license is usually predicated on patient advocacy as our first duty, our contract with the state that issues our license.
© Lizzie Bennett is an Advanced Holistic Nurse, Board Certified, RN, Whole Health thought leader, and Ordained Minister of some years. She is a Nurse Health Coach facilitator, and owns Three Moons Medicine™ as her private counselling and coaching practice, a blog, educational forum, Facebook page, and outreach to support others on their journey.
RNHA™ and Registered Nurse Health Advocate™ are intellectual property and service marks belonging to Lizzie Bennett, owner of Three Moons Medicine™
P.S. Maybe you want to take the deep dive and spend a whole year learning not only how to heal yourself, but help others, too? Be sure to check out my school and get information on becoming a health coach!