Seminar educates parents about health care rights
As part of Patients’ Rights Week, the Montreal Children’s Hospital is holding a free seminar for parents entitled Navigating the health care system: Learn your rights and learn how to communicate effectively.
The event is being organized by the hospital’s Family Advisory Forum (FAF), a parent and patient advocacy group. Parents will learn how to better understand their rights, how to express their concerns or voice a complaint about the care their child is receiving and how to make a hospital visit easier. There will also be a presentation on effective communication skills.
The seminar takes place on Sunday, October 2 at 10 a.m. in the hospital’s amphitheatre, 2300 Tupper St. (corner of Atwater Ave.), Montreal. For more information, call Lisa Dutton at (514) 412-4307 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of the event, Robert Bloom, a father whose daughter is often at the Children’s Hospital, will share his perspective. He also provides 10 tips for making a visit to the hospital easier on everyone:
- Be friendly. ‘Thank you’, ‘please’, and ‘hello’ all go a long way.
- Keep a paper and pen with you to write down people’s names and their role in your child’s care. This allows you to follow up if/when you need more info. You can also use it to write down your questions or concerns for those involved in your child’s care.
- If you are sleeping at your child’s bedside, be up and ready for the doctor’s morning visit, which can be as early as 7 a.m. It is hard to be taken seriously in your pyjamas.
- Remember the health professionals looking after your child are doing their best, but also keep in mind they are only human. Errors may
- inadvertently occur so be vigilant but forgiving.
- There are no stupid questions: it is foolish not to ask your questions because you’re afraid of sounding silly.
- When you take a break from your child’s bedside, leave a note to let people know when you will be back. Also, leave a pen and paper so any health professional who visits while you are away can leave a message for you.
- You are not Superman or Wonder Woman. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. You need to take care of yourself in order to take care of your child.
- Do not bring anything of value to the hospital.
- There is no magic wand or crystal ball to figure out what is wrong with your child or what the final outcome will be.
Be patient. It takes time to get an appointment, a consultation, test results, and government subsidies. However, be persistent: you don’t want to fall through the cracks.