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27 Mar, Monday
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Montreal Families

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 info@thechildren.com.

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.
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