Women Empowerment in Health Care
This International Women’s Day, the mission for women’s health is “to assist women to be in a position of power for making informed decisions about their health”. Empowerment. This is a buzz word that is thrown around and used often in different aspects of life. We talk about “empowering the youth”, “empowering people to make a difference”, “empowering” women to take control of their lives, career, and health. The word sounds great, conveying a sense of strength and inspiration… but what does empowerment really mean? What does it look like? How do we achieve it?
Aligning seamlessly with the theme of International Women’s Day this year, our mission at OceanMed is “to encourage women to take control of their healthcare and become their own health advocates – empowering them to make informed decisions to optimize their physical, mental, and emotional well-being”.
So, what does this mean to us and, more importantly, what does it mean for you?
I believe that the first step in empowering someone is understanding them. You cannot help empower somebody without first taking the time to understand their situation, what hurdles may be in their way, and what they are looking to achieve. When it comes to healthcare and our facility, I can confidently say that this is something our staff excels at. Our physicians take the time to really listen and work out your problem together. We often get feedback that our doctors go above and beyond normal healthcare to make their patients feel understood; that whatever problem or difficulty they are facing genuinely matters. No one knows your body better than you and feeling understood is sometimes all it takes to realize that you don’t deserve to live a life of pain or uncertainty when it comes to your health.
IT’S YOUR CHOICE
After building a sense of understanding, the next step in empowering a patient is giving them choice. There is nothing more dis-empowering than being told what you have to do, and blindly following this advice. Empowerment is realizing that your choices matter, and that you have control of your health outcomes. Our role as healthcare providers is to lay out the facts for you, give you your options, and discuss the pros and cons of each. It may feel easier to have someone make up your mind for you or for you to ask “what would you do in this situation”, but each person has different needs and various influences that effect their decision. We are always here to answer your questions, advise, and support, but ultimately, the decisions are yours. Our goal at OceanMed is to make sure that you are fully informed about your healthcare and the choices you have. As long as we are doing this, you can confidently make the right decisions for you, and we can support these decisions with you.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTHCARE
If you’re ready to take control of your health, or if you just need to speak with someone without fear or judgement, give us a call at 946-2326. We’re here to support women in every aspect of their health care journey.
This month’s blog was written by Elyse Burt, BSc, MPH, our Women’s Healthcare Coordinator.
Elyse serves as a liaison between patients, physicians, laboratories, hospital admissions, and overseas referrals to facilitate patient care. Elyse’s goal is to ensure the women in our community receive the highest quality of care and support throughout their journey.