Most often, a health advocate is being interchanged with patient advocate. Although both are concerned with the promotion of health, prevention of illness or infirmity, and the maintenance of health, a health advocate encompasses a more general approach and is concerned with the public’s general health, while a patient advocate oversees the patients’ well being and overall health. A patient advocate works on behalf of the patient while and health advocate works to provide the public with assistance or easy access and passage to the perplexing healthcare delivery system. Health advocates are responsible in making the healthcare system more understandable to the clientele and populace.
Health Advocates are found working in the hospitals acting as intermediary between the community and the hospital like the social services. A health advocate can either be a doctor or a nurse or anybody with a medical or healthcare background who seeks to ascertain that every member of the community receives quality healthcare. They can be found in rural and borough areas wherein access to immediate healthcare is not warranted. They are more focused on providing quality healthcare to the part of the populace that receives little or no medical and healthcare attention at all.
Anyone with a background and experience in the Peace Corps, healthcare administration, and insurance companies can become a health advocate. There are some health advocacy groups that have particular and distinguishing skills needed in order to do duty as a health advocate within their system of connections. This means that the qualifying skills required to become a health advocate depends and vary from network to network or situation to situation.
A health advocate has the liberty to choose whether to work in the household of a single parent in rural areas to make certain that the family especially the children are able to see a doctor regularly regardless of unavailability of health insurance or financial constraints for medication and visit to the doctor. Other health advocates are also found working in resident homes taking care of the elderly or in rehabilitation centers taking care of clienteles with long-term illness or permanent disability. Some are also found taking care of patients with HIV/AIDS.
Being a health advocate is a rewarding calling and an exciting job opportunity as the field of health advocacy offers diverse ways on how a health advocate can perform his duties and responsibilities and functions. A health advocate can choose to work either in the private or government health sector. Aside from acting as a link between the community and the healthcare system, a health advocate is also responsible in disseminating pertinent information regarding health promotion and the healthcare delivery system itself.
This may sound contingent but the healthcare delivery system itself is another entity in which not all members of the public are familiar with, especially those of low socio-economic status and with poor educational background. This fact is actually downing because the healthcare system offers a wide array of benefits to all those who knows how the system operates. This is where the health advocate comes into view. Health advocates are there to assist the public in the maze of the healthcare system and allow them to acquire access to quality healthcare. With the aid of the health advocate, each and every members of the community are able to exercise their rights to receive quality healthcare and promote their overall well-being.