Often times, the patient can and needs to only have one job and that is to be the patient. It is always better to have a different set of eyes and ears that is involved with your care and can provide you with the support you need and reinforcement of the decisions that are made. As a former breast cancer patient, I can recall walking out of one doctor's office at the time of my diagnosis and my husband asking me what it all meant. I said after I heard the word cancer I heard nothing else and at this point in time, I am a patient and no longer a nurse. I can't imagine what those that don't have a medical background hear or understand as you definitely information overload very quickly. I often advised the person accompanying the patient to take notes so that when they get home they can review it and formulate questions for the next visit. That support person is better capable of processing the information at that time and asking questions. I have also seen and heard the nurse be the advocate for the patient in asking for something that may be needed by the patient and then it is discussed with those involved. My friend( a nurse ) was with me when I had my surgery and she more than advocated for me just by her assessment and relaying information to the staff. She helped in so many ways not only physically but mentally, emotionally and so much more.
People often say, I don't know what to do. My response is become an Advocate: support and care for that person and step up to the plate as needed. Don't we all need an advocate in our