SHCA Domains of Practice:
Providing the Framework of Patient Advocacy Essentials
If you have questions or would like more information on how to make the most of your membership, please feel free to contact SHCA at (312) 422-3700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the Domains of Practice educational strategy, the SHCA board of directors created a short guidance list for those interested in joining the profession:
- Patient Advocates are highly skilled communicators who work with patients and families to help them navigate healthcare. A patient advocate must maintain basic competencies in the identified 9 Domains of Practice.
- The majority of patient advocates work in hospitals. Some are nurses, others are social workers, but many have other or no degrees. The titles given to this role vary considerably among the institutions as do the qualifications of the individuals enrolled.
- Some facilities require a MSW or BSN and a minimum 5 years hospital experience with previous patient relations experience preferred. Skill sets include: advanced communication, customer service, interpersonal and problem solving skills.
- Patient advocates are flexible and creative in their approach to what the individual patient or family needs. They empower our patients and families through knowledge and enlightenment, providing them with what they need to make an informed decision regarding their care.
- Also helpful for this position is having the following: analytical problem solving ability; excellent oral and written communication skills; ability to relate to all types of people; being sensitive and compassionate when dealing with patients/families; being a good listener; good interviewing skills; tact in dealing with patients, families and staff; empathy; being patient and non-judgmental; possessing a good sense of humor; and having some experience and understanding of the organization.
- There may not be an opening or even a position of a patient advocate in the organization you are considering. However, work to sell yourself to them and stress the need for this position. Patient advocates function as the eyes and ears for the organization. They bring important information to the organization to make continuous improvements. They advocate for the patients’ concerns, facilitate change to meet the needs of the patient and the organization, and provide proactive problem-solving to meet the patient’s needs and expectations.
- Interested members/individuals can contact a SHCA board member or hospitals in their area directly and ask to speak with the Director of Patient Relations or an Administrator to find out about availability and requirements.
Patient Advocacy is a rapidly growing profession. In times like these, it is necessary to be as informed as possible, keep abreast of what's going in legislature regarding Patient Advocacy, changes in regulations, etc.
The benefits of a SHCA membership are rewarding and include ongoing education through face-to-face and desktop learning venues, publication and resource discounts, national and regional conferences where you have the opportunity to network with other Patient Advocates around the country, a career center, an instant email communication tool – the listserv, and many much more. To join, click here.
For less than $3 per week, a SHCA membership rewards you with the following benefits:
- Professional Development Opportunities and Discounts - Webinars, Annual Conference, Publications and Products
- Listserv - Online community to share best practices and ask questions to patient advocates across the nation
- Learning Network - Peer Sharing: Templates, Articles, Resources, Best Practices
- Timely Publications - SHCA News (quarterly newsletter); SHCA News You Need (e-newsletter)
- Professional Recognition Programs - National awards to acknowledge and promote excellence
- Career Center - Recruitment Resource Center
- Affiliated Chapter Network - Regional learning and networking
- Membership Directory
- Access to AHA Publications and News
- Advocacy Representation - Legislative and Regulatory