Though some people may feel uncomfortable speaking up for themselves self-advocacy can help give you some control over your healthcare.2 Research has shown that self-advocates are more likely to receive better care and get their medical problems answered.3 This can provide a sense of hopefulness and lead to better overall health.3 Lastly, it can help your healthcare provider understand you better and give you the confidence to ask for the support you need.
PATIENTS WITH LANGUAGE BARRIERS AND SENSORY IMPAIRMENTS
If you have a language barrier or a sensory impairment (e.g., deaf / hard of hearing, visually impaired, etc.), you can ask for assistance in ANY medical facility. These specific needs should be properly addressed by your care team and if you need further assistance most facilities have patient advocates on staff.
Request Language Assistance: If you don’t understand your medical information, let your healthcare team know. It is your legal right to request interpreter services or translation of health documents at any point and doing so will help you make better health decisions.6
Language assistance can include:
- A language interpreter
- American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting or Communication Access Realtime Translation Services (CART).
- Documents in Braille, large-print or in a computer file.
- Information in simpler words
*For languages that are less common, most medical facilities have access to devices that provide immediate 24-hour access to remote medical translators in virtually every language.