I believe that patient safety – much like charity- begins at home! That means researching your upcoming procedure, managing your chronic condition or simply eating a healthier diet. Your safety begins with YOU!
Self-efficacy is a belief in our ability to succeed in certain situations. Your sense of self-efficacy has a major influence on how you approach life’s challenges. When confronted with a healthcare issue, do you believe that you can survive or are you convinced that you are powerless?
Patients with a strong sense of efficacy are more likely to carefully select their doctor, ask questions and be an engaged participant intheir care. Self-efficacious patients also recover quickly from setbacks and experience better outcomes.
Choices affecting health, such as smoking, physical exercise, healthy diet, taking medications properly, proper wound care, are all dependent on self-efficacy. It influences whether a patient will seek a second opinion or ask someone to wash their hands before touching you.
Patients must begin to feel more confident taking charge of their care. You can begin with small steps:
· reading about your condition.
· checking the safety ratings at your local hospital.
Once you’ve gained confidence at being proactive, you’ll feel more comfortable giving yourself authority to be a fully engaged member of your healthcare team. The better you can communicate with your providers and caregivers the more likely your chances for a safe and positive healthcare experience. The healthier you are before- and the more positive your attitude after -should you have a poor outcome, the greater your chances to recover and thrive. And that feels like a new life!
Be well & SAFE!