Since being in quarantine for the past few weeks, I have delved into studying more about nutrition, overall health, and researching the difference between wellness vs. well-being, while continuing being a facilitator for a college course CHS 300:The Science of Well-Being. It is amazing to learn that our future healthcare professionals are creating "well-being toolkits" that they can use themselves and also share with patients. And, I am lucky enough to help & guide them along the way. The amount of support and empathy they provide in our little Online Learning Community is nothing short of AH-MAZING! We just completed my favorite week, The Science Behind the Ripple Effect of RAKs. I am also excited that I get to expand my facilitator hat by adding a nutrition & digital technology course to the mix next semester. #professorinthemaking
Patient & Educator Experience:
As an educator, I can't stop questioning, Where is the support truly needed? If you are part of my tribe, you know the reasons I chose a career as a health educator. Some say I have the unique background of being a patient for many years while having the education, research skills, and knowledge to support patients and individuals who need an additional voice and answers beyond the exam room. During my time as a patient, I had two top specialists ask me if they could use my case study in medical textbooks as an anonymous patient. Of course, I said yes, so that means, somewhere out there medical students, maybe even students who took my course could be trying to solve my case. So Weird! My husband and I joke about this all the time, but I seriously could have been an episode of Grey's Anatomy or House, HA! Quick overview: I was in extreme pain, limited mobility with oxygen levels dropping, and high fevers. Doctors agree I am LUCKY to be alive. I like to think that I have a team of guardian angels watching over me.😉 If you want to know more, keep reading my blogs, I will continue to discuss my case study & journey along the way.
BACK TO BEING AN ADVOCATE....
What I needed during that time was an advocate, someone with the skills and abilities to research all my medical records, put the puzzle pieces of my symptoms together, and suggest out-of-the-box suggestions. Sometimes, it may not be that extreme, but when 1+1 is not adding up, it is time to find other solutions. I have always been an advocate for myself. You can briefly read about it here--> WELCOME TO MY BLOG.
FLASHBACK PHOTO BELOW...
I remember this day clearly. It was one of the last photos taken before I became extremely ill. I was pricked and prodded by doctors leading up to a surgery that saved my life. I was not feeling great, but I got to enjoy the beautiful rays of sunshine before months of bed rest. Flash forward 5 years later, I am healthier than ever. This is one reason I love being a Health Educator, Coach and Patient Advocate. I want to help others become "detectives" of their health so they can health and be the best versions of themselves.
BACK TO THE PRESENT...
When talking to my mom the other day on the phone, she was excited and happy that I am working towards becoming a BOARD CERTIFIED PATIENT ADVOCATE. But, she also was not sure EXACTLY what a patient advocate does... SO, what exactly is a patient advocate?
To put it simply...
DEFINITION OF A PATIENT ADVOCATE:
A person who helps guide a patient through the healthcare system. This includes help going through the screening, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of a medical condition. A patient advocate helps patients communicate with their healthcare providers, so they get the information they need to make decisions about their health.
WHY A PATIENT ADVOCATE IS NEEDED?
A patient advocate is trained to serve as a second set of eyes and ears to listen as the doctor or nurse spews out everything in a matter of minutes, to know the correct set of questions to ask and what things to look for as this is what they do daily. The patient advocate is there to represent the patient and the patient only, not the hospital, the doctors or the nurses.
MY HEALTH COACH EXPERIENCE:
I have worked for years as a Certified Health Coach after receiving my degree in psychology and credentials as a certified health & wellness coach. The majority of my clients have either been women with reproductive disorders or college students who struggle with stress, anxiety, and weight loss. I was reminded this week, that my journey on this educational path started 6 years ago, when a memory appeared on my Facebook page. It was a check-in for the second day of orientation at an internship I completed in the nutrition department at Weill Cornell.
SIDE NOTE: Recently, a new door has opened, and I can't wait to share with you all. More details coming soon... 😀
AS A HEALTH COACH...
What have I discovered?
That most individuals need a "detective" to help them solve their health and wellness puzzle. I create solutions individualized to their unique needs. I like to become a member of my clients' healthcare professional team of doctors, specialists, etc.. to make sure they are informed and make the best decisions for their health. A lot of the time, it has been discovered that it is a medication or certain food that is making someone ill, lack of vitamins & minerals, or it can be an illness that gets dismissed.
So to conclude this latest Blog: All About Coach Jenny Addition....
I am excited to use my time while being in quarantine to continue with my studies, to keep educating, and coaching current and new clients. JAC Wellness is currently working on a virtual membership platform for as little as $1 for a trial membership. Lots of goodies will be included such as meditation programs, healthy habit challenges, recipes, and so much more.
We are also continuing to see clients via ZOOM for more individualized sessions geared towards your needs. Everyone will receive a discount of $25 per session or we can come up with a package deal for anyone interested.
Random Photos of Team Leader & Course Material Creation
Jennifer Castro is a Health Educator & Patient Advocate who specializes in Women's Health & Vestibular Disorders. Coach Jenny is working towards becoming Board Certified while working as an Instructional Team Member for the College of Health Solutions at ASU. She also works as an Insurance Broker providing insurance solutions for small business & office settings, employee benefits and workplace wellness options