Exploring a Career as a Patient or Health Advocate or Navigator

Becoming a Patient Advocate or Navigator

Are you interested in a career in patient advocacy, as a patient or health advocate or navigator? Patients need assistance with all aspects of care, ranging from medical and navigational assistance, to help sorting out their hospital and medical bills, to legal help, too. These careers work with patients to make their journey through the healthcare system smoother and more understandable. Use this master list as a pathway to explore our articles on developing a career in patient advocacy.

An Overview of Patient Advocacy

A woman assists a man in a wheelchair.
A woman assists a man in a wheelchair.. Terry Vine/Getty Images

Start with understanding the many forms of patient advocacy. If you plan to assist patients, you will need to know your role and the roles of other advocacy professionals so you can help them choose who can best help them.

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What Services Do Patient Advocates Offer?

Patients need many kinds of assistance from medical help, to cost and billing review, to transportation, legal or hospital assistance. Each service requires a different type of approach and background. Here is a rundown of who is the best provider for each service.

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How to Interview and Choose a Patient Advocate

Finding a patient advocate who has the experience and skills you need to assist you will be difficult. You'll want to be sure to screen candidates well to be sure they have the credentials and abilities they claim to have, and the ability to help you. Ask a potential patient advocate these questions to help you choose the person who will advocate on your behalf.

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Getting a Job As a Patient Advocate

So you've decided you want to be a patient advocate, but how can you find a good paying job as a patient advocate? Here is information on how to search for jobs or set up your own private practice.

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So You Want to be a Patient Advocate?

There are many types of patient advocates and many routes to becoming a patient advocate. The education, skills and experience needed vary according to the type of patient advocate one wants to be.

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Patient Advocates and Navigators, and the Allegiance Factor

The amount of help a patient advocate or navigator can provide to a patient is often dependent on the Allegiance Factor. What is the Allegiance Factor and how does it affect the care a patient receives?

Of interest here, too, may be understanding the difference between a patient advocate and a patient navigator.

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How to Start a Patient Advocate Business

If you are an entrepreneur, enjoy patient advocacy work, and wish to start a business caring for others, starting a patient advocate business may be a good choice. Here are the steps to starting a successful patient advocacy business.

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Choosing Your Patient Advocate or Navigator Educational Courses or Programs

Here are some steps and questions to help you determine which health or patient advocacy program or course is the right one for you to take when you are considering becoming a health or patient advocate or navigator.

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Become a Patient Advocate: Degrees and Certificate Programs

There are a handful of degree and certificate programs available for patient's advocates. They are listed here and we have links for where to find updated resources as more programs are developed.

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Are Patient Advocates Certified or Credentialed?

Most medical professionals must be educated and tested to be licensed and credentialed. While some patient and health advocate programs claim to certify patient advocates, those claims must be examined. Learn about patient and health advocate credentialing and the future of accrediting programs.

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