This week we will hear from Barbara, who enjoyed her recent accompaniment with an iAccompany nursing professional.
Barbara lives in Northern Manitoba and is a member of the Pukatawagan First Nation. Oftentimes, when it comes to healthcare it is more difficult for Indigenous communities to get the help they need because of the geographical distance to the city and its doctors.
“Having a nurse beside you to interpret everything being said is very helpful,” said Barbara.
“Patients don’t always know what’s going on with their physical assessments when it’s done.”
When asked about what made iAccompany such a unique service, Barbara noted the support. When she didn’t understand what the doctor was saying, she had the opportunity to ask the nurse who was there with her. That was a key aspect for her and what made iAccompany stand out from other similar services.
Barbara also enjoyed the report she received via email following the appointment. The nurse was able to capture exactly what occurred in the appointment which was great for Barbara and her family to review.
The language barrier is a huge concern for people living in the north that must go to the city for certain medical issues.
“A lot of Northern First Nations communities experience challenges while they are out in the city. Many of our people that go into the urban centers to see a specialist or go for a regular checkup, they don’t know English,” said Barbara. “English is a second language to all indigenous people – this is a very important aspect of the iAccompany project.”
The peace of mind that comes from having someone with you is a huge component of iAccompany as well. Not only does it make you feel less alone, but it also puts someone in the room to help keep you emotionally stable.
“If the doctor were to tell you you have cancer, and there is no one in the office with you, it will do something mentally to you,” said Barbara. “You’ll start worrying about what’s going to happen and those kinds of things – having a nurse there to keep you calm and understand the doctor’s instructions helps.”
“The elderly population often have family members who bring them to appointments. However, it’s not the same as using someone who is a professional and not related to you.”
“For example, if you were going with your mother to an appointment, and she was told that she had cancer, you would probably be very emotional and unable to collect the right information from the doctor. Sometimes it’s too close for you to comprehend.”
Having an iAccompany nursing professional at your side is the physical support you need. They understand the medical terminology and can calmly and accurately present a summary of the appointment in the post-visit report.
“It was very nice to know I had support during the appointment. It is pretty scary for people to go into appointments alone and they have to talk to the doctor and then they don’t really know what’s happening with their medical condition.”
For people in the north, the time between appointments can sometimes be detrimental depending on your condition. With iAccompany, you get a next-day detailed report outlining what was discussed as well as an indication of the follow-up required.
The next steps detailed in the report allow you to plan accordingly for lab work, follow-up appointments, or anything else suggested by the doctor.
“Because of all the disparities in terms of healthcare that we experience in the north – we need services like this to help those with multiple conditions,” said Barbara.
Barbara mentioned statistics for people visiting doctors outside the community.
“For one year, we have close to four thousand people who travel to the cities for medical appointments. Probably one-third of that population will go with a family member, but two-thirds will go on their own.”
For Barbara, the two-thirds is the group she is concerned about.
For an Indigenous community, many of their members fall through the healthcare cracks. Because of the language barrier, when people go to the bigger cities to attend appointments, they do not really understand what the doctor is telling them.
“iAccompany would help the health system immensely.”
iAccompany serves as an ally to the Indigenous peoples – as our caring and compassionate nurses are there to assist you. Learn more by visiting www.iaccompany.ca today