October is health literacy month

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 12:44 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -In light of October being health literacy month, on this week’s medical Monday, Megan Cole looks into what health literacy is.

“Health literacy allows patients to take control of their own well being by making smart healthcare choices, informed decisions, improve their communication with their nurse practitioner, PA or doctor and gives them the information they need to advocate for themselves in the medical setting.”

That’s why Samantha Paradis, a family nurse practitioner for Northern Light AR Gould hospital says it’s important to ask questions if you don’t understand something or need help finding a service.

“Being able to locate providers and services you know we’re sort of scattered around in different places when you need to have a test, or a lab draw and so asking questions when a recommendation is made by your provider “where do I go for this?” and “How can I find that place?”. Being able to fill out health forms, if you have a question about the form, the best thing to do is is not to leave it blank but to ask somebody for help in that specific question like an advance directive for example.”

She adds there are resources available if someone does need help.

“We have support for diabetes, heart disease, COPD. Within our primary care location, we have access to a clinical pharmacist to help patients learn about their diagnosis and the medication they’re prescribed on how to take them such as inhalers or insulin. We have diabetes educators those are registered nurses who can help patients understand the diagnosis from the pathophysiology point and how to live with the diagnosis of diabetes.”

If you have a question regarding your health, your encouraged to contact your primary care provider.

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