When Sana Goldberg ’20 MSN, RN, first started working on her new book, How to Be a Patient: The Essential Guide to Navigating the World of Modern Medicine, she expected that its final form would be a concise booklet. “Maybe something you would find in the hospital gift shop,” she said. But as she dug into the material with enthusiasm, the book became a 400-plus-page desk reference and was published earlier this year by an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers.
“This book is a tool and a story,” Goldberg said, and is meant to provide assistance to patients across the lifespan. How to Be A Patient covers topics such as how to get the most out of an appointment and how to choose who should accompany you to a procedure. It also asks common questions like “Can it wait until Monday?” and “When should I take my kiddo to the ER?”
“Nursing is so much about advocating for patients,” Goldberg said, and she wanted to bring a provider’s perspective to patient care.
As a health advocate, Goldberg has presented at TEDxHarvard, the Society for Neuroscience, and World Congress. She is a member of the International Honor Society of Nursing and founder of the online magazine Nightingale, which focuses on health equity.
Tips from How to Be A Patient
- • Be prepared: come into an appointment with a script or “elevator pitch” to help both the patient and provider make the most of a short appointment.
- • Put yearly check-ups in the spring and summer: avoid waiting rooms crawling with germs and schedules packed with patients.
- • Don’t tell white lies: resist the desire to appear healthier than you are. It may prevent you from getting the right care.