How do You Become a Patient Advocate?

Like many other healthcare professions, becoming a patient advocate generally begins with a highly involved educational period. Though it isn't necessary to acquire a degree that is specifically targeted towards the career of a patient advocate, having a degree in any relevant subject area can prove to be very effective way to distinguish oneself for all prospective professionals in the field.

Hospitals across the nation have shown an increasing need to compete with one another, which means that patient advocacy has grown in importance and popularity for both the facilities and new recruits entering the field. As an advocate, one's primary function will be to assist all different patients have their needs met by the system.

Preparatory Phase

In the preparation process for becoming an advocate, perspective advocates will be expected to gain a significant amount of experience in performing their duties in professional settings. The different organized settings that an advocate will perform their services in include medical offices, rehabilitation centers and emergency rooms.


Patient advocacy is one of the relatively newer fields of healthcare, and so the coursework associated with preparing for the occupation hasn't yet been formally regulated into any core group of classes recognized as necessary.

Though there aren't any necessary certifications required specifically for the career of an advocate, going the extra mile to get them can prove to be very effective in terms of being a more competitive applicant for patient advocacy positions.

It isn't necessary to earn a bachelors degree, though those who do so may find that their education gives them both a competitive edge and the relevant experience to distinguish themselves more strongly than those who only hold a high school diploma.

As far as the best advisable degree to earn for patient advocacy is concerned, a general degree in basic healthcare can be satisfactory. As far as the most specifically-targeted coursework is concerned, earning a degree with courses that are focused on consumer advocacy or social work would be the most advisable.

As the field of patient advocacy grows more popular and strongly recognized, higher number of institutions do happen to be offering more classes that are highly focused on the advocacy curriculum them before.

Additional Credentials

In addition to getting the basic educational requirements to gain both the confidence and credibility that a prospective advocate needs to earn a position, there are a number of additional credentials that can go a long way.

While there may not necessarily be a nationally recognized certification program for patient advocacy just yet, there are special training programs in emergency assistance and patience account management that can show that a prospective patient advocacy applicants is fully invested in performing the highest degree of service to the healthcare field.

One of the best ways to distinguish oneself as a prospective patient advocacy applicants is to spend some time volunteering. Volunteering in settings that have a lot to do with patient advocacy can be a solid form of compensation for those who may not be sure that they have the right degree of healthcare experience and just yet.

See also: 36 Most Affordable Accredited MSW Programs in the South East 2016