As a recipeint of two very vital degrees, I have come to realize that people will call you at random times, on random days for random things. And that is okay because that means they value my opinion and trust that I will provide sound advice. But there are a few things that I would like to share from a nursing perspective and from a legal perspective that everyone should know. This is very basic information that is available on the internet, told to us in various ways, but yet we still don’t listen. So here goes my free advice that is neither legally binding or information you should solely depend on but key information to consider.
1. If you are having an ache, pain, weird feeling or just have not been to the doctor in a long time, please GO TO THE DOCTOR. If you call me with a mystery disease, I am going to tell you, “Go to the doctor!” I will not be held liable for anyones misdiagnosis and failed opportunity to treat because they listened to me as I Googled their symptoms.
2. If you or your loved one is in the hospital for 30 seconds or 30 days, please make sure that someone is present with you/them during visiting hours to watch everything that people are doing and to make sure your family member is being treated right. Additionally, make sure EVERYONE (doctor, nurse, tech, aide) washes their hands as they come and go. Hospital acquired infections KILL.
3. If you do not have insurance, it does not meant that you should neglect your health. There are opportunities to get your blood pressure checked, free clinics, ambulatory services and other forms of free treatment that you can access to maintain your health until you get some type of coverage. Do not be above seeking government funded medical insurance because although we may be on the younger side of life, diseases have no boundaries.
4. Sign up to be a donor. Honestly, I am not sure why people don’t want to donate their organs if they die because you can take them with you but they won’t be doing you any good anymore. I can spit statistics on racial demographics of those who donate and those who do not but we all know the basics and the only solution is that you sign up to donate your organs so that someone doesn’t have to decide later.
Read. Share. Sign up.
5. This is nurse/lawyerish (i.e. covers both areas): Let your medical desires be known to your family. It would be great if everyone had a Living will aka advance directive, a document that advises your family of your medical wishes if your health fails, but knowing the average person (including myself), this is not on our priority list. So, in order to minimize any potential drama, discuss your wishes with your closest family members and make sure everyone is on the same page and clear. You can memorialize it unofficially and then take the final step and get an official advance directive. (I can let you know how much this costs later).
Lawyerish (I am not a barred attorney and therefore my statements are that of experience and basic rights of the Constitution)
1. Create a Will. This is different from a living will because this directs what will happen to your personal property and who will get what. We all know what happens when people do not create wills. Family drama at the funeral but this can all be avoided by simply getting a will well in advance of any incidents and keeping it updated. For this you need a lawyer. Not a generalized form you found online but a barred attorney who can guide you through the process and protect your interest.
2. BE CAUTIOUS WHEN TALKING TO THE POLICE. This is not apart of the anti-snitching campaign but serious advice for anyone who may encounter a police officer for any other reason than seeking help. Read this in its entirety and share with everyone you know: https://www.aclu.org/drug-law-reform-immigrants-rights-racial-justice/know-your-rights-what-do-if-you. The ACLU lays it out clearly.
3. DO NOT FIGHT THE POLICE. If you feel that you are being wrongfully arrested, do not hit a police officer. You will be charged with a crime even if they find that they did not have the right to arrest you. The article above discusses this topic also. Although this will not stop all police brutality, it will keep innocent parties from going to jail.
4. Find a lawyer. Everyone should have a lawyers number handy. Seriously. If you ever run into a lawyer and they give you their business card, keep it. You never know when you will need them. Surprisingly, life happens and having a lawyer on speed dial will help you get through those first few rough moments.
5. Know your rights. This is not just in a criminal setting but even at work or as a property owner. Knowing your rights can save you from being fired or losing your home. Read your job’s employee handbook and follow the rules. Air on the side of caution or ask for clarification if you have questions. Know your rights and responsibilities as a property owner. There are still many predatory lenders seeking to devour new home owners and you do not want to be that person that loses their investment because you did not read the fine print. Be clear. Ask questions. Know what you don’t know and get more information on that.
DISCLAIMER: None of what is stated in this blog is legally binding. If you read any of this advice and depend on it and attempt to sue me, you will only get dust because I owe a mansion in student loans. This in no way is meant to create an attorney-client relationship.