Advisor Finds New Purpose in PFCC Work
Nothing stops Georgiann Ziegler from her work as a PFCC advisor, not her battle with chronic pancreatitis or having to spend weeks on end in the hospital. Georgiann is the secretary of the UH Patient, Family and Staff Advisory Council and a patient advisor for 6B’s unit based committee. She even once went to a unit based committee meeting in her hospital gown, IV in tow. Amazingly, Georgiann has logged in more than 200 hours since she became an advisor in March 2013.
“For me, because I’m on disability, becoming an advisor was something that filled a need in me to contribute. A new world opened up to me,” she said.
Her first committee meeting on pre-surgery education “was eye-opening. I thought, this is how I can help. I can be the voice of what a patient may or may not want,” said Georgiann. She did admit that starting out had its challenges, though.
“Nobody wants to look stupid, and it can be like a foreign language. My biggest frustration is acronyms. I’ve learned to say, ‘Now what is that?’ I often just listen and absorb the content, yet in the end, there’s always something you can bring to the table.”
Working on the Patient Portal, Georgiann suggested adding a column for patients to make comments. “That’s when I realized I can make a difference,” said Georgiann. “At first you think, I’m not a doctor or nurse so I can’t really talk about this. Then Celeste [Celeste Lee, Program Manager for Adult Services] said, ‘You can bring your voice, your hard-earned experience, and your passion.’ Once you get that as an advisor, your confidence evolves.”
Georgiann recently started her own volunteer project, an outgrowth of her work on 6B, crocheting afghans for the patients transitioning into hospice care.
“This has filled a great hole. It’s given me purpose.”
– Georgiann Ziegler, PFCC Advisor
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