What Partnering Means
Some cancer survivors have defined partnering as: “Respectful, timely and complete communication within and amongst a well-functioning health care team that includes the patient, family, caregivers and health care providers that results in shared decision-making and a care plan that meets everyone’s needs.”
Partnering can include many different aspects of the relationship between you and the health care professionals on your team. Communication and cooperation are two very important aspects.
Communication is the key to building a strong partnership with your health care team. Communication has to go both ways – from you to the health care professionals, and from them to you. Communication includes:
- Asking questions
- Being given answers
- Answering questions fully and honestly
- Being listened to
- Having new or technical things explained in language you can understand
- Being treated with respect
- Treating others with respect
Cooperation means that you and your team work together to reach decisions about your care. Everyone has their own goals and wishes. Talk to your health care team about what your goals and wishes are. Your team will listen to what you say and then help you make decisions to achieve your goals while respecting your wishes.