Healthcare Professional Interested in Writing a Book? See How I Overcame the Financial Burden of Becoming an Author
Bankers Healthcare Group
In my work in occupational therapy, I do a lot of home care for Duke University. I spend a great deal of time in the homes of people who are dying. I work with every demographic—as I like to say: from pediatric to geriatric—but I am especially proud of the work I do to help end-of-life patients regain or maintain their independence so they can stay in their homes.
We do a lot of talking during their occupational therapy sessions, and one such conversation has stayed with me after all this time. The patient was a 45-year-old father of two young children. He was suffering from a brain tumor and had less than a year to live, and so he asked me, "You've dealt with death. Is it better to die unexpectedly? Is it better to die of old age, or knowing what your prognosis is?"
It was a challenging question. If you die of old age, your caregivers are at a loss, and they don't know what to do, right? But if you know how much time you've got left, you can get your affairs in order, and you can do some planning for the future.
I told him to go to the mall while he still had the strength and buy cards for his kids' future birthdays. I also suggested he record videos that his children could view when they graduated high school and college, and on their wedding days. "Plan this with your wife. Tell her that your time is running out," I said. But let's face it; few caregivers have this type of conversation with their patients.
This question struck me personally, and not just professionally. My mother is 89 and is suffering from dementia, and I have two teenage kids, whom I love very much, and who are fiercely independent. If I got sick, how would they handle losing their mother? Given the ticking clock, how am I going to react when my mother passes? More importantly, how are any of us going to deal with those final weeks and months as caregivers?
The Dream and Reality of Becoming an Author
The more I thought about this discussion, the more I thought I should share my answers with people in similar circumstances. This sparked the idea that led to a new phase of my career. I’m currently writing a book for caregivers of loved ones with chronic and terminal conditions, and I am doing it both from the perspective of a clinician and as someone who is caring for an ailing parent.
My book combines science, medicine, and common sense. There are chapters about various illnesses and their treatment. I cover subjects like symptoms, life expectancy and quality, and the side effects of various medications. When patients are faced with a terminal disease, they are bombarded with information. They may be getting the best care at a facility like Duke, but at the same time, they have so much to process, and I want to help them navigate all the available options.
I also include a lot of practical advice. For example, where to find the most affordable medical supplies, how to hire home care workers, and what kind of community support is available to caregivers.
I am hoping to get the book into every hospital, hospice, and transitional facility in the country, but this will take money. Publishing a book is expensive. An author only takes home 20% of the cover price. The rest goes to printing and distribution, and then there's the marketing budget.
My husband and I earn a comfortable living. He's also in healthcare and manages a nursing home. But as I said, we have two teenagers. One is a dancer, and we are paying for her lessons, as well as her entry fees in competitions and events. Our other child is in college, and the costs of textbooks, tuition, and social activities add up.
I want to make my publishing dream come true, but not at the expense of my children's comfort, and so I started looking at ways to help finance my burgeoning writing career. That's when I discovered Bankers Healthcare Group (BHG).
Financing My Writing Aspirations
I spent six months researching my options, and BHG came out on top. You can't believe the amount of mail I get offering me loans. I'm a successful professional of a certain age, and financial companies want my business. But no one else was able to provide the same quality of service as BHG.
BHG is a specialized lender that serves members of the healthcare community. They provide financing to practitioners like myself who are seeking to expand our professional activities. A bank wouldn't have given my loan application a second glance, but BHG understands the nature of my work, my finances, and my career aspirations.
Securing the loan was painless. BHG had my back from the very first phone call. The company's reps took my desire to write and market a book very seriously. They understood that my ambition to become an author was a professional endeavor on par with wanting to open or expand a private practice. They saw that I was trying to create a new revenue stream, and so they guided me toward the best financing options that would help make my dream come true.
Paperless Paperwork and Peace of Mind
The paperwork was a cinch. I was asked to provide my tax returns and some other documents about my earnings and holdings. I didn't have to make copies or fax any of these papers. Instead, I took pictures with my smartphone and then emailed them to BHG. The signatures were electronic too. I completed the entire loan application using my phone and my computer.
The people at BHG went out of their way to accommodate me. My schedule can get very hectic. One night, I was at the care facility, feeding my mother, and so an agent set up a three-way call with my husband to discuss interest rates and payment terms. It was so convenient. I didn't have to interrupt my activities as a caregiver to sit down with a bank manager.
It took 48 hours to get my loan approval and a few more days to have the money in hand. And repaying the loan couldn't be simpler. BHG set up automatic withdrawals from my bank account. The whole thing is on autopilot, and I now have the financial cushion I need to pursue my writing project.
Thanks to BHG’s consolidation loan, I am dealing with a single monthly payment instead of a dozen, and have simplified the way I manage my money. I can see where it's going and where it has to go. Should a crisis strike, I'm no longer worried about raising funds to deal with it.
Recently, my car caught fire and was a total write-off. Something went wrong with the electrical system, and the vehicle went up in flames. It all happened less than a month after I finished paying off the car loan. Did I panic? Not at all. My new flexibility meant I knew how much I could afford to invest in a new vehicle. I was also thankful that the fire didn't occur while I was driving.
Life Is Precious. Make the Best of It
In my line of work, you learn that life is precious and that you have to make the best of it. BHG is helping me to transform this—and the many lessons I've acquired over the years—into a book that will help caregivers deal with end-of-life issues. I hope it will be the first of many. I would like to make writing an ongoing part of the next phase of my career.
I have spent years helping people face to face, but I know that I can reach even more folks with my writing. I want to take my message to those who need it most, not just to the patients I deal with through Duke, and BHG has made it possible to spread the word nationwide.