5 Tips for Patients of Hospitals
The hospital can be an intimidating place for someone who is not sure how hospitals work. From the moment you step into the hospital, there are moments that can overwhelm the average citizen. Keep these tips in mind the next time you or a loved one must visit the hospital.
1. Speak up!
The most important thing that you have control over during visits to hospitals is your participation in your own health care. Open communication between a hospital physician, especially pertaining to your symptoms and history, will help you obtain the best possible treatment at the most rapid pace — the physician will not have to find out your symptoms if you tell him or her you symptoms.
2. Write it down
Always keep a written log of your medical history, including chronic illnesses, past surgeries, and current medications or therapy. Keeping this information ready in hospitals will help your physician in diagnosis and treatment. It is always important when visiting hospitals to keep a list of questions regarding the expected treatment, therapy, tests, length of stay, diet, pain control method, and more. Doing so will keep you aware of where your condition stands.
3. Keep an advocate
When in hospitals, always keep an advocate by our side to keep track of treatment, including medication, that was ordered on your behalf. This person can also take notes of the advice given by your physician and relay information between the patient and the physician or nurses.
4. Clarify everything
One of the most important thing when visiting hospitals is to make sure that you understand everything that is being said to you. If you do not understand what the physician or nursing staff is saying, you must ask for clarification. Before you are discharged, ask your physician about the details of your stay, your medication plan, and any follow-up appointments to the family doctor.
5. Ask questions
As you can see, the overarching theme is to speak up. Ask questions and answer their questions as accurately and honestly as you can. All hospitals are required to have written patient rights given to patients. Many hospitals have patient advocates, to whom unresolved concerns can be brought.
Hospitals remain one of the busiest institutions in all of the world. Offering the complete continuum of health care, they provide necessary medical attention to their patients. Follow these tips when visiting hospitals to take an active role in your own health care — do what you can to help them help you.
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