Staying Safe in Hospitals

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Hospitals are places you go to get better when you are sick. While medical facilities can save your life and improve the quality of it, you also need to make sure that you are safe when you are staying there, regardless of how long your stay is.

It is always best to bring someone with you when you are first admitted. Whether you are coming for inpatient or outpatient treatment or routine tests, you will feel better if you have someone you can trust accompanying you. Think of them as your advocate and your moral support. Hospitals can be imposing and sometimes a little intimidating for the person who does not spend too much time there. Having someone with you that you can talk to and lean on can be comforting and will make you feel as though you are not alone.

Before you go to the medical establishment, make sure you know the purpose for your visit. Knowing the goal for your stay will help to keep your mind at ease. You should also ask the doctor what you can expect when you are there. Are there several hospitals in your area that you can choose between? When should you go for treatment? How long will your stay be?

Discussing important issues with your physician in advance is a good practice and will help to prepare you for the upcoming experience. Unless you are having a medical emergency, talking with your doctor ahead of time should not be a problem. Safety and preparedness often go hand in hand.

Whatever things you would normally bring with you to your physician’s office for appointments you should take with you to the medical facility for your stay. This includes your medications (or list of medications), information about your health issues and information about your allergies. You should know your schedule for your medication and know your dosages. Have your doctor’s phone number written down when you arrive.

At hospitals there is always a care team that will be in charge of you and the treatment you are there to receive. Find out the name of the doctor and find out who your primary nurse will be. Meeting the members of the healthcare team that will be administering to you can make a world of difference and can add to your comfort level. This will help to get your questions answered and will make you feel more at ease in the healthcare setting you find yourself in.

Ask questions about all of the tests that you will be having. Do not simply agree to tests without knowing the purpose behind them. To feel safe you have to know what to expect and you have to know what the risks attached to them are. By so doing, you will be able to make informed decisions. Understand not only the risks, but also the benefits and whether or not there are any alternative options to consider.