Patients that need to go to the hospital for care should be aware that hospitals are not always as perfect as they need to be. If you need to go to the hospital for medical treatment, there are certain things you should do to stay safe while you are there.
One concern is that hospitals are breeding grounds for infection, which could mean that you end up with more health issues than you had when you first arrived. Another concern is the quality of care you will receive. Follow these tips to stay safe during your hospital stay.
Stay Informed of Your Care and Medication
Many patients fail to pay attention when it comes to their medical care because they expect that their doctors will know how to provide the right care to them.
However, it is essential that you stay informed about your treatment and medications. Always note the conditions for which your doctor prescribed each medication, the dosage, and how often you take your medicine.
Ask Your Doctors and Nurses Questions
Talk to your doctor and nurses. Do not be embarrassed to give your doctor the full picture of your symptoms and pain. Write down your symptoms, a list of allergies, medications you are currently taking (bring the bottles), and any questions you may have.
If the doctor prescribes medication, feel free to ask what it is for to avoid a potential prescription error. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, speak up. According to a Consumer Reports survey, patients who were very uncomfortable asking about their care and safety were 50 percent more likely to experience a medical error than those who felt comfortable.
Make Sure Someone Is There With You
If possible, ask a friend or family member to be present when you speak with doctors or nurses. This person can serve as an extra set of eyes and ears. Speaking with doctors or nurses can be overwhelming, and having a second person listening – and even taking notes – can help you ensure you do not miss key details about your condition or care.
Keep Detailed Records
Write down every test (and test result), treatment, medication, and the names of people who treated you. Yes, hospitals keep track of your care, but having all the information at hand is convenient, especially when speaking to doctors and nurses about the care you received.
Be Mindful of Infection Control
Hospitals contain a lot of germs, and therefore hospital staff must be meticulous about keeping everything clean to prevent hospital-acquired infections.
If you notice that your doctor did not wash their hands before treating you, failed to change gloves, or otherwise did not follow protocol, say something immediately. If you are undergoing surgery, ask if the surgical team follows an infection control checklist.
If you are a victim of medical malpractice, contact the Montero Law Center for assistance at 954-767-6500.