Surviving a Hospital Stay

Errors occurred during hospital stays have attributed to more than 200,000 deaths. Although most occur due to error from the medical personnel, patients bear some of the responsibility. Learning how to survive a hospital stay could mean the difference between life and death. More than 40,000 people die in hospitals because they were given the wrong medication. The problem – staff fail to properly identify the patient. Whenever you are hospitalized make sure each new face knows who you are and check the name of the wristband you are wearing to make sure that’s your name on the wristband. Hospitals hire many temporary staff due to hospital shortages, so if a nurse or doctor doesn’t check your wristband or ask your name, be sure you introduce yourself to them in order to ensure you will receive the right medicine.

About 80,000 people die in hospitals from infections acquired in the hospital. For some people this may be hard to do, but when they enter the room ask each doctor or nurse when was the last time they washed their hands or changed gloves. You may get some funny looks but it beats getting an infection and possibly dying from an infection. Although you may not be able to set your own appointment time for an emergency and perhaps not even for a non-emergency, remember during the summertime most doctors in training start their internships and residencies around the beginning of July. So if you are having surgery, you may won’t to postpone it if you can. Regular check-ups are fine to keep during this time. Although most interns don’t do much but hold equipment, I wouldn’t want to be having open-heart surgery or my gallbladder removed while a doctor teaches the new kid all the ins and outs.

The next thing to do to survive a hospital stay is to be sure you make sure who your primary doctor will be while in the hospital since this is the person who will be responsible for your personal care and who you should ask all of your questions to. Your primary doctor could change if your stay is fairly long but make sure you ask who the doctor is everyday. Try to be as nice and cheerful as you can during your hospital stay – you can attract more bees with honey. Although every patient deserves attention those that are especially nice and cheerful may get a little more tender loving care and attention. Make sure you call the staff well ahead of time if you notice things. Don’t wait until your IV gets too low before you buzz for a nurse. If you feel uncomfortable or experience constant pain, don’t wait until the pain is unbearable before you call the nurse or doctor.

Hospitals are notoriously cold to cut down on bacterial growth. However, if you are too cold you can be at risk of getting pneumonia or experiencing a longer recovery time. Be sure you bring extra blankets or clothes, like socks, to help keep you warm. Avoid getting your prescriptions around the first of the month this is the busiest times for pharmacies, and can often lead to mistakes in medications. You can also ask that your doctor print out the prescription clearly so that you or the pharmacist can read his or her handwriting. You can also ask for a copy of your prescription before you go to the pharmacy. Last, but not least, always tell your doctor about any health conditions you may have when they are writing or preparing a prescription for you. Tell your doctor everything, including your age, if you smoke, are pregnant, any allergies, and any family history of health problems and allergies.

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