Mistakes to Avoid as a Hospital Patient
Anytime spent in the hospital can be frightening, but to be the one undergoing the operation can send anyone into a panic. A number of things can go wrong while in the hospital. Preoperative care, the actual surgery, postoperative care, and recovery time can all be met with problems that bring about irreversible damage.
Listed below are a few tips to help potential patients avoid common hospital mistakes.
1. Conduct research
Before you select a hospital, do some research. Check infection rates for that hospital. If possible also check any lawsuits filed against the hospital that are open to the public. If bad press continuously surrounds the hospital it may be best to try to receive medical care elsewhere. The same goes for your doctor. If possible look into the doctors background. Be sure to check if your doctor has been certified by the board within their specialty. Also check the success rates of your doctor. Checking the credentials of your doctor is one of the best ways you can protect yourself. If you uncover anything in your doctor's history or record that makes you uncomfortable, act on your instincts.
2. Understand your situation
Medical terminology can be confusing, even for people who study medicine. However, you as the patient should have a general understanding of your condition, the treatment, and the potential risks. Often times patients agree to procedures and treatments they have no understanding of. They also do not always understand the potential risks and what they could mean in terms of changes to their lifestyle. When you are the patient, there are no such things as stupid questions. The only stupid questions are the ones not asked. No matter how silly you feel asking your doctor a question always ask and be sure that you understand what is being relayed to you.
3. Choose your day carefully
Research indicates that surgeries that are performed on weekends and holidays are not the optimum times for surgeries to take place. Doctors, scrub nurses, and anesthesiologists are all itching to go home and rest. This may encourage work to be done hastily or lack in concentration or focus. On the weekends and during the holidays the number in hospital staff significantly decrease. This means that lab results may take longer to process and nurses or doctors on call have to unhappily make that commute from home to the hospital.
4. Have a support system
Time spent in the hospital can not only physically strain you, but emotionally strain you as well. Staring at the same off-colored walls confined to a bed eating cafeteria jello for an extending amount of time can take a toll. Having a support system in the form of family, friends, or a partner can ease your feelings of anxiety, stress, or worry. Not only can your support system serve as an emotional crutch, they can also be practical. They can ask questions on your behalf that may have slipped your mind. They can also serve as advocates for you when you are unable to advocate for yourself.
If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, feel free to contact us at Colley and Colley.