When you go to the hospital, you naturally want to assume everyone there has your best interests at heart—and most of the time, they do. However, when doctors and nurses work long shifts and care for many patients at once, it becomes easier for touch points to be overlooked or mistakes to be made. What can you do to help your healthcare providers give you the level of care you need and deserve? Here are some tips that may help.
Be polite and respectful, even when you don’t feel like it.
Let’s be honest: You’re not going to be at your best in the hospital—otherwise, you wouldn’t be there in the first place. Your caregivers realize this and will try to accommodate, but studies have still shown that incivility toward your doctors and nurses increase the chances of them making mistakes. Fight the urge to lash out as much as possible. Make the caregivers feel valued, and they will naturally value you.
Have a trusted friend or family member present as an advocate.
When you feel bad, you’re not going to remember to stay on top of every detail. You won’t be thinking about when it’s time to take your next pills, and whether the nurse remembered to give them to you. Ask a trusted friend or loved one to be with you in the hospital to “watch your back”—to check your treatment schedule, ask important questions and basically be your eyes and ears when you’re not up to it.
Ask to be briefed on your treatment plan in the hospital.
When a nurse is assigned to you for the day, she will have a care plan listing your medications, dietary restrictions, etc. Ask to go over this plan with the nurse so you’re also aware (and have your advocate briefed, as well). Doing so not only helps you and your care partner recognize when something gets overlooked—it also reinforces the plan in the nurse’s mind so she will be more apt to retain those details.
Our Washington D.C.malpractice attorneys can help you if improper hospital care causes you harm. Call our offices for more information.