5 best things a patient can do ...

  1. What would you say the 5 best things are that a patient can do to improve her/his stay in a hospital?

    I am not a nurse, but would love to know this in case I were ever a hospital patient.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   talaxandra
    1/ Disclose all relevant medical history, drugs taken (prescribed, OTC and illicit) etc
    2/ Appreciate that everyone employed by the hospital is there to help make them better, but that there may be other patients who are sicker than they - that means that nurses (in particular) won't necessarily move at light speed to fetch a new blanket
    3/ A lot of health care requires an enormous load of paperwork ('requires' in the sense that someone in admin somewhere mandates it, rather than that it will necessarily lead to better patient outcomes). This means that people sitting down writing are still performing patient care, not waiting quietly to be accosted by a patient or a relative
    4/ Handover is a vital part of making sure that the nurse coming on knows about all the patients in her/his care. In fact, communication in general is vital. Therefore, a pair or group of people talking at a desk or in the hall does not mean that they're standing there gossiping when they could be fetching another glass of water
    5/ People are human, and can therefore make mistakes. Be an informed health consumer - know what tablets you're on and why (drug names, not just 'a little blue pill'), know your medical history, and check what's being done to you. If a nurse gives you a tablet that you don't recognise, ask what it is. Chances are it's either a different formulation of one a usual med, or a new one your doctor's prescribed, but ask.
  4. by   Nurse Ratched
    If you aren't told beforehand, ask what medicine you're getting before you take it. If you don't know what it's for, ask. (Nurses and doctors are only human. You are your own best advocate.)

    If you don't have someone designated as a health care representatitive in the event of your incapacitation, do so. This is the person who will have your best interests and your wishes in mind when making decisions that you can't. This may not necessarily be the person you would otherwise feel you are closest to.

    If you are tired, it's ok to ask the tons of well-meaning visitors to give you some alone time to rest. Your nurse will be more than happy to help you get the message across.

    Ask questions if you don't understand something. If your nurse or doctor has given you instructions, hopefully they have explained WHY it's important, but if not, ask.
  5. by   DHnurse
    I am a nurse and have been a patient at my own hospital. My husband was at my side most of the day and did simple things for me (like getting water, helping me to bathe) This allowed the nurse to have more time to spend on the more important aspects of my care. Don't wait until the pain is unbearable, request pain meds if you need them. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you are having planned surgery, educate yourself on your condition so you know what questions to ask. Inform the nurse of any changes. Be polite to everyone. I have seen nurses give only the minimum of care to patients who were rude to them. The pleasant patients get those little extras. I know that sounds terrible but nurses are people too. I hope you never need this information. Best wishes for good health.
  6. by   Havin' A Party!
    Have good insurance.
    Show your intelligence.
    Select excellent doctors that specilaize in your ailment.
    Go to an excellent facility (again, in light of your specific treatment).
    Be reasonable, kind, appreciative and have a sense of humor.
  7. by   IloveSnoopy
    When I was a patient in our facility...I filled out my own data base, increased my own IV rate (because my doc didn't know how to work the pump) and even hooked up my own protonix because the nurse was new and wasn't sure how the filter went on..LOL. Now..I don't suggest that the "average" patient do all this....LOL I do think a patient should be appreciative of good care, offer thank yous, not bother the nurses for stupid little things that they know they are very much able to do themselves. Gosh...I just think the appreciative thing is sooo important. If someone compliments me on my care,etc....it really makes my day and makes me feel like I really am needed. It's so important in nursing to get those little lifts from patients....it really helps lower my burn out level.
    Luv,
    snoop
  8. by   suzy253
    All great advice...have to add in addition to the drugs you are taking make sure your disclose any 'complementary' therapy drugs, including all herbals...including even herbal teas.
  9. by   SCRN1
    My *favorite* patients have been the ones who

    1) will let me know everything they need or think they'll need when I do my first assessment with them during my shift;
    2) will put down the telephone when I enter the room;
    3) will state what their need is when they call for their nurse so that I can save steps and bring it with me as I come to their room;
    4) not have the whole family spend the night...there's only so much room and it's crowded enough getting to what I need to take care of the patient without tripping on other people and belongings all over the floor...one guest is enough and belongings are meant to go in the cabinets/drawers provided, thanks;
    5) save me some room on the bedside table so I can use if for supplies for dressing changes if needed.

    And everything all the above mentioned.

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