Hospital Survival Guide for Friends and Family

  1. On the same note as the thread "what would you bring to the hospital."
    What would you tell family to prepare for a hospital stay?
    What would you tell them to say or not to say?
    What would you tell them to avoid?
    What would you recommend for someone wanting to cut her/his stay in half?
    What would you tell them is the worst thing they could ever do to prolong their stay?
    How would you like them to treat you while you're at work on the same unit as a loved one?
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   jo272wv
    this would be very situational.. would depend on which unit, hospital policy, physician, dx, ect..
  4. by   UM Review RN
    I would like a relative to stay with me at the hospital. I don't feel like I'm bothering the staff for petty stuff that way, and I have absolutely no idea until I'm in the situation what I'm going to need.

    If I'm completely helpless, I want someone close to me nearby at all times. I'll probably be too sick to ask what the staff is doing, but my family will. They'll also fill me in on things I missed from being too anesthetized.

    Oh, and they let the staff know what my baseline is--like when my dh found me crying in pain after a procedure and the nurse asked if I'm always like this, and he told her he'd never seen me this bad. She might not have believed me, but she did believe him, and I got medicated faster.

    So yeah, I'm a whineybutt when I'm sick/hurt/in pain, and the staff who has to care for me genuinely has my sympathy.
  5. by   Pepper The Cat
    I would tell them - "If you are sick STAY HOME!" I can't belive the vistors I've seen come in with colds, etc to visit someone in hospital. And please don't bring in children.
    I would also tell people to designate one family member to be the contact person - the staff can update that person and then other family members can call them, rather than having 20 people call every day asking about the same person.
  6. by   SuesquatchRN
    So tomorrow my husband goes in for a TUrP and will be stayingg overnight.

    Is it all right if I want to stay in the room with him? Help me here, experienced med/surg folks! He's another Angie WHineybutt, but I love him, anyway, just like Angie's DH loves her.

    I want to be near him.
  7. by   SuesquatchRN
    Help. Please?
  8. by   jojotoo
    Quote from Suesquatch
    Help. Please?

    Is he going to have a private room? If so, you ought to be able to stay 24/7. But you need to be able to function independently. Go to the cafeteria for your own food and drinks. Get out of the nurse's way when she is in the room trying to attend to your husband. It really ticks me off when I have to repeatedly ask visitors to move out of the way. Be willing to give your husband and the nurse some privacy FROM YOU a couple times a day. No matter how much you two love each other, there may be some issues that he would rather not discuss in front of you (though he will never admit that). And finally, does HE want you there all the time? Sometimes people DON'T want their loved ones around when they are sick - related to modesty, fear, or loss of control issues.

    Good luck to you both for his surgery.
  9. by   SuesquatchRN
    Thanks, jojo.

    Yeah, he wants me around 24/7. I respond the opposite way - I'd rather he leave me alone, thankyouverymuch.

    Not a private room.

    I do know to stay out of their way and to get gone when they need the space.

    Thanks!
  10. by   jojotoo
    If it's not a private room, remember to give the other patient an opportunity to speak privately with the nurse or doc. He may be reluctant to talk about pain, gas, lack of BM, etc with a strange woman in the room.

    Let us know how everything goes.
  11. by   SuesquatchRN
    Thanks, jojo. Will do.

    I'm an LPN but I've never worked med/surg. I do know to get out when the facility's personnel are there, or when the roommate has needs that require privacy.

    Now, if I can sleep sitting up....
  12. by   PANurseRN1
    If there is going to be a roommate, then it's not fair to him for you to stay. That roommate deserves his right to privacy as well.
  13. by   jojotoo
    If you ask, a lot of places have geri or cardiac chairs that will semi recline.
  14. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from jojotoo
    If you ask, a lot of places have geri or cardiac chairs that will semi recline.
    Ah. I was hoping I could snag a geri-chair!

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