Here’s what you can do to help ensure you get the best care possible in the emergency room (ER):
- Present your problem and medical history clearly and succinctly. Refer to your notes and health history sheet (medical history and medication list) and pocket medication card and be honest.
- Get to know the staff. Call them by name. If you’re not sure who they are or what their job is, ask.
- If you don’t understand something, or a person speaks too fast, ask them to repeat what was said. If there’s a language barrier, request a translator.
- If you don’t understand why you’re getting a specific test or medication, ask for clarification. There’s always a chance they’ve got the wrong person.
- Provide your name and date of birth when asked (and when not asked), to be sure they have the right patient for the right test or medication.
- Make your needs known. If you’re cold, ask for a blanket. If you’re in pain, ask if you can have pain meds.
- Stay put. Don’t leave your assigned area.
- Prevent falls by allowing staff to help you get on stretcher, wheelchair or assist you to the bathroom. Falls are common in the ER because people are weaker than they think. Ask for help.
- Follow instructions.
- Don’t eat or drink unless allowed.
- Don’t touch equipment. If the IV machine beeps, notify your nurse. Don’t try to change settings even though you’ve seen the nurse do it a dozen times.
- Don’t empty your urinal or emesis basin. The nurse may need to measure, test and/or assess the contents.
- Don’t try to help other patients. They’re not your responsibility and you could do more harm than good. Help them by calling the nurse.
- Appoint one family member as liaison in order to limit the number of visitors and phone calls. Choose someone who is a good listener and will stay calm and help the medical staff. This person should be familiar with your health history and medications, whenever possible.
- Give valuables to family member or ask nurse to get hospital security to lock them up.
Here’s what you can do to help ensure you get the best care
possible in the emergency room (ER): Present your problem and
medical history clearly and succinctly. Refer to your notes and
health history sheet (medical history and... More