How can I calm my nerves about an upcoming hospital stay?

As a patient advocate, I often prepare my clients and their families for hospital visits. The first suggestion I would make is if possible, do not go it alone. Meaning....if at all possible, have a family member or friend come with you as you head into the admissions department. And bring a notebook so you (or someone else) can write important things down.  Like names, diagnosies, questions, medications, etc.

Hospitals have many safeguards to help avoid errors, but it's always a good job for you, too, to double check.  If you're having surgery, mark your own area of your body to be operated on, if you're receiving medications from nurses, ask what is it that you're getting, who ordered it and why are you getting it.  Do not be shy.  Do not be afraid to speak up and ask questions. As with any physician interaction in an office, good communication is essential to a good hospital stay. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.