What Can I Do to Improve My Hospital Stay?

Read Transcript

No one likes hospital stays. But I have some tips for you on being a smart patient while you're there. First, ask the doctor and nurse to give you a copy of your medication and administration record. This will be a list of all the drugs you're supposed to take, at least at that moment and the doses and frequencies.

Don't be too embarrassed to ask for this. You should educate yourself about what you're taking. Go over the list with your doctors and nurses to find out why you need this drug, and what kinds of effects you might expect if you're taking it. If you have the list, whenever someone gives you any medications of any sort, you can check it list against your med list.Also ask the nurse to double check your wrist identification bandry/g every pill offering to be certain that you're the right patient.

Hospitals are credited by their joint commissioner are required to give two patient identifiers. For example, your name and social security number. Every time staff members give you a drug, draw your blood or wheel you way for a test. Room and bed numbers should not be used as your identifier because patients move around a lot.

If you have any allergies make sure that they're mentioned on that band in case you can't speak up for yourself. Before giving you medications, nurses may silently read or scan your identity band. At that time if you can speak, you should also tell them your name, and the last four digits of your social security number.

Doing so can help to safe guard against mistakes. And here's the biggest piece of advice that I can give you for your hospital stay, wash your hands, even when you're not in the hospital, this is important. Doctors and nurses wash their hands often, and you should too. Wash your hands with soap and water several times a day especially after you hug somebody or shake a visitor's hand, and when washing don't just do it for three seconds.

You should wash your hands vigorously for at least 15 seconds with soap and warm water, taking care to scrub your palms, the back of your hands and your fingers. If you cannot get up to wash your hands. Here's another thing you can do, try an alcohol sanitizing gel. This can be just as effective as hand washing, and here's another tip, when they're visiting have your friends and family members wash their hands too.

This can help to minimize the spread of germs in your room. We all dread having to stay in the hospital but I hope that these tips will help you feel more comfortable during your stay. I also hope that they encourage you to get more involved in your health care making you a smart patient.