Being an inpatient in a hospital is never a comfortable experience, but it’s sometimes a necessary part of the healthcare journey. While medical professionals are trained to provide you with the best care possible, it’s also essential for patients to be proactive in ensuring their safety during their hospital stay.
Consider these practical steps you can take to minimize risks and make your hospital stay as safe as possible.
Take an active role in your medication management
Mistakes with medications can occur, even in the best hospitals. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about any drugs you’re being given, including what they are for and the correct dosage. This simple step can help prevent medication errors and adverse reactions.
Be cautious with hygiene to avoid infections
Hospitals are places where germs can spread quickly, putting you at risk of contracting infections. Make sure to wash your hands often and insist that anyone who enters your room, including medical staff, does the same. You can also ask about the cleanliness protocols for equipment and surfaces you encounter.
Ensure clear communication with the healthcare team
Effective communication with your doctors and nurses is crucial for your safety. Always speak up with questions or concerns and make sure you understand your treatment plan. Your health is at stake, so don’t hesitate to request clarification or a second opinion if you’re unsure about something.
Use patient advocates for an extra layer of safety
Having a family member or friend act as a patient advocate can be incredibly helpful. They can help you keep track of medications, ask essential questions and act as another set of eyes and ears to ensure nothing is missed.
Even if you take proper precautions, you’re still at the mercy of the medical staff. Ensure you take swift action if you become a victim of negligence. A medical malpractice lawsuit can help to offset the financial damages, but you must file within a specific period.