Hospital stays aren’t something many people look forward to—you don’t get to sleep in your own bed, you have strangers coming into your room at all hours of the night and you have to spend all of your time in a hospital gown.
The one benefit of a hospital stay is that once it’s over, you usually feel a lot better than when you went in.
Many times an extended visit in the hospital is unexpected, but for patients who have the opportunity to prepare, here are five ways to make your hospital stay better.
1. Be Honest
Your nurses and doctors have heard it all—there’s no need to be shy about your clinical history or be embarrassed by concerns you may have. Withholding information means your hospital team doesn’t have the full picture of your condition, which can result in inappropriate decisions regarding your plan of care. Any hospital staff involved in your treatment should have as many details as possible in order to provide the most suitable care. There is no such thing as “oversharing” in this scenario.
2. Ask Questions
Unless you’re a doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional, you’re going to be in the dark about a lot of the equipment and procedures that are a major part of your hospital stay. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how the devices work or why certain procedures are necessary. It’s in your best interest to understand each aspect of your plan of care so you can be compliant with your treatment and improve the chances of a positive outcome.
3. Be Prepared
Take a Boy Scout approach to your hospital stay and be prepared. Bring a record of your personal medical history and your family’s clinical history, as well as a list of medications you’re taking and any allergies you may have. You’ll likely be asked the same questions by multiple hospital staff members and having this information handy can speed up the intake process.
4. Take Control
While the hospital staff may be the ones administering care, you remain the most important part of this process. You’re well within your rights to request certain things—for example, you can ask for the temperature in your room to be adjusted or for meal accommodations if you have dietary restrictions. Since your hospital stay will likely involve at least one IV start (if not multiple) as well as a handful of other needle procedures, feel free to ask the nurse to use a topical anesthetic prior to the procedure to help reduce any pain and discomfort.
5. Be Polite and Respectful
You may be anxious about your hospital stay, which is perfectly acceptable, but try not to take your stress out on your care team. After all, their priority is to help treat your condition, and being polite and respectful to them makes things easier on everyone.
Being a hospital patient isn’t fun, but there are steps you can take to make sure it’s as pleasant as possible. By taking an active part in your treatment and partnering with your healthcare team, you can decrease the possibility of readmission and improve your hospital experience.
Gebauer’s Pain Ease topical anesthetic skin refrigerant starts working in seconds to alleviate the discomfort associated with needle procedures. Ask your healthcare provider if Pain Ease is appropriate for you.