How To Get The Best Care In Hospitals

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Mar 25, 2019 09:18 PM EDT

Many people fear hospitals because they associate any center for medical treatment with death, disease, and other unpleasant aspects of life. Despite the fact that hospitals can appear grim and foreboding to some, however, they're a crucial aspect of maintaining the public's health and could be an important part of mending your medical condition. Nonetheless, some hospitals are better than others, and getting the best care when in hospitals sometimes requires the patient to take things into their own hands.

Here are some tips for getting the base care in hospitals, and how you can help medical professionals who are trying to improve your health.

Know what to bring ahead of time

The first thing you can do to bolster your overall hospital experience is know what to bring ahead of time. Patients who have a long medical history and need an extensive amount of medication should have a list of their prescriptions compiled before they head into the hospital for a consultation or other medical work. This is so your medical professionals understand the drugs that may already be in your system, and so that they can reliably prescribe you the help you need without inadvertently hurting you because they lacked knowledge of your medical past.

Keeping your own medical file is an important part of ensuring your long-term health and coming to a hospital equipped with as much medical information as possible is really the only way you can ensure that healthcare professionals have what they need to save you if things go wrong. You should also consider creating a living will, which helps you guarantee you get the medical care you want at the end of your life in the event of an unexpected accident.

There are also some cleanliness concerns that you should bring with you everywhere you go. Hospitals are sanitary by their very nature, for instance, but sometimes things can fall through the cracks and a certain medical object may go unwashed. Be sure to sanitize everything that you use extensively, especially if it's something that's likely shared with other patients - call buttons, bed rails, remotes, door knobs, phones, and about a million other objects could be clouded with other people's germs before you use them. Sanitizing everything before you use it is cheap, easy, and will help ensure that harmful germs don't turn your hospital visit into a prolonged stay.

Know how to speak up

It's also important to understand the importance of speaking up. Medical professionals are there because they want to help you, but they're not omnipotent beings who know everything and can discern your every need. If you're struggling with a problem or feel uncomfortable with a certain medical procedure, it's important to speak up so that your voice is heard. Many patients give their nurses and doctors the benefits of the doubt when those same medical professionals would love you to ask questions or double-check whenever something goes wrong, so don't be afraid to vocalize your distress or uncertainty.

The importance of speaking up is only overshadowed by the importance of being a polite, humble patient. Medical professionals are easily recognizable in scrub pants, have advanced degrees and years of experience, and their opinions are simply given a greater weight than the average persons for good reason - they're the experts. This isn't to say that patients should accept everything doctors and nurses say at all times, but rather that you should always be polite and respectful when dealing with medical professionals, even and especially when they're delivering the bad news. After all, nobody wants to be the bearer of bad medical news less than the doctors and nurses who must deliver it on a regular basis to patients they're trying to save.

There are purely selfish reasons to be polite when dealing with your doctors, too - being kind and humble could be the difference that saves your life in the event of an emergency. One study brought to prominence by the New York Times revealed that medical teams were less effective in their teamwork and communication when having been berated by parents of the patient ahead of time. For those seeking the best care, a smile and politeness could be all you need. 

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