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Tips for Navigating a Hospital Stay

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Tips for Navigating a Hospital Stay


Before Your Stay

-Before going to the hospital, write down important medical information. Bring multiple copies of this list to the hospital.

-Consider including your medications and their dosages, any diseases and medical conditions that you have, allergies to food or medications, names and contact information of your doctors and health care providers.

-Ask a friend or family member to be in charge of monitoring your care. He or she should be someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you are too sick to make them on your own.

-This person can discuss your preferences and needs with doctors, ask questions, and keep track of your medical documents.

-Pack a bag to bring to the hospital. You may consider bringing a favorite pillow or blanket, electronic devices and chargers, or photos of family members and friends.


During Your Stay

-Check your wristband for misspelled names and missing information.

-Before taking a new drug, ask what it is, why it is necessary, and what the dosage is.

-With the help of a family member or friend, monitor your new medications.

-When you are feeling up to it, ask a nurse, family member, or friend to help you out of bed and down the hall for a walk.

-If you feel that something isn't right, speak up and ask questions!


After Your Stay

-Schedule an appointment with your doctor for about a week or two after you are discharged from the hospital.

-Ask for a written discharge plan. Make sure that it has information about necessary follow-up appointments. For example, how soon you need to see your primary care doctor, and if you need to have other tests done.

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