While you are in the hospital, many people will enter your room, from doctors and nurses to aides and orderlies. The following information will help make your hospital stay safe and comfortable.
Don't Be Afraid To Ask...
A number of people may enter your hospital room. Be sure to:
- Ask for the ID of everyone who comes into your room.
- Speak up if hospital staff don't ask to check your ID.
- Ask if the person has washed his or her hands before they touch you.
- If you are told you need certain tests or procedures, ask why you need them, when they will happen, and how long it will be before you get the results.
While you are in the hospital to get well, you should know that there is the possibility of developing an infection. The single most important thing you can do to help prevent infections is to wash your hands and make sure that everyone who touches you-including your doctors and nurses-wash their hands too.
Prevent Medication Errors
By taking part in your own care, you can help the members of your health care team avoid medication errors. Here's how:
- Be sure all of your doctors know what medications you have been taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, herbal and vitamin supplements, natural remedies and recreational drugs.
- Be sure that all of your doctors know of any allergies you may have...and that means Any Allergies!
- When you are brought medications or IV fluids, ask the person to check to be sure you are the patient who is supposed to receive the medications. Show that person your ID bracelet to double-check. Remember--you play an important role in helping to reduce medication errors.
Know Your Medications
While you are hospitalized, your doctor may prescribe medications for you. Be sure that you understand exactly what they are and why they are being prescribed.
Patients often fall because they are on medications that make them dizzy, they are weak and unsteady due to illness or medical procedures, or because they've been sitting or lying down for too long. For your safety, please:
- Always call for assistance before getting out of bed.
- Keep the call button within easy reach.
- Have necessary items within reach, such as your glasses, tissues, the telephone, and anything else you need.
- When you get assistance, rise slowly from your bed or chair to prevent dizziness.
- Walk close to the wall and hold onto the handrail while in the bathroom.