I am going to give you some basic tips for getting through your next hospital visit.
1. Carry your insurance card as well as some form of identification with you.
2. Have a list of your medications and maybe even several copies. Have the list up to date.
3. Write down past medical history on that list.
4. Write down your allergies and tell them to everyone that you see.
5. Show up early for your appointments. Registration takes time.
6. Have a list of your vaccinations. Know what you have had and when.
7. Ask, ask, ask questions. Don’t be a bystander in your healthcare, be an active participant.
8. When someone gives you a drug, ask what it is for.
9. If someone orders a test, ask why.
10. Ask for your test results.
11. Ask for explanations. It is your right.
12. If you feel uncomfortable, tell someone.
13. Carry a notebook and pen with you during a hospitalization to write down any questions that you have.
14. If you have a healthcare proxy form or any advanced directive form, bring that with you.
This is just a small list, but by asking questions, having the appropriate documentation and lists with you- you can make your journey through the healthcare system much more manageable.