Be Actively Involved In Your Care

As the patient, you should be actively involved in your care and decisions made about your health. Here are suggestions of things about which you should be aware, to the extent possible:

  • Pay attention to the care you receive. Hospital staff will explain every medical task. If you have questions, ask them. If you don’t understand something, please say so. If something doesn’t seem right, express your concern. If you are not well enough to understand, please be sure that your designated support person can be your advocate.
  • Medications. Be sure that your doctor and healthcare providers have accurate and complete information about all medications you have been taking. These providers want to know the dosage of each medication and how frequently you take them. Over-the-counter medications, vitamins or herbal supplements count, too. Do not take medications brought from home without the approval of your doctor or nurse. When you receive a medication from a hospital caregiver, you will be told what you are receiving and what it is intended to do. If it is not familiar or if you do not feel well after taking medication given to you, please call the nurse.
  • Confirmation. Every time you receive treatment, you will be asked for your name and date of birth. Yes, every time. This will happen when blood is drawn, when you receive tests like X-rays or when medications are given. Staff may also check the information on your armband. Do not be alarmed. This verification is for your safety.
  • Cleanliness. Hospital staff should wash their hands or use hand foam before and after every contact with you. Why? Clean hands are critical to preventing hospital infections. If you do not see them doing this, ask your caregivers if they have washed their hands.