Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tip #5: What is the Hospital Routine? (Insider Tips on How to Get the BEST Medical Care in the Hospital)

Being in the hospital is literally like moving to a foreign country.  People eat & sleep at different times. There are all these people wandering around but you don't who they are or what they do.  A lot of the time it feels like everyone is speaking a foreign language.

Tips #5 & #6 are your travel guide:  

Tip #5:  Know the hospital routine:
  • Nurses & Techs usually change shift at 7 am & 7 pm.  If you want ANYTHING (especially pain medication) ask for it BEFORE 6pm or 6am.  Do not expect to have any response to requests between 6:45pm-8pm or 6:45am-8am unless it is an emergency & you are seriously ill.  Family members & patients:  do not ask to talk to a nurse during this time frame.  Why? They are giving report to the next nurse or tech.  If you want the next nurse to have ALL the important details about your family member or yourself than you should allow them to transfer care uninterrupted.  Your care on the next shift will be better!
  • Social Workers:  they usually work 8am to 4/5pm & are INCREDIBLY busy & overworked.  Most ones I know end up staying after the time they are supposed to leave.  If you want to meet with them, don't ask to do so after 3pm.  Ask early & it will happen.  Ask late & you may have to wait until the next day.
  • Physical & Occupational Therapists:  they usually work 7am-4pm.  They usually see their last patient at 3pm.  You will not be able to talk to them after this time & You probably won't ever have therapy after 3pm.  
  • Dietary Staff & the Kitchen:  They bring trays to patients at Breakfast (usually 6am-8am); Lunch (usually 11am-1pm) & Dinner (usually 5pm-6:30pm).  If you want snacks in between meals you will need to talk to the Dietician or the Nurse.  On the floor they usually have a few sodas, crackers, applesauce/pudding & juices.  Don't expect a big spread in between meals.
  • Doctors:  We usually sign-out our patients around 5pm to the person covering for the night.  This does not mean we leave then--I regularly work past 6pm--but what it does mean is that if you ask for your doctor after 5pm you usually won't get them (you will get the night person).  Ask before 4pm if it is urgent that you see them that afternoon.  But as noted above, if you have further questions that aren't answered in the a.m. rounds & are very important to be answered that day, ask the doctor in the morning if they have time to come back in the afternoon before they leave
Next time:  Tip #6:  Know the Role That Each Person Plays In The Hospital Team ((Who ARE These Different People Taking Care of You & What DO They Do??!!))

Coming Up AFTER Thanksgiving:
  • SuperImmunity Foods for KIDS (Calling All PARENTS!)
  • RECIPES & Ideas: Snacks!  YUMMY & Portable Plant-Based Snack Food--all sugar-free, gluten-free & without adding oil or fat!!
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