While you hope to never need an extended stay in a hospital, it’s always a possibility, whether you’re sick or involved in an accident or injury. Even if your stay is short, it’s still important for you to be well-versed in handling the stay in the most appropriate way possible. If you find yourself spending nights inside a hospital, here are just a few things you should know about your visit.
You may not realize it, but you have certain rights when inside a hospital. As a patient, it’s important for you to be well aware of these, as it could help make your stay better for you. For instance, there are laws in place to protect your privacy, and if you notice that these rights (or any others) are being violated, it could mean a big payday for you. Have a basic understanding of what’s expected from you and the hospital staff so you can both make the best of the situation.
Hospitals cannot force you to do anything you don’t want to do, and they also have to ensure their treatments are not causing you any additional harm. For instance, being misdiagnosed or mistreated at a hospital could put the hospital at risk of a lawsuit. According to Jeff Sampson Law, “Patients can sue for medical coverage for many reasons, whether from an incompetent health care professional or as the result of an accident. As a patient, getting the proper treatment is extremely important.”
If you’re not comfortable with the treatment you’re receiving from your hospital or if you feel like you’ve been misdiagnosed, receiving a second opinion will be your best bet. And if you then have proof that something went wrong, you’ll want to move forward with legal action.
If you have health insurance, it should cover a portion of your hospital stay. However, hospitals have registration processes that force you to provide them with your insurance information. If you know you are staying at the hospital, be sure to have your insurance card and other forms of identification on you. This will make the registration process easier and less time-consuming.
If you don’t have any insurance, then it’s important to follow the direction of the registration personnel. There may be additional forms for you to fill out or you may want to talk with a financial representative and see if there is a payment plan you can participate in.
While the hospital will do its best to provide you with everyday essentials, it’s also up to you to bring any essentials you may want, such as specific body wash, toothpaste, etc. Be sure to either pack these items ahead of time if you know of your stay or find a friend or family member willing to bring them to you. Talk with the hospital staff first to see if there are any items that may be off limits or potential hazards to others on your floor, and be sure to use this information properly.
Hospital stays can be pretty lonesome. When staying at the hospital, be sure you are fully aware of the visiting hours and policies. Reach out to friends and family members and let them know if you’re up for visitors. In addition, be sure to follow any rules associated with visiting hours. The last thing you need is a hospital staff that is upset with you for being unable to follow directions. After all, these are the folks who are currently caring for you, so best not to make them mad.
Depending on the hospital’s policy and any special instructions you may have to follow due to your injury or illness, it’s a good idea to have some entertainment options for yourself during your stay. A deck of cards, a computer, books, etc. are all great options to help you pass the time while you’re at the hospital.
Being in the hospital is a new situation for you, which means it’s perfectly acceptable for you to ask questions. Whether you’re curious about your condition or wondering what’s for dinner, don’t hesitate to ask the staff the questions you have. Being in the know is extremely important to your overall well-being during your stay, so ask away.
Having an extended stay in the hospital is not ideal, but oftentimes the purpose is to help you get better. By having a little bit of insight before you go, you’ll have an easier time making it work.