If it’s your first time being hospitalized, you’re bound to experience mixed feelings. It’s normal to be overwhelmed, confused, and intimidated. A hospital is an unfamiliar place with lots of different people, equipment, sounds, and smells. Fortunately, knowing what to expect during your stay at the hospital can help ease your mind. Whether you’re getting ready for a procedure or have an unexpected hospital admission, this article will assist you in preparing for your stay at the hospital.
Once it’s determined that you’ll be admitted to the hospital, the first step is to go through the admission process. Normally, a clerk will ask for information about your insurance. Furthermore, a doctor or nurse will ask questions about your medical history, current state, and if you’re under any medication. As you answer each question, they are likely recording the information on paper or computer.
Additionally, your doctor or nurse may ask the same or more questions multiple times during your stay at the hospital to determine whether there are changes.
During your stay at the hospital, it may not be necessary to bring various items such as gowns, basic toiletries, and meals since the hospital already provides them. However, unless it’s against the hospital’s rules, you may be comfortable bringing some items from home. Among the things, you can carry your preferred toiletries, warm socks, slippers, a lobe, and loose-fitting pajamas. Remember to bring some clean underwear along since you’re less likely to be supplied with such items.
Healthcare involves teamwork. Other than your doctor and several nurses attending to you, other healthcare providers such as certified nursing assistants, laboratory technicians, dietary aids, therapists, and housekeepers may be involved in your care. If you’re admitted to a large teaching facility, you’re likely to see medical interns, student nurses, and resident doctors being involved with your case.
Unless you’re admitted in an intensive care unit or unconscious, each healthcare worker who enters your room should introduce themselves and inform you of their role in your care. If they don’t, you’re at liberty to ask since you have the right to know who’s involved in your care.
While most hospitals now have single-patient rooms, you won’t be sure of having a room for yourself. However, if you’ll be sharing a room with other patients, there will be curtains between each bed for privacy. These curtains are most likely to be open during the day and are pulled down each time a healthcare provider attends to you.
However, even if you’ll be sharing a room, there’s no need to worry. The hospital staff can work together to ensure you have your privacy and ensure you get the quiet time and rest as you recover.
Once you’re admitted to the hospital, your doctor will prescribe a special diet depending on your condition and nutrition needs. In the event of severe digestive issues or maybe you will be undergoing surgery soon, your doctor may prohibit you from eating or drinking for a specific time. After surgery, the doctor may recommend that you stick to liquid diets at first until they’re sure your body can handle solid foods.
Remember, it might not be a good idea to bring food from home unless your medical team is okay with it.
Medical tests are inevitable when it comes to treatment procedures. They are required to determine the issue with your body. Common tests that your doctor will likely order include X-rays, ultrasounds, Computed Tomography (CT) scan, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). These tests allow your healthcare providers to visualize specific internal organs in detail.
Additionally, blood and urine tests may be ordered and done multiple times during your stay at the hospital.
On average, a patient sleeps almost two hours less per night in the hospital compared to at home. Unfortunately, sleep loss at the hospital may be unavoidable since it might be difficult to rest when you’re uncomfortable and in an unfamiliar environment. Additionally, healthcare providers will likely check on you from time to time or administer medication to you during the night.
To increase your chances of getting good sleep, you may consider bringing a pillow from your home and earplugs to reduce unnecessary noise.
During your stay at the hospital, you may feel disoriented and overwhelmed. Normally, doctors tend to use medical jargons that most patients won’t understand. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask the doctors to explain what you can’t understand.
Remember, you have the right to make decisions about your care, and you can only make the right decisions about it after you’re fully aware of what’s going on. You should also be fully aware of the suggested procedures or treatments and their potential benefits and risks before giving consent.
The hospital staff may ask you about your post-hospital plans on your first day at the facility. While it may feel as if they’re trying to push you through the system, they actually want to know more about your current living setting to anticipate your requirements upon your discharge. Among the questions that your doctor will likely ask is whether you have to climb stairs to get to your home or room, especially if you have leg injuries.
Your doctor and nurses will also work with you and your family to develop a suitable plan for your maintenance after hospitalization.
At some point in your life, you might find yourself admitted to the hospital. While spending some time in an unfamiliar place like a health facility may not be a pleasant experience, it might be the only way to ensure you get better. Nevertheless, your stay at the hospital should be comfortable and worry-free since the healthcare providers will ensure that you’re comfortable and taken care of. Additionally, you won’t be lonely since your loved ones are allowed to visit you from time to time during your stay at the hospital.
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