Prepare for your hospital stay in advance. / Fuse/Getty Images
Whether you’re headed to the emergency room or the operating room, it can be confusing dealing with hospitals, doctors, insurance companies and procedures.
Elizabeth Bailey, author of The Patient’s Checklist, says going through simple checklists can make an unexpected hospital visit go smoothly. Keep these in mind:
Before you go: Try to schedule your surgery early in the day, early in the week. “Why be wheeled into the operating room after your surgeon has just completed two four-hour procedures back to back?” Bailey says. And avoid July: New interns and residents usually start rotations in July and can be inexperienced with patient care, she says.
What to bring: In addition to your photo ID, list of medications, contact numbers and medical reports, make sure you pack your humanity. “You are a person first and a patient second,” Bailey says.
During your stay: “Find out how to work the TV, the phone, the bed and call button,” Bailey says.
After surgery: Make sure you know which family member, friend or nurse will be with you the first night after surgery.