Get an idea of what it’s like to be a patient before you’re admitted: At the Cleveland Clinic, Merlino says the emphasis lies with managing the patient’s expectations as best as they can – this includes talking about how it will feel to be a patient. “When you take the extra time to discuss, the patient is better prepared for the environment and not surprised,” Merlino explains. This simple conversation can take away some of those uncertain feelings. Merlino also suggests that if caretakers don’t address the questions you have, it’s better to ask. You are the best advocate for your health. You should feel comfortable talking about everything – from the people you’ll be dealing with in the hospital to who you can contact and what you should do when you get home. “Don’t stop until you have a complete understanding of the experience,” he says, Huffington Post reports.
Prepare what you can before you arrive: Certain tactics can help you prep before you even have a reason to go to the hospital. Calman suggests talking with your primary care physician about your medical records and keeping them current and readily accessible. “When you’re really sick your head is not in a place where it’s easy to remember a lot of these things,” he says, which makes it all the more important that you do these things before an emergency happens. Before you leave for a scheduled appointment, also be sure to check into what paperwork you may be able to complete ahead of time. Most hospitals will have the information available to patients on their website. According to University of Chicago Medicine, it’s important to try to remember at least four “must-haves,” depending on your situation – your social security card, your insurance card, a photo ID and a form of payment just in case there are some things that are not covered by insurance. If you’re scheduling a surgery, talk with your physician beforehand to find out if there are other necessities you should bring or ways to prepare.
The layout of the hospital isn’t as confusing as it seems: Merlino admits navigating a hospital environment can be difficult – ad that even includes where you park your car. In a place like the Cleveland Clinic, with a campus that stretches across 176 acres 46 buildings, it’s easy to accidentally park three blocks away from where you need to go.
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