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7 Tips for your next hospital visit

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1. Bring your own hospital gown

Hospitals will generally offer you one their used hospital gowns. If you are happy wearing a second hand hospital gown you are in the minority of the population, as these gowns have been worn by other sick or dying people. Hospital gowns provided by hospitals are of low quality and the material is uncomfortable, and they generally don’t provide for your modesty as the back is open and gaping. You can select from a great range of stylish gowns with a full back in varying sizes from specialists such as Gorgeous Hospital Gowns.

2. Bring some comforts from home

Even a short overnight stay in a hospital can seem like a life time, so don’t forget to pack some comforts from home to make your stay a little more comfortable. Personal items such as your tooth brush, hair brush, bathroom bag, perfume will make you feel so much fresher. Bring items to help pass the time such as a good book, iPad, music; and don’t forget your reading glasses.

3. Avoid and manage ‘Pressure Injuries’

A pressure injury is an area of your body that has had the blood supply damaged by unrelieved pressure. Signs you should look out for include:

  • Black/purple/blue skin
  • Blistering
  • Swelling
  • Dryness or dry patches
  • Shiny areas.

To prevent pressure injuries:

  • If possible avoid sitting or lying in the same position for long periods
  • If unable to reposition yourself, ask the staff to assist you
  • If you have any tenderness or soreness over a bony area, or you notice any reddened, blistered or broken skin, tell the staff immediately.

4. Prevent Blood Clots

To reduce your risk of blood clots, trying the following:

  • Gently exercise your feet or legs in bed
  • Get out of bed and walk as soon as possible
  • Wear compression stockings
  • Take your prescribed medications.

5. Let the hospital staff know how you are feeling

  • It is important to let the hospital staff know if you start to feel worse or if you have increased pain
  • Recognising the signs of deteriorating health quickly allows the staff to take action as early as possible. If you are a relative or carer, let the staff know if you recognise a change.

6. Help prevent and control healthcare associated infections

Hand hygiene is important for everyone, including hospital staff, patients and visitors. Wash your hands:

  • After going to the bathroom
  • Before and after eating food
  • After contact with soiled clothing or dressings.

Cough etiquette can also help reduce infections, so please:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue
  • Dispose of tissues into the general waste bin
  • Wash your hands as soon as possible after using a tissue.

7. Know your rights and responsibilities as a patient

A basic understanding of your rights and responsibilities as a patient can make life easier for you and the staff caring for you. In recognition of your rights, the hospital staff should:

  • Treat you with courtesy and respect
  • Provide you with an opportunity to be involved in your care
  • Respect your decision to accept or reject any treatment, medication or procedure
  • Provide you with information about the hospital rules and regulations for you and your visitors.

As a patient, you should:

  • Respect hospital staff and ensure that your family and visitors act accordingly
  • Most hospitals have a zero tolerance to harassment, verbal abuse, bullying and aggression, so treat staff with due consideration.

If you have followed these tips hopefully your hospital visit will pass quickly and as comfortably as possible. Let us know if there are any other tips you would add to this list.

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