When I was young and growing up, hospital visits were the scariest experiences I had. Every time I had a cold, my mother would take me to the nearby health center to get treated. I feared those visits because, by the end of the day, an injection was almost definite. Today things have changed a lot, but the fear still lingers.
What do you fear most when you are sick? Is it the white serenity of the hospital, nurses with white starched uniforms, or is it the bespectacled doctor seated behind the table?
For you to benefit from your next hospital visit, the following tips may be of help;
- Know why you need to go to the hospital
Different types of illnesses require various forms of preparation. An ongoing chronic disease is easy to plan for than a sudden onset illness that may require urgent attention. If the ailment is an emergency, arrange how you will travel to the hospital. A means of public transport can work well if you understand the problem, while an urgent means of transport like an ambulance is the most appropriate when the illness requires urgent attention.
2. Choose the type of health care provider that suits your disease
Knowing the type of health care provider that best suits your need is very important. Select the best hospital based on your medical needs. If it is the first time you are attending a particular hospital, it is good to know some basic information about the hospital beforehand and no surprises later. Visiting the hospital website can be a good starting point.
3. Arrange how the cost of treatment will be paid
Before going to the hospital, confirm how the cost of treatment will be paid. If you have insurance cover, understand the limit and if there is any caveat. This way, you can make a decision when choosing your health care provider. If an out-of-pocket payment is an option, it is good to know that you can pay for the service.
4. Plan time off from work
Based on the type of illness, plan for time out of work by informing your employer in advance. When in an emergency, it is also good to ensure that your employer is aware and your responsibilities are covered appropriately. In addition, it is also necessary for students to inform the training administration when ill so that they are not penalized for being out of school.
5. Get a family member or a friend to accompany
Having a family or a friend accompany you to the hospital is good where feasible. It is most important when the illness is acute when you cannot predict how it will progress. If the disease takes a worse turn and you are unlikely to act for yourself, then your friend or family can take over and support you by ensuring that you get treated and safe.
6. Explaining your medical problem to the doctor
When at the hospital, the doctor will take a detailed history; this will include a history of the present illness, past medical history, family history, and the duration of the current disease. At this juncture, provide any relevant information that will help the doctor plan for your management. For example, if you are on treatment for any other illness, it is critical that the doctor is made aware and any medication that you are taking. Provide information on any known allergies.
With this in mind, we hope to make your next hospital visit less scary and gain the most out of it!