Information you should know before leaving the hospital as a patient.

I have come across a number of patients in the form of friends, family, and strangers who visit the hospital when sick to seek care but leave afterwards only to have no idea what, why, and how they are sick. Most people leave the hospital/ doctor’s office knowing nothing about the condition they are in.  It is important to have the following information as a patient before leaving the hospital.

  • The medical condition: There has been countless times I’ve heard people tell me “I don’t know”; after they have been to the hospital and I ask “what did the doctor say your condition is?”. Then the other question follows, “you didn’t ask?” And they mostly reply, “the doctor didn’t tell me”.  As a patient it is your duty to be curious about what is making you unwell. You ask and be told what your condition is. And for the doctors, it is your responsibility to inform your patient about his/her illness. Always know your medical condition before leaving  the hospital.
  • The cause: People get sick due many reasons. Knowing what made you sick is one step ahead of preventing a reoccurrence. Medical conditions are triggered by different factors. You need to know what you are doing or are not doing that is causing you to get sick.
  • The tests /investigations:  Medical tests or investigations help doctors in understanding and  deciding the type of condition you are having and the kind of management or treatment that you should be given. These tests can be expensive and knowing what exactly is being done for you abdominal what you are paying for helps you to also better understand your condition.
  • The medications: As a patient you should know the medications you have been given. It’s just about the name, but also what the medication does and why you are being given that. You should not just take your prescription and purchase the medications without a proper understanding of what and why you need them. Also the side effects of the drug.
  • Your review date: It is not all conditions and all patients who are asked to come for review. But if you are to come for review,  you should know when (date and time).

Let’s change the habit of visiting the hospital and returning home clueless about the what, why and how of our conditions. Be informed about your health.

Be interested, be educated and be on top of tour care.

Going to the hospital? 8 things your doctor expects you to bring.

Being sick and going to the hospital is something that comes with a lot of anxiety for most people especially if you don’t know what to do and what to expect. For the expectations, well you can’t do much about it except hope for the best outcome, but what you can do something about is your preparation before you go.
Here are 8 things to get you ready for your next hospital visit or doctor’s appointment.

  1.  Your Health insurance card:  Never go to the hospital without your Health insurance card. Going to the hospital without an insurance card means you get to pay cash for everything. From the hospital card to medications prescribed by your doctor. Healthcare is expensive and your health insurance card is there to ease up the cost so use it.
  2. Your medical record card : For people visiting the hospital for the first time, you do not need to worry about this card because you haven’t received it yet. But if you have been to the particular hospital before, then carrying your medical record card with you is is a must. This is usually a small card that has your name and the card number on it for to make it easy to retrieve your folder when next you visit.
  3. All your medications: Every medication you are currently taking should be with you when going to see a doctor. This includes the prescribed and the over the counter drugs. Bringing your medications with you not only helps the doctor to better understand your treatment, but helps him know which drugs to continue, discontinue and which drugs to add to your treatment.
  4. Medical test results: Every test result you have should be taken along when going to the hospital. Both old and new test results should be carried along. This is because the doctor you see might not be the one you saw on your previous visit and you would not want him/her to not have all the information on your condition in case the previous doctor failed to put the results down in your folder. Secondly having your tests results will enable continuity of care and avoid repetition of tests.
  5.  List of your Symptoms: If you are experiencing or have experienced some symptoms, it is best to note them down and bring it along to your visit. Writing your symptoms as you experience them helps you to not forget any. Your symptoms might be a reaction to a drug or treatment, or another symptom of a medical condition. you don’t want to forget this.
  6. A family member or a friend: The hospital can be an unpredictable place to visit when sick. You never know what the headache you are having really is  and whether the stomach ache is only because you skipped breakfast. Bringing along someone can be very helpful especially when you have to be admitted or you need other help. You don’t want to be alone in these times, having good company can take away a load of anxiety which is something your doctor will be happy about.
  7. Your list of Questions: You have questions? Now’s the time to ask them. Asking questions about your condition, management and treatment is something every good doctor welcomes from his/her patient. Take notes of all the questions you would like answers to and bring to your next appointment. Get the answers you need from the right person, your doctor.
  8. Bring some money! Last but certainly not the least, you should always carry money with you when going to the hospital. Some people make the mistake of carrying only their insurance card thinking that it will be enough but they most often get disappointed and frustrated. Carry money with you so you don’t have to go back home if the test you need to do is not covered by the insurance or the medication you are prescribed is non-insured.

Follow these simple tips and you will not only be your doctor’s favourite patient but a satisfied one at that.

5 patients you will always meet in the emergency room on weekends.

It’s the weekend not a life-end.

So it’s the weekend, yayy! Happy mood   activated for many especially those who only work on weekdays.  The week might have been rough or smooth, successful or a failure but it’s the end and it’s time to let your hair down and forget your worries. I get it… It’s the relaxing part of the week and you should be excited!

But this excitement has so many a time been expressed in unhealthy ways that has caused a lot of people more harm than good sending them straight to the emergency room. These7 patients who are constantly seen in the emergency room on weekends are the result of unhealthy weekend choices.

1. The drunk  (Alcohol withdrawal syndrome )

This patient is always seen at the emergency room on weekends.  This patient comes in different forms and type from men, women, corporate and otherwise. They drink locally made beverages and foreign spirits. One thing they have in common is their inability to assess and control thier drinking.

Alcohol has it’s effects but a little control keeps it in check. The emergency room will be a little less choked if you exercised some this weekend.

2. The forgetful Diabetic  (Hypoglycaemia /Hypoglycaemia )

Chronic conditions need a lot of attention and consistency to keep your numbers down to a healthy level.  For the diabetic, watching your diet and taking your medications daily is needed to prevent an episode of either hypoglycaemia (a low blood sugar level)  or hyperglycaemia (a high blood sugar level).

But the weekend is filled up for this diabetic; from weddings, to funerals and other engagements which causes them to forget to eat, check their blood sugar or  take their medication leading to hypoglycaemia. And for the other,  the excitement causes them to over eat or eat what they are not supposed to,  leading to hypoglycaemia.

Regardless of which episode,  this  patient is always present in the emergency room on weekends.

But you don’t have to be. It’s just the weekend, take some time to take care of your health.  I promise it will be worth it.

3. The bar fighter ( injuries on the body)

Alcohol intoxication  has a way of playing with the mind and your emotions. This patient normally comes with injuries ranging from a bleeding eyebrow, an amputated ear (one ear cut off ), broken skull, broken ribs from broken bottles and the list goes on.

This patient only comes in one gender and that is males. The reasons are varied but mostly, arguments gone bad. What’s important is the underlying cause : alcohol intoxication.

Most of these patients go home handicapped, scarred, and some do not get to go back home making the weekend their life-end.

Responsibility is a necessary choice especially when you decide to dink alcohol. Leave early to prevent over indulgence.

4. The unknown patient (Knock down)

This particular pattent may or may not have championed the weekend fun, they are often pedestrians who meet drink drivers, or drivers speeding to their destinations or sadly, spare drivers who are just excited to sit behind the wheel of their master’s car.

The weekend although relaxing can also be dangerous if met with such drivers on the road. The unknown patient is brought to the emergency room without a name because they are mostly unconcious and could remain that way for days. Their lives are then left in the hands of whoever brought them to the emergency room be it the driver or a good samaritan.

A greater percentage of this category of patients experience poor health outcomes due to unavailable funds, family, or lacking advocates to fight for them.

You see, the unknown patient could be anyone and it’s all because of careless acts in the name of weekends.

5. The unpopular referral 

This last patient could be the most vulnerable the five to suffer for the weekend sake. The patient referred on a weekend is beva use it’sa weekend is the most popular of the reasons for referrals although not stated on their card. The state of health of the patient and the documented note for referring says it all.

The patient suffers, the family becomes anxious, cost increases and work load at the emergency room doubles all in the name of weekend fun and relaxation.

Just saying, the emergency room will less choked, mistakes largely reduced, care hugely improve, patients greatly satisfied and health in all protected if you just made the weekend a health concious one.

After all it’s just the weekend , not a life-end!

Continue reading 5 patients you will always meet in the emergency room on weekends.