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.