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Preparing for Your Stay - Adults

Safety Information

You have an important role to play in the outcome of your care as a patient at Norton Healthcare. Here are some things you can do to assure a safe hospital stay.

Ask Questions

Speak up if you have concerns. It is okay to ask questions and expect answers you can understand. Take a relative or friend with you if this will help you ask questions and understand the answers.

Medications

Bring a list of all current medicines with you when you come to the hospital. If you do bring medications with you to the hospital, make sure to send them home after the doctor or nurse has seen them.

Tell your doctor if you take over the counter medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamins, and herbals.

Make certain the doctors and nurses are aware of any drug, food, or environmental allergies you have - including latex allergies.

Look at all medicines before you take them. If it does not look like what you usually take, ask why. It may be a generic medicine or different medicine than normally ordered.

Ask if any test or procedure will require any dyes or medicines before the test is done. Remind your caregiver if you have any allergies to dyes or medicines. Make sure to keep your hospital ID band on at all times. This is the best way that the caregivers can tell who you are.

Tests

Make sure your doctor explains the results of all tests and procedures to you. Do not assume the results are okay if you do not get them. Ask what the results are and what they mean.

Surgery

Make sure you understand what will happen if you need surgery. Your surgeon should explain to you the benefits and risks of the planned procedure. They should also talk to you about any other options you might have.

Tell the surgeon, anesthesiologists and nurses if you have ever had allergies or reactions to anesthesia. Anesthesia is the medicines used in surgery to make you go to sleep.

You may mark the site on the body where you are supposed to have surgery. This may help to reduce the chances of any confusion.

Handwashing

Handwashing is an important way to prevent the spread of infections in the hospitals. Consider asking all healthcare workers or other individuals that may have direct contact with you if they have washed their hands. 

Home Care

Make sure you know what to do when you get home. If you are not sure about the home care, such as any changes in medications or activity levels, find out before you leave the hospital.

General

Educate yourself about your condition and treatment.

Don't hesitate to remind caregivers of any problems you may have which may put you at risk, such as allergies or problems with walking.  This is especially important when you are moved to another area of the hospital or when healthcare providers care for you for the first time.

Make certain you are familiar with all members of your healthcare team.  Hospital employees wear a photograph identification badge that displays their name, title, and department.

Question anyone you are not familiar with or who does not have an identification badge.  Ask this person who they are and what role they have in your care.

Report anything suspicious to your nurse or other health care provider.

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