Take Control of Your Care

I.D. Me
  • Accurate patient identification is essential day and night so physicians, nursing staff, and other personnel can easily see who you are. Please wear your plastic identification bracelet at all times until you return home. Please notify someone if your identification bracelet needs to be replaced.
  • Make sure your nurse or caregiver verifies your identification before giving you any medicine, transporting you, or performing any tests or procedures. They will do this by checking your armband and asking for your name and date of birth. You will be asked this repeatedly. It is just an extra step to ensure we are doing the right thing for the right patient.
  • If you are having surgery or an invasive procedure, you will be asked to verify the procedure to be done and the part of your body on which the surgery or procedure will be performed. The area that is to be operated on may be marked.
  • Those who care for you should introduce themselves when they enter your room. Check to see if they are wearing a name badge that bears their name, department, and title.
Communication is essential in your care.
During your hospital stay, your caregivers will be identified on the communication board in your room so you will always know the names of the nurses and doctors caring for you.
During "bedside reporting," the nurses give information to each other about your care.
When the shifts change your off going caregivers will give report at your bedside to your oncoming caregivers. This is also a great time for you to ask any questions you may have concerning your plan of care.
Educate Yourself and Ask for Help
Your health is important. If you have questions or concerns, be sure to ask.
  • Read all medical forms and information provided to you and make sure you understand them before you sign anything. If you don’t understand, ask your caregiver for an explanation.
  • Ask a trusted family member of friend to be your advocate. Your advocate can ask questions that you may not think of while you are under stress and not feeling well.
  • Make sure this person understands your preferences for care and your wishes concerning resuscitation and life support. If you have an advance directive, share it with your advocate and bring a copy with you each time you come to the hospital.
  • When you get the results of a test, ask if you don’t understand their meaning.
  • Review consent forms for treatment with your advocate before you sign them.
  • Make sure you both understand exactly to what you are agreeing.
  • Before you go home, if you don’t understand your written discharge instructions and the treatment plan always ASK questions.
Speak Up
  • Hand washing is the best way to fight infections. This applies to patients, visitors, nurses, and physicians.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask someone if they remembered to wash their hands before providing care to you.
  • Feel free to ask questions about your medications and treatments.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell your nurse or physician if you think you are about to receive the wrong medication or treatment.
  • Ask about the purpose of any medication and any side effects.
  • Discourage friends and family from visiting you if they are ill. Friends or family may call you or send cards and flowers.