It is not unheard of that a patient goes into the ER and comes out after hours uninformed about their diagnosis and illnesses. And in most cases, the doctors are too busy to explain as well.
It is your responsibility to take care of your health. If you happen to be patient who is actively involved in all your treatments and medications, you have quicker chances to get better, have lower health costs and being an engaged patient you are healthy as well. Therefore, it is essential that you understand your health conditions and fulfill your health care needs. And the most important thing to know is that you are fully aware of communicating with the doctors if an emergency situation arises.
Though we all try hard and try to avoid an emergency room visit but it is wise that that you keep in touch with your doctor as soon you have any symptoms that require you an emergency room visit.
It helps to be prepared beforehand. First and foremost thing is to remain calm and cool. If you are not the one who needs emergency care and you are accompanying some older loved one or a child, you need to stay calm so that you decide wisely.
Listed below are some tips that allow you to be prepared for emergency room visits:
- Never go alone to the ER. It has got nothing to do with being older or a young child. You need to have a planned schedule with a friend or family member who should go along with you should need arises.
- If you are able then provide a detailed history of your symptoms when you reach ER. Do not edit, shorten or exaggerate them as that could result in misdiagnosis of your health condition.
- Ask questions. In case of any ambiguity, speak up if you fail to understand the directions or explanations.
- When doctors are done with your examination, ask for a written ER report that includes the lab and tests results along with diagnosis.
- In case you face any problems in ER ask to speak to the supervisor nurse. If that does not resolve the issue, speak to the patient advocate/ombudsman.
- While you are still in the ER, make sure that you carefully read the discharge instructions and understand them. If you have any questions, get them answered before you are discharged.
- Under no circumstances you are to leave the ER till unless you have gotten satisfactory answers to the following questions:
What is my diagnosis, what medications should I resume and what new ones I should start taking? What symptoms I should keep a lookout for? When should I follow up?
Frontline ER is a Texas-based ER center with locations in Dallas and Richmond. With its very own 24-hour emergency room and an expert staff with credentials in emergency training, you can now receive immediate care without sitting through hours as you would at a regular hospital.
If you are being admitted to the hospital, ask about the billing details and admission status. You need to know whether you are being admitted or kept under observation. This is essential as observation could burn a hole in your pocket.