To be prepared for the unexpected emergency visit to the hospital can save time, decrease stress and even get timely treatment when the need arises. It is inevitable – The unexpected trip to the dreaded Emergency Room. For many family caregivers and their aging family member, it is a time of undue stress and anxiety. ou never know when you may need to go to the emergency room. So, you need to be prepared. Here are some tips to keep in mind to make your trip to the emergency room more efficient: Create a file that includes information on any chronic medical conditions you have, results of past medical tests, a list of your allergies, a current list of medications, the names and numbers of your doctors, family, and friends who may need to be contacted. Keep this file up to date and in a place where you can find it quickly. Even if you are alert, you’re likely to forget important information about your health, such as medicine allergies or your blood type.
There are steps that you, as a family caregiver can take to make a difference in that situation. We have created a checklist that will take the stress out of this situation. Being prepared will allow you to focus on what is important , your family member. It also is wise to ask someone to accompany you if the emergency involves a close family member. You may not be in a good frame of mind to make decisions or understand everything that is being told to you. You need someone who can be somewhat objective and help you through the crisis. Once you’re inside the ER, chances are you’ll see nursing staff and doctors you’ve never seen before, and they will quickly order tests that may seem to take an eternity to complete. Don’t be afraid to ask what each test is for and why it is taking so long. If you establish a good rapport with the ER staff, you may be able to nudge things along; however, expect lab work to be slow. If your family doctor is not available for consultation, the ER doctor may recommend specialists. There is a call roster from which the ER physician may arbitrarily suggest a specialist. However, don’t hesitate to ask for a specialist you might know. This is when good homework will keep you prepared.
The hospital staff will love you for being prepared as well, because you will have all the information ready for them. It is a win – win for all! Be prepared and get your checklist today.You sleep better at night when you know you are prepared for a medical emergency.
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