Caring for a Family Member in the Hospital
Visitors are welcomed any time of day at the hospital. When visiting, an
attendant at the information desk near the main entrance will direct you
to the location of the patient’s room.
Communication is a very important aspect of your experience at the hospital.
Doctors, nurses and other caregivers will be meeting with you to talk
about a patient’s status, directions for care, activity restrictions
during recovery, medication instructions and much more. Family members
are there for care, comfort and to ensure their loved one receives the
best care. Here are some suggestions to optimize your hospital experience:
- Bring a notebook to take important notes such as discharge instructions.
The information retained in notes can be used to recall important discussions.
Write down outstanding questions you have in your notebook to make certain
they get addressed.
- If the caregiver is using medical jargon or is not clearly stating information,
please ask that person to go over the information again
- Paraphrase or restate the important points of the conversation to make
certain that you correctly understood the conversation.
- If you feel that you are having difficulty communicating with certain members
of the staff, speak to the doctor, nurse, chaplaincy or another representative
within the hospital about your experience.
- Wanting what is best for your family member is natural. If you have concerns
about your family member being released from the hospital before they
are ready, or their ability to be cared for at home – bring this
up with the doctor.
- You may encounter delays in tests or procedures. This often happens when
hospitals are busy. Your best course of action is to remain patient and
speak to the nurse and ask for an updated timeframe.
Taking care of yourself
When a loved one is in the hospital, it is easy to lose sight of taking
care of yourself. You need to be certain to get enough sleep and eat when
appropriate. You are an important part of the hospital experience and
you will be an important person in their recovery.