GET WELL AND GET OUT! Most people will find themselves -- or a loved one -- faced with a hospital stay at some point in their lives. The prospect is scary enough, even without worrying about hospital infections, adverse drug reactions, and other alarming risks that have been documented by the Centers for Disease Control and reported widely in medical journals and the national media. But help is here. Written by an experienced nurse practitioner and recognized hospital safety expert, How to Survive Your Hospital Stay offers simple steps to take before, during, and after hospitalization in order to take control of the entire process, including: Evaluating whether a hospital stay is really necessary Dealing with the top ten risks, from medication errors to malnutrition Getting the staff on your side Choosing the right doctor Negotiating the insurance minefield Making sure you are discharged safely and will get the follow-up care you need Packed with advice that will help people feel better when they are ill and at their most vulnerable, this essential guide provides a reassuring road map for avoiding mishaps along the route to recovery.
CONTENTSPrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroductionPART ONE Eight Important Ways to Prepare for Your Hospital Stay1 Avoid the Hospital -- if You Can 2 Choose a Health Care Advocate3 Prepare Your Mind4 Know Your Rights5 Learn the Lay of the Land6 Choose Your Hospital7 Choose Your Physicians8 Make Sure Your Wishes Will Be FollowedPART TWO The Top Ten Risks: How to Understand and Avoid Them9 Medication Errors10 Side Effects of Drugs11 Infection12 Pressure Sores13 Malnutrition14 Complications of Surgery15 Falls16 Misdiagnosis17 Unnecessary Tests and Procedures18 Going HomeAfterword: If You're HurtResourcesBibliographyIndex