Ways To Cope When Your Loved Ones Are In Hospital.
As someone who has experience of working in a children’s hospital (and has spent time as a patient too) it’s easy to forget how intimidating it can be for people who have loved ones who are gravely ill.
When a member of your close family is admitted into hospital, it can be an overwhelming experience, particularly if you have never been through it before. There are people everywhere dressed in all kinds of uniforms, the beeps, bright lights, the sterile smell and atmosphere can be strange to those who aren’t used to it or involved in health care professionally. Then you throw in the use of medical jargon that most people don’t understand and it’s easy to see why so many have huge concerns for their loved ones.
With this in mind, here a few tips for dealing with those times when you have to visit a hospital to support a family member or close friend.
Look after yourself.
First and foremost the stresses of having a loved one in a critical condition will take its toll on you if you don’t look after yourself properly. Make sure you are getting enough sleep whenever possible and ensure you are eating right so that you are functioning correctly. Remember that you will need to be strong on their behalf when you visit to an ill or injured loved one otherwise you're of no benefit to them. Taking care of yourself will help give you that strength and focus you need to have a positive and helpful impact at the hospital bedside.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions on your loved one’s behalf, you are their advocate. If you don’t understand anything, make sure you mention it. Doctors, nurses, and healthcare assistants want you to know everything but they are also extremely busy and can sometimes forget that you may not have any medical experience. It's a rule, that an assigned nurse will know about your loved one’s day-to-day progress, while the doctor or consultant will be able to tell you about the treatment and possible outcomes. It’s also worth finding out who the nurse in charge is at any given time.
Ask for second opinions.
Don’t be afraid to ask for second opinions, particularly when a decision has been made about the patient having a procedure or non-emergency operation. While surgical medical negligence claims are not necessary in the vast majority of cases, they sometimes are. By asking for a second opinion, you will ensure that the treatment routes you all decide are backed up. Good doctors and consultants will be happy to offer you a second opinion. They'll understand it isn’t just a case of you not trusting them but trying to find the best opinions for your family/friend.
While you are there helping your loved one, you also need someone on the other side supporting you. It can be an incredibly stressful time and having someone to talk to or help you out can be extremely beneficial to your wellbeing.
Hospitals can be grim places but only if you let them. Have a positive thoughts and it can make a world of difference to your loved one. There are no guarantees, of course, but a hopeful attitude can help you all get through this difficult situation.
Disclaimer: This post is partnered however, I believe everything included in it to be the truth.