TMC’s Chief Nurse with Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your Care

In the May edition of Tucson Lifestyle Magazine, 11 nursing leaders from across Southern Arizona weighed in on how patients can get the best experience and care when they visit a doctor or go into the hospital.

Here are some of those tips from Tucson Medical Center’s Chief Nursing Officer, Cheryl Young.

 What should patients do to get the best care?

Be an informed consumer: Ask questions. Pick a good physician based on patient outcomes. Review your patient rights.

What should patients do before going into the hospital for an elective procedure?

Ask your physician what you should expect during your stay/procedure. Appoint a family member as your advocate. Know about advance directives. Pack only the necessities for your stay – avoid bringing any valuables to the hospital. If this will be your first trip to the hospital, you may want to take a tour of the facility.

Who will oversee your care in the hospital?

Physicians and nurses.

What should patients do after going home from the hospital?

Make your follow up appointments with appropriate physicians and follow your discharge instructions that were given to you by the nurse. Rest. You need to recover. Take your medications as directed.

Why is it important for a patient to designate a family member or friend to serve as an advocate, and what should his/her duties be?

You may have several family members who will want to know how you are doing. During your stay, it is important that you have one spokesperson who can pass on your status to others. The healthcare team will keep your advocate up to date on your progress and they in turn can update the rest of the family. Numerous phone calls take the nurse away from caring for you.

There may be times during your stay that you are unable to communicate or ask questions.  Appoint someone who can do that for you. It would be a good idea if they write answers down for you for your later review.

Your advocate can also help coordinate family and friend visitation so you do not get too tired.

To read the entire story, with advice from all of the interviewees, log onto:

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