Grosse Ile, MI - Take it from a proven hospital survivor – you need lots of help to survive your U.S. hospital stay.
Recently, Trula Ryan, 95, came home from her 85-day-stint at two metro Detroit hospitals. She is an uncontested survivor and can attest to the fact that the very best tip is, “Stay away from the hospital unless you have no other option and you absolutely must go.”
Following a trip to emergency and hip surgery, Ms. Ryan encountered nearly every medical complication, as well as nearly every prejudice which American culture can dish out on her bumpy road to recovery, including: “You’re 95, you know! What do you expect at your age!” And, Even if you survive breathing with a vent, nobody comes off of them and you will end up on a shelf and have no life anyway.” Plus, Is it really your decision to live or can’t your family just let you go?”
Still, she beat the odds and the naysayers. Today, she’s at home, enjoying watching her beloved Detroit Tigers and giving everyone she sees her trademarked, “Two Thumbs Up!”
Here are Trula’s 10 Tips for Surviving your hospital stay
- Empower someone you trust and who loves you to be your patient advocate.
- Each day, especially Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, at the beginning of every shift, your patient advocate must meet and be confident in your assigned nurse. Follow this practice until you leave the hospital.
- Move to a room, as close to the nurses’ station as you can be. If the room is semi-private, ask for the bed closest to the entry door.
- Make sure your patient advocate understands which medications your doctor has ordered for you as well as how much of each medication you are to receive.
- Make absolutely certain that your patient advocate ensures that your nurse correctly administers your medications as your doctor has ordered.
- Do not submit to any procedure unless you understand that your doctor has ordered it for you and you have agreed to have it done.
- Closely observe the nursing team and make certain that they wash their hands and use clean gloves; do not use suction tubes which have fallen onto the floor or onto your bed; and maintain sterile technique when required, e.g. when changing a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) dressing.
- Question everything and ask your questions in three different ways.
- Ask what are the known side effects of every medication and procedure.
- Research everything until you feel comfortable that you understand.
Perhaps, most importantly, says Trula, “Just never give up, no matter who says you can’t make it, because you can!”