Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hospital stays can be uncomfortable, daunting and incredibly inconvenient. More often than not, surgery itself is over and done with fairly quickly, whereas the recovery process can take weeks and months of effort. Here are several speedy recovery tips to get you back on your feet post-surgery.

Have a Patient Advocate
Find an advocate to oversee your recovery every step of the way with you. You need someone who is committed to your well being, someone who will be persuasive, ask questions and take notes. Select a trusted friend, family member or loved one who will argue on your behalf. Make sure your advocate comes with you to your appointments – both before and after surgery.

Why have an advocate?
An advocate will help you:
- talk through your options for pain management
-assist with procedures recommended by your doctor
-track the medication administered to you

Get Correct Medications
Although we have the luxury of barcode match-ups for medication, patients should still check to make sure they are receiving the proper medicine.

Ask: What is that medication for? Is it for the correct patient name on the label?
A nurse administering medication should ask you two questions to verify your identity - your date of birth and last four digits of your social security number. If you haven't been asked these questions, do not take the medication.

Protect Yourself Against Infection
Did you know deadly infections contracted while in the hospital kill 40,000 - 90,000 patients a year? It is a shocking number that can shrink drastically, if the proper precautions are taken.

Infections can be spread through visitors, staff and even hospital objects - especially those in your hospital room. You might be surprised that the worst germ collectors of all are right at your finger tips - the remote control and your cell phone. Use clear gloves to avoid contact with these objects.

Remember, an infection generally equals an extra 9 days in the hospital plus $28,000 tacked onto your final bill, so be sure to follow these steps to avoid that outcome.

credit: Christian Broadcasting Network

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