Preparing for an emergency may seem like a contradiction in terms, but we all have illnesses or accidents take us by surprise, necessitating a visit to the emergency room. These visits are always rushed and urgent.
Steps to Take Before You Go to the Emergency Room
You never know when an emergency room visit will take place, but you can take a few simple steps ahead of time to make any medical emergency feel slightly less out-of-control.
If possible, have a friend or family member go with you or meet you at the ER. Have them take notes: the names of the doctors that you saw, the treatments that you received, the tests that were done, and other information about your care. Your friend or family member can act as your advocate - a very important job at a busy hospital or ER. They can ask questions, provide information to the doctors, and participate in the decision-making about your care.
Always keep your insurance card with you. This will make admission to a hospital or ER quicker and smoother.
If you take medication, prepare a list of your medicines and dosages, and keep it with you at all times. If you do not have a list, take all of your medications with you to the ER, if possible. The ER staff needs to have this information in order to treat you properly.
If you have a seizure disorder or a condition that causes fainting, wear a medical alert bracelet to ensure that if you do pass out, it will be clear what condition you have.
Have your doctors' names and phone numbers with you. If you are being treated by a doctor for a condition, you will want to supply that information to the ER or hospital.
If at all possible, you, a family member, or friend should call the hospital or ER to let them know you are on the way and tell them about the illness or injury. The more information you can supply ahead of time, the more the doctors will know once you get there.
ER, and hospital visits are always stressful and challenging. But taking the steps outlined above will move your case along, so you get the care and treatment that you need.
If a Mistake Is Made During Your Emergency Room Visit