10 Essential Questions To Ask During Any Hospital Visit
The hospital can be a scary, intimidating place, especially if you don’t spend a lot of time there. Depending on why you may have ended up in the hospital, there are certain questions you’ll want to ask your doctor and the medical staff.
- Are all the signs normal? You’ll want to know about all your vital statistics. How is your blood pressure, body mass index and breathing?
- Details about your problem: Ask the doctor treating you what may be causing the problem that forced you to visit the hospital. Could there be more than one issue affecting your health? Being kept in the dark can help compound your stress and make visiting a hospital even more severe.
- Learn more about the tests: Some of the testing done in a hospital can be uncomfortable and invasive. Find out first how accurate the tests are for diagnosing an issue. How safe are the tests you’ll need to undergo and what could some of the side effects be?
- Get the facts after diagnosis: If you are diagnosed with a serious condition, find out what the next course of action will be. Ask about the long-term outlook and what treatment options are available.
- Ask about each treatment option: Find out what the pros and cons of each treatment option available to you. What are the risks associated with each treatment and how do they weigh against the benefits?
- Get the facts about pricing: Medical billing can be very complicated, and you’ll want to get a good estimate concerning the cost of your hospital visit and treatment. This will help you decide what treatments you wish to pursue and plan financially, if you will be dealing with a long-term sickness.
- Make sure tests are necessary: Doctors will often administer tests just to protect themselves from a potential lawsuit. According to an article in Men’s Health, 16 percent of prostate screenings are unnecessary. CT scans are also over-administered and are believed to cause more than 5,600 cancer cases a year.
- Ask about experience: If you go into a hospital for surgery, ask how many surgeries the person who will be working on you performs every year. Research shows surgeons who perform more surgeries have fewer complications than surgeons who perform less. On a side note: try to have your surgery in the morning, when the medical staff is more alert.
- Find out if doctors earn bonuses: Insurance companies will reward hospitals based on the quality of service, and how fast they move patients through the system. This means a surgeon or doctor may actually get a bonus for rushing you through surgery and out the door. That’s probably not a hospital you want to stay at.
- Find out when your doctor graduated: According to Harvard Medical School Researchers, doctors who have been out of medical school for more than 20 years were much less likely to stay up-to-date on new developments and technologies in their area of practice. That means they probably aren’t caught up on current treatment guidelines and other crucial issues.
What questions would you add to this list?