The acute hospital setting can appear to be a daunting environment when one is faced with the compromised health of a loved one. Spending time in a hospital is not something that we generally look forward to doing or plan to do very often. However, as a family caregiver, it is an experience you can count on going through at least once, if not more frequently, depending on how acutely ill the care recipient becomes. As such, there are some steps that you can take to prepare yourself and the care recipient.
There are two ways of being admitted to an acute care hospital – through the emergency room, and as a planned admission. In a crisis situation, hospital emergency services are invaluable. At the same time, emergency rooms are often busy, which can mean long waits for medical attention. Because hospital emergency rooms are set up to handle crisis situations, not ongoing medical problems, individual medical records are not kept there.
Planned admissions are clearly better from the standpoint of being able to prepare ahead of time for what to take, what questions to ask, and who to talk to beforehand (for example, other family members, your employer if you need to take time off, friends, and so forth).