Top 12 Tips to Survive a Hospital Stay

Have you or a loved one ever been hospitalized? If you have you know what it feels like to be completely vulnerable. Doctors, nurses, and ancillary hospital staff are working to get you well and discharged with complications. However, did you know that according to former CDC Director, Tom Frieden 70,000 people die due to hospital acquired infections? The number of people who are maimed or disabled like my sister who is paraplegic from a hospital acquired infection is in the hundreds of thousands of patients a year.

You might wonder what can I do to stay safe during my hospitalization. I’m here to offer you some suggestions.

1. Have a Patient Advocate. It is critical to have a patient advocate with you during your entire hospital stay. This is important because when you’re sick, you don’t have the energy to remember what health professionals say. An advocate can protect you and speak up if something in your gut doesn’t feel right. Trust Your Intuition!

2. Record Your Communications with Medical Personnel. Get permission first. Recording people without their consent is illegal. Have your advocate record what your doctor and nurses are saying. It’s hard to remember the medical terminology, especially if you are not a medical professional.

3. Write Down Your Questions or Concerns. Address your questions to the appropriate doctor or nurse at the right time. When a nurse is at the end of his/her shift is not the proper time to ask questions. This is a busy time, and you will not get the attention you need. Wait until the next shift has started to ask your question. That is unless the question is urgent. If you are having pain, nausea, dizziness or any other urgent problem “speak up” don’t wait. Ring the call bell and if you don’t get a response have your advocate find your nurse.

4. Have an infection? Tell your doctor, you want SilvrStat. Ask if this product is on the hospital’s formulary. It is FDA approved to kill MRSA (Methycillin Resistant Staphococcus Aureus.) MRSA is resistant to most antibiotics, but SilvrStat kills MRSA in a few minutes. If you don’t hear back from someone about the hospital having access to SilvrStat call the hospital pharmacy and ask, “Is Silvrstat on your formulary?” The pharmacist will have this information. Email me through my website if you want the scientific kill studies which prove SilvrStat’s efficacy. Your doctor may want to see these before ordering the product. SilvrStat does not kill good bacteria in the gut and potentiates (makes stronger) other antibiotics. This product comes in liquid and gel form. It can be used for all types of wounds and skin infections and can be taken internally. ABL Silver is non-toxic and safe. It kills bacteria, viruses, and fungus. This is a highly effective product. (I do not receive any compensation by you purchasing ABL Silver.)

5. When you are in your hospital room, have your advocate act as if the room has not been cleaned. The cleaning staff gets paid minimum wage to do their job. It’s an extremely important but it’s not a profession. It’s a monotonous job with little satisfaction. Here’s what to do. Saturate paper towels with the hand sanitizer that is mounted on the wall outside each room (or should be). Clean the room using the alcohol-based disinfectant. Wipe all the flat surfaces, the bathroom, including the toilet handle, the door handles, the bed railing, the telephone and anything else you see that could harbor bacteria.

6. Place a sign on the door outside your room that reads: You Must Wear a Mask to Enter this Room. You may think this is not necessary, but there are 8 billion bacteria that live in each mouth. That’s more bacteria than are people on the planet. The scary thing is you don’t know which health care worker is harboring infectious bacteria that could infect you. To illustrate my point think of breathing on a cold wintery day. You can see your “Oral Bacteria Cloud” as you speak. This cloud is occurring each time someone talks to you. Years ago, there was sick time and vacation time. Now, hospital personnel has paid time off (PTO). People regularly come to work in the hospital sick to save their vacation time. I saw sick doctors and nurses every day when I worked in the operating room. When I asked, “why aren’t you at home taking care of yourself, they said, “because there’s nobody else to do what I do.” These sick people are spewing their bacteria and viruses all over the desks, tables, phones, and YOU! If you have your hospital personnel always wear a mask, you can prevent a hospital acquired the infection.

7. SPEAK UP! SPEAK UP! SPEAK UP! I can’t stress this fact enough. Many patients don’t want to be a bother to busy doctors and nurses. If something doesn’t feel right in your gut, you’re right! This is your intuition talking to you. Let someone know and if your concern is not addressed don’t drop it. Keep looking for someone who will speak to you about the problem. If you still are not satisfied dial the hospital operator and ask to speak with the administrator on call. Your concern will be addressed. Hospitals are pressured to receive good scores on their hospital surveys. Administrators can and will get your problem addressed.

8. Limit Visitors. Friends who find out your hospitalized want to visit and show you they care. This is nice, but each visitor increases your risk of infection. People harbor bacteria on their clothes, hands, and in their mouth. Let people know you appreciate their thoughts, and you will see them when you have recovered.

9. If your hospital rommate is loud, snoring, blasting the TV, and/or is annoying, ask to be moved to another room. Being upset and angry lowers your immune system. You need proper rest while you’re in the hospital. Not possble? Then ask your nurse (in a kind way) ideas to help alleviate the problem.

10. Allergic to Medications? Tape a sign above your bed with Allergic To List the medications you are allergic to on the paper.

11. Having Surgery? Write on your operative site where to operate. For example, if you are having right knee surgery write with a black marker “Operate Here” and on the other knee write “Not Here.” You may think this is ludicrous, but in my surgical nursing career one hospital, I worked at the surgeon amputated (cut off) the wrong leg!

12. Natural Silver Lozenges are a product made by American Biotech Labs. This has nanosilver in the lozenge. This is the same company that makes SilvrStat. If you are having a surgery that will take longer than 1-½ hours ask your surgical team if they each would consider taking this lozenge before your surgery. My sister is a paraplegic because of an operating room technician who shed her oral bacteria into my sister’s open back during her operation. If the tech had taken this lozenge before my sister’s surgery, she would still be walking today.

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