Emergencies don’t come with a prior warning and for anyone who’s ever had to run to the hospital for an emergency in the middle of the night would know how there’s more than one factor at play when it comes to getting through it smoothly.
Sudden illness or emergencies can occur without warning, and even though no one particularly plans a trip to the emergency section in the hospitals, everyone should know what to expect after they arrive. Here are some common issues faced by families or elders while being admitted to a hospital.
Getting to the hospital
It may seem like and may even be mistaken as the easiest of the issues faced while running to a hospital during an emergency. So much that one forgets to plan adequately. Getting a ride to the hospital is easy if you’re someone who can drive, has family or friends to drive you around or has a driver at their disposal. While it’s not as easy if you’re an elderly person who’s alone at home or someone who doesn’t know how to drive. Things to keep in mind at the time of an emergency is to maintain calm and figure out how to get to the hospital. It’s a must to have an ambulance/ trusted driver/ family member on speed dial, for one can’t predict the nature of the emergency.
Selecting the right hospital
Depending on the severity of the situation and the accessibility to hospitals nearby, knowing which hospital to go to is essential in case of an emergency visit to the hospital. Since the initial few minutes-hours are crucial for best treatment outcomes, it’s all the more important to waste no time on deciding which hospital to go to. To put your mind at ease, do research and make a list of the hospitals in and around your locality and jot in the services available in each, along with details on how equipped the hospital’s emergency section is in terms of doctors, staff and medicines. This will allow you to get to the best and the closest hospital as soon as possible in case of an emergency.
Receiving immediate attending
In most hospitals, patients are identified by the severity of the condition as soon as they report to the emergency department. Patients with the most serious emergencies or injuries receive immediate treatment while the less grave emergencies may be put on hold for some time. Due to which, it’s possible that you might not get attended to right away or some patients may receive medical care before you, even if they arrived after you. During this process, one must ensure to let the emergency technicians know the reason for your visit. As soon as you've attended, a doctor or a nurse will take your medical history and perform a brief examination of your symptoms. In some cases, a registered nurse may start diagnostic testing to decrease the time spent waiting for medical treatment Should your symptoms worsen as you wait, notify the emergency technician or triage nurse immediately.
Registration into the hospital
In India the registration process still remains one of the most time consuming and often problematic processes. Why registration is important is because one lets the emergency department staff gather information about you and record it. Two, to obtain your consent for any treatment you’re likely to undergo. It’s necessary in order to do diagnostic tests to enable the physician to determine the best treatment option for you.
Finding the right doctor
Depending on what your emergency is, it’s not always possible that you receive treatment from a doctor of your preference. But what’s possible is, having a note of various specialists, especially the specialists related to your illness. If you’re a cardiac patient, know the cardiologists in the hospitals nearby. If you know your doctor personally, there’s no harm in letting them know on your arrival. Although, during emergencies, the availability of doctors is not as much as regular timings. Hence, one has to stick to what’s available.
Every patient reporting to the emergency receives treatment from an attending physician or other staff posted in the emergency. There are two aspects to treatment that one must keep in mind. One is the diagnosis and all the diagnostic tests related to your condition and the other is the treatment. Both are equally important as any misdiagnosis may further complicate your condition. Depending on your condition, the required diagnostic tests will be run by a nurse. An IV will be attached if required. Always ask about the drugs that are administered and also let your physician know beforehand if you’re allergic to any. Test results help emergency medicine physicians assess your condition. Depending on the tests, the urgent results could take anything between 1-2 hours, while some tests could take longer. Meanwhile, ensure to keep yourself informed and comfortable.
A physician or mid-level practitioner will reevaluate your condition after they receive your test results because the results may give them a detailed insight into the type of treatment you need. Be sure to let physicians or nurses know about any pain or discomfort you may feel. Once all tests and vitals are checked, the attending physician determines whether you should be admitted to the hospital or treated and sent home.
Admission process and care
The process of admission works differently in every hospital. What remains common for the hospitals is the paperwork which more often than not is time consuming and detailed. To speed up through this process becomes necessary during a case of emergency. There are a number of forms you are required to fill out for every hospital visit. You will be required to provide information such as your personal details, any old health records, and other health information to the hospital. It’s important to know that you have a right to access your health records and you can also authorize family members or third parties to access your health records and make decisions on your behalf. There is a lot of paperwork required to keep track of your journey through the period of your admission at the hospital. When different doctors, nurses, administration staff and other healthcare professionals see you, it allows them to know what stage of diagnosis, treatment or recovery you’re at. There are two types of hospital admissions, emergent and elective. Emergent usually refers to patients seen in the emergency department who are subsequently admitted to the hospital. Whereas elective hospital admissions occur when a doctor requests for a patient to be observed and reserves for a patient on a specific day. During the period of your admission, having nutritious meals regularly and medicines timely should be taken care of. In case the patient is unable to, attendants, nurses or families should ensure patients' meals and medications.
Once you’re on the way to your recovery and no longer require supervision by your doctor, your discharge is signed off. Ensure to ask for written home-care instructions to follow when discharged. The instructions describe how to care for your wound or illness, directions for your prescribed medications and recommendations for follow-up medical care. It is important to continue to fully understand and follow all instructions after moving home for a speedy recovery. Feel free to reach out to friends and family for help to recover as quickly as possible. This whole process of getting into getting out of the hospital is made easier if one has friends or family by their side. In scenarios where one doesn’t have enough of support available at that moment, it’s helpful to find someone to rely on. Emoha Elder Care will be your support system through your journey in an out of the emergency. EMOHA offers a dedicated 24/7 elder emergency response offering at your doorstep. All their care packages are designed to envelop your’s or your elder's home with fundamental care elements - emergency, health, safety, support, and engagement. Since no two elders have the same needs, they take care of you with a comprehensive bouquet of choices from safety, to professional health support to fun-filled activities, and opportunities to learn and also earn. EMOHA is all about EMOtional HAppiness – the core purpose of life. With the vision of keeping an elder at home for as long as they wish. A home is where an elder is emotionally the happiest, has the most endearing memories, feels loved and secure. At EMOHA “enhancing an elder’s emotional happiness” is the daily mantra.