My recent trip to emergency at a local hospital brought back memories…not good ones unfortunately…
While we were waiting for the long 7 or so hours, to find out what the medical staff thought was causing my issues…and jury is still out on that one…I put together some tips for surviving the stress of going to emergency!
Now, this list is aimed more at those who aren’t urgent enough to be fast tracked…in other words, those who are doomed to spent hours waiting to be seen…
Wear comfortable clothes if possible…this actually applies both to the patient, and the person who will be waiting with them.
And if you are the patient…wear suitable underwear…just saying…
If you are feeling particularity awful, a pillow or cushion might make you a little more comfortable in those uncomfortable chairs.
Something to Do
Bring a book, magazine, ipad/tablet (plus charger), phone….anything to keep you occupied as the clock ticks by!
This might seem like a strange thing considering how much time I have spent in emergency, but I found this experience as the patient quite stressful…particularly when there was a poor elderly woman throwing up regularly….I am hopeless when someone is throwing up…
Eventually, I grabbed my husband’s headphones, and plugged them into my ipad to help me tune out.
And it definitely helped.
However, if you do use headphones, make sure you don’t have them too loud as to disturb others, and don’t miss your name being called either!
Sometimes, this isn’t possible, but if you do have to head into emergency, it is so much easier to have someone with you….someone who can assist if needed.
In the past, I have had to negotiate with stressed staff to find somewhere where my very sick husband could lie down while waiting.
Also helped that I could recite his history off by heart so could get him past triage, onto a bed and seen as quickly as possible.
Mind you, the fact he was bright yellow, and often with high temperature usually sped things up a bit…
This of course will depend on what you are in emergency for, but it helps to bring a bottle of water, and some snacks if you need them….both for the patient and the person/people with them!
Once you are “in the system”, you don’t want to go wandering off to find food/drink in case your name is called.
Most emergency rooms do have vending machines though, but if you have food allergies like I do, that’s not going to help!
Tell it how it is!
I will finish with one last tip…I know this technically makes it number 6, but hey, who is counting…
And this probably one of the most important things I can tell you!
If you are going into emergency, don’t sugar coat how you feel…we Aussies have a habit of answering the question “how are you” with “fine, thanks” even if we are half dead!
My husband had a nasty habit of doing this, but luckily his vitals such as temperature and his jaundice gave away his true health status.
So, if you are feeling like death warmed up or the pain is unbearable, tell the triage staff.
Don’t be brave…just give them all the details because that is how they decide where you will end up.
They won’t know your symptoms unless you tell them, and it will help them to get you sorted out as fast as possible!
Believe me, I know….
Do you have any other suggestions as to how to survive emergency….let me know!