Before you go to the hospital:

  • Choose a doctor who is experienced in treating your condition (especially for surgeries). You can check online and ask the doctor’s office staff for this information.

  • Do not hesitate to ask for a second opinion, especially before major surgeries.

  • Plan on having a family member or friend stay with you at the hospital, if possible.

During the hospitalization:

  • Write your questions down and ask them when your doctors come to check on you.

  • Ask your doctors about the day’s plan and share any concerns that you may have.

  • When someone comes to give you medications, ask what medication you are being given and why.

After you leave the hospital:

  • Learn your medications, what each is for, and their side effects.

  • Learn what symptoms to watch for and what do in case those occur.

  • To make sure that you got all the information correctly, always repeat back in your own words what you were told and ask all your questions.