Advocating for Yourself
It is our goal to make sure you receive safe, attentive care during your stay at Littleton Adventist Hospital. You are a vital part of our team and we need your help to make sure that you receive the highest standard of care. Please do not feel shy or afraid to ask questions or ask for assistance.
One of the most important tools in patient safety is proper communication. Always let your doctor know of medications, supplements, herbs, diet pills and anything else you may be taking. It is helpful if you can bring in your medication bottles so our staff can see exactly what you are using.
Allergies and your specific type of reaction to the allergen are important in your treatment. Please include food and environmental allergies in this information.
As your doctor or nurse explains a medical procedure, please feel free to ask for clarification. We want to make sure you feel comfortable and confident in what is happening to your body.
Pain and discomfort are ways your body signals that something is not right. Sometimes it is just a part of the healing process but there are cases in which it may be an indication of a further complication. Your healthcare team needs to know how you are feeling. We are here to help you remain comfortable during your time with us and can help reduce unnecessary aches and pains. Always let your doctor or nurse know if you are experiencing pain.
Our specialized machines are checked during hourly rounds by our knowledgeable staff. If you believe there is something wrong with your machine, please use your nurse call button rather than trying to resolve the problem yourself. We are always happy to assist you.
Advocating for Yourself
At Littleton Adventist Hospital, as our patient, you are an essential part of our team. It is important that you take an active role in making decisions about your care. The more you know about your own situation, the better prepared you will be to make proper decisions. Addressing the steps below will help you to be your own best advocate.
Know Your Patient Bill of Rights
A good way to prepare for an expected hospital stay is to review your rights and resources as a patient. In our hospital, a copy of our Patient Bill of Rights is provided on your copy of the Hospital Admission Agreement. This Bill of Rights and Responsibilities describes what you should expect from us and your key role as a patient. We believe that you should be in control of your personal medical decisions and we hope to empower you to make the best choices for your individual situation. We want to make sure you are being protected and cared for properly.
Know Your Hospital
Before you choose a doctor or hospital, you will want to do some research to find the best fit for you and your medical needs. You will want to tour the hospital, talk with staff, read the mission statement and review the hospital website. You will also want to make a list of questions to ask your doctor.
Know Your Resources
Hospitals are an endless wealth of resources - medical libraries, online information and the numerous, widely-educated professionals with hands-on experience who can guide you in the right direction. Talk to the employees in the unit you will be visiting and ask questions. They may even have some early preparation materials that will help ease the stress of the unknown and allow for a smooth check-in procedure. Obtaining the correct information can be an easy process, as long as you reference knowledgeable resources.
Know Your Condition
In order for you to fully understand the decisions you are making in your own best interest, you will need in depth knowledge of your medical condition and the consequences that your decsions may have. A strong education upon entering the hospital will be an advantage to you and to the hospital staff. Do not hesitate to ask for the opportunity to research further when posed with a new situation.
Inform Others of Your Progress
Be sure to keep your doctor and nurse informed of how you are progressing. Something that may seem insignificant to you may set off a red flag for your healthcare staff. Always report any discomfort or pain as this may be an indication of something more serious. A staff member will be visiting your room each hour during the day on regular rounds to ask you questions, such as how you are feeling and what your pain level is. If we can identify a problem in the early stages, we are much more likely to counter it quickly and easily.
Once you have the knowledge and tools you need, you will be prepared to ask informed questions. Whether you view your questions as educated or not, please ask - there is no such thing as a silly question. By asking questions you can be valuable in helping us maintain an effective safety system. Your questions can ultimately help save your life and we will always respect your efforts in self-advocacy.
Bring an Advocate
We always welcome a family member or friend to come along to comfort and help you during your stay with us. Family members and friends can also be very helpful in remembering details of your treatment plan and helping to keep track of questions you want to ask the doctor or nurse. Often, patients receive a lot of information on subjects with which they may not be familiar. This can make it difficult to remember everything. We encourage you to have someone help you write-down your questions and be available when the doctor comes to see you so you have another set of ears to hear what the doctor has to say.
Medications at Home
When it is time to go home your physician will decide what medications you should take. It is very important that you understand the medications you are taking, what is their purpose, including the purpose of each medication, how and when to take it and in what dose. Your nurse will give to you a list of the medications the physician has ordered and prescriptions for any new medications. You should review the list carefully and ask questions to make sure that you understand them fully. If you have questions about new medications when you get home, you can ask your pharmacist or contact Speak to a Nurse at 303-777-6877.
Your healthcare continues at home and you are the one who can make that a success. Be sure to follow all of your doctor's orders after you leave the hospital. If you have a question, we are just a phone call away. We are always here to help and we want to see you reach your maximum health - even after you have left our direct care.