• Rochelle Wreschner

Patients and Their Families

If you are facing a hospital stay, whether planned or not, it will be a difficult, disorienting time for you and your family.

In additional to the challenge of dealing with a medical issue, there will be the dislocation from your home, the temporary loss of independence and self-sufficiency, and a myriad of other emotions. The loss of a sense of control can cause depression and negatively impact your treatment and recovery. Combatting these feelings is an important part of speeding your recovery and shortening your hospital visit.

Keeping the following in mind may prove helpful:

  • Your doctors and nurses are well-trained, experienced and dedicated. Follow their instructions. If you have a question, ask. If you don’t understand something, have them explain it again. Uncertainty about your treatment will only heighten your anxiety.

  • Your family members will need/want to provide emotional and practical support. Let them. Nobody likes to be or feel like a burden but it’s okay. More than that, it’s beneficial for both of you. You need the assistance and they need to deal with their concern by contributing to your well-being.

  • If you have a child/children at home, the separation can increase their anxiety. If you are able, speak to them to reassure them that you are not from away and will be home soon. If you won’t be able to speak to them directly, discuss with your spouse or other family member how to allay the child’s fears. Arrange for a trusted family member or friend to provide childcare as necessary.

  • When discussing the situation with family members,

  • never promise something you can't keep

  • be as honest as possible with family members. Hiding things about your illness/injury may heighten your family’s concern. Having said that you are entitled to your own privacy. Find ways to reassure family as much as possible.

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