17 Questions To Ask Before A Hospital Discharge

17 Questions To Ask Before A Hospital Discharge


At someone point either a family member or you will be hospitalized. 

When that happens, there’s often anxiety concerning how long the hospital stay will be and what will happen. The average hospital stay is around 4.5 days, but can last as long as 2 weeks if complications arise.

With all of this time spent inside the walls of a hospital, it’s important to know what questions to ask before discharge so that you can feel more prepared when it comes time to go home.

Questions To Ask The Hospital Staff Before You Are Discharged

  1. What are our options for when and where my loved one is being discharged to?
  2.  What is the average length of recovery time?
  3.  What problems, symptoms, and/or side effects should we watch out for?
  4.  Will the patient be safe at home alone after discharge or will someone need to be with them 24/7?
  5.  Are there any activity restrictions and how long will they last?
  6.  Are there any dietary restrictions and how long will they last?
  7.  Will my loved one need help with bathing, dressing, cooking and housework? 
  8. If we need help with these tasks who can I contact to provide assistance?
  9.  Will we be provided with the latest list of prescribed medications? What do these medications do and why are they necessary?
  10. When was the last time these medications were given and what time is the next dosage?
  11.  What are the medication dosage conflicts and/or side effects?
  12.  Are there any post discharge tasks that require special skills like bandage changes, wound care, administering medication, transfers?  If we require help or have follow up questions about these tasks who can we contact?
  13.  Are there any doctor’s appointments needed after discharge and when should they be scheduled?
  14.  Are there any therapies or care that’s needed for post discharge like nursing, health therapy, or outpatient therapy? 
  15.  Who will coordinate these therapies?
  16.  Is there any special equipment needed at home? (Walker, wheelchair, oxygen) Who will arrange for the equipment to be delivered?
  17. If we do not feel safe with a discharge how can we appeal this decision?

Conclusion

The hospital staff wants you to recover and have a smooth transition back into your home life. It is not uncommon for patients to be nervous about the unknowns of being discharged, so don’t hesitate in asking questions about what to expect when you leave the hospital.

You can speak with your doctor, nurse, or discharge planner if you are unsure how best to manage at home after surgery or injury.

To ensure process is as seamless as possible for you or your family starts by having any lingering questions answered before your are discharged. 

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