You can support loved ones in their healing journey.
Be an advocate for your loved one
You can speak up for your loved one in the hospital by being his or her patient advocate – the person who will help the patient work with doctors, nurses and hospital staff. To help your loved one make the best decisions about care and treatment:
- Learn about the condition your loved one is being treated for with help from the Library for Health Information
- Know your patient’s rights and responsibilities
- Find out if your loved one has an advance directive, such as a Living Will, Power of Attorney or Do Not Resuscitate Order, and what it specifies
- If your loved one is too ill or reluctant to ask questions, make note of his or her concerns and any you may have. Do not be afraid to speak up and share these concerns with the care team
- Your loved one may be prescribed medicines while in the hospital and may be seen by several doctors or other specialists. Help the patient by taking notes
- Ask to speak with a case manager about options after discharge
Early Response Team
If you notice a sudden change in your loved one’s condition or behavior, ask the nurse to check on him or her right away. If you do not feel the nurse or doctor is responding to your concerns, call the Early Response Team (ERT). ERT members are specially trained to check on patients and support the nurse who is providing care. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for inpatients. An operator will ask for the patient’s name and room number, and the ERT will be called right away.
- Main Campus at 614-366-9400 or 6-9400
University Hospital East at 614-366-3133 or 6-3133
Hand hygiene prevents infections
The single most important thing you can do to help prevent infections is to clean your hands and make sure that everyone who touches the patient—including doctors and nurses—cleans their hands, too. Everyone should clean their hands:
- When entering the room
- After touching objects or surfaces in the hospital room
- Before and after eating
- After using the restroom
It is also important that healthcare providers clean their hands with either soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner every time, both before and after they touch the patient. Healthcare providers know to practice hand hygiene, but sometimes we forget. Please remind us!
Our visitors can also help prevent infections.
- If you are sick or have any infection, do not visit in the hospital
- If you have to cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. Throw the tissue away and then wash your hands. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow if you do not have a tissue