Patient education is an integral part of quality healthcare at The George Washington University Hospital. Education about your health status will assist you and your family or friends to make well-informed healthcare decisions and will increase your ability to participate in your own care. Members of your healthcare team will provide you with information and education regarding your illness, recovery and health maintenance. Also, they can help to explain other topics related to your care such as advanced directives, medications, medical equipment, nutrition and follow-up care. If you have questions, speak to any of your healthcare team members.
The hospital and the medical center offer a number of support groups for patients and family members or friends. For information about support groups, please call the Department of Case Management at 202-715-4165.
Health studies have shown that smoking can affect many areas of your body, including your heart, lungs and even your skin. The more you know about smoking and what it does to your body, the easier it may be to quit. Realizing that quitting smoking can be hard to do, we have created a list of suggestions that may aid you in your endeavor:
- Identify smoking triggers
- Set a quit date
- Choose your method of quitting
- Set limits, whether it be quitting “cold turkey” or tapering off
- Make a contract with yourself or others, thus providing you with a goal
- Throw away cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters
- Get help from your family and friends
- Ask for help from your healthcare provider
The more you know about smoking and what it does to your body, the easier it may be to quit. Here are two resources that can provide you with more information:
American Lung Association
475 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
American Heart Association
7203 Poplar Street
Annandale, VA 22003
Be involved in your care
You can make your hospital stay safer by being an active, involved and informed member of your healthcare team. The suggestions below can help you become more informed and involved in your healthcare.
Become More Informed and Involved
- Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask caregivers questions. It's OK to ask! If you don't understand the explanation, ask again.
- Speak up if you have questions about your care or treatments, or if something doesn't seem right to you.
- Learn all that you can about your health problem and share your information with your caregivers.
- Ask caregivers about your medications, their purposes and their effects. Ask why you are taking them.
- Ask caregivers to check your hospital armband every time you receive a medication or treatment.