Be Involved in Your Care
The staff at The George Washington University Hospital is committed to educating patients about their health so they, along with their family members, can make well informed healthcare decisions. Members of your healthcare team will provide you with information and education regarding your illness, recovery and health maintenance. They can also explain other topics related to your care such as advanced directives, medications, medical equipment, nutrition and follow-up care.
In addition, you can enrich your hospital stay by being an active, involved and informed member of your healthcare team. The following suggestions can help you fully participate in your own care:
- 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.
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. The following suggestions may help keep you on track:
- 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
Additional resources that can provide more information:
American Lung Association
475 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
American Heart Association
7203 Poplar Street
Annandale, VA 22003